Once upon a time there lived a vain President whose only worry in life was to rule over the land with no regard to the Constitution. He changed his mind almost every hour and loved to express his ideals to the world.
Word of the President’s refined habits spread over his country and beyond. Two scoundrels who had heard of the President’s vanity decided to take advantage of it. They introduced themselves the White House with a scheme in mind.
“We are two very good politicians and after many years of research we have invented an extraordinary method to weave lies so fine that everyone hearing them will believe them. As a matter of fact, anyone who doesn’t believe what we are saying will be considered too stupid and incompetent to have an opinion of their own.”
The chief of the guards heard the two politician’s strange story and sent for the FBI. The FBI notified the Attorney General, who ran to the President and disclosed the incredible news. The President’s curiosity got the better of him and he decided to see the two politicians.
“Besides these lies sounding like the truth, Mr. President, these lies will be woven into stories making you look like a wonderful world leader, stories created especially for you.” The President gave the two politicians a bag of gold coins in exchange for their promise to begin working on the lies immediately.
“Just tell us what you need to get started and we’ll give it to you.” The two Politicians asked for one to hold a Secretary’s post and then pretended to begin working. The President thought he had spent his money quite well: in addition to getting a new extraordinary line of bull to tell all the land, he would discover which of his subjects were ignorant and incompetent. A few days later, he called the old and wise Chief of Staff, who was considered by everyone as a man with common sense.
“Go and see how the work is proceeding,” the President told him, “and come back to let me know.”
The Chief of Staff was welcomed by the two Politians.
“We’re almost finished, but we need a lot more gold. Here are the speeches we have finished!” They said handing the Chief of Staff a stack of papers. The Chief of Staff started reading the stories and realized they were nothing but lies. He felt cold sweat on his forehead.
“I can’t believe this,” he thought. “If I let the President tell these lies, that means I’m stupid! Or, worse, incompetent!” If the Chief of Staff admitted that he saw nothing but lies, he would be discharged from his office.
“What marvelous cover ups,” he said then. “I’ll certainly tell the President.” The two Politicians rubbed their hands gleefully. More paper and ink was requested to finish the work.
Finally, the President received the announcement that the two Politicians had finished all the stories.
“Come in,” the President ordered. Even as they shook hands, the two Politicians pretended to be handing over actual facts for the President to report.
“Here it is Mr. President, the result of our labor,” the two said. “We have worked night and day but, at last the biggest cover up and the best lies in history are here for you. Look at how well written all of them are.” Of course the President knew some people would see through these lies but he kept on reading. He panicked and felt like fainting. But luckily the sofa in the Oval Office was right behind him and he sat down. But when he realized that no one would know that he was planning he felt better. Nobody could find out he was involved with the two Politicians from the beginning and they had started the lies long before he held office. The three of them were confident their plans would never be revealed.
The farce continued as the two Politicians had foreseen it all those years ago when one of them was a Governor. Once they had started telling lies there was no stopping them, and now they had the President playing along.
“Mr. President, you’ll need to read these speeches off of a teleprompter.” The two Politicians laughed as the President started reading the first speech. The President was embarrassed but since none of his bystanders were, he felt relieved.
“Yes, this is a beautiful and it sounds very good to me,” the President said trying to look comfortable. “You’ve done a fine job.”
“Mr President,” Chief of Staff said, “we have a request for you. The people have found out about this extraordinary cover up and they are anxious to see what you have to say for yourself and the two Politicians.” The President was doubtful showing his real self to the people, but then he abandoned his fears. After all, no one would know about it except the ignorant and the incompetent.
“All right,” he said. “I will grant the people this privilege.” He summoned his limo and the ceremonial parade was formed. A group of dignitaries and Secret Service agents walked at the very front of the procession and anxiously scrutinized the faces of the people in the street. All the people had gathered in front of the Washington Memorial, pushing and shoving to get a better look. An applause welcomed the regal procession. Everyone wanted to know how stupid or incompetent his or her neighbor was but, as the President began to speak, a strange murmur rose from the crowd.
Everyone said, loud enough for the others to hear: “Listen to the President’s speech. It’s wonderful!”
“What a marvelous speaker of truth!”
“And the promises! The promises are wonderful! I have never heard anything like it in my life!” They all tried to conceal their disappointment at not being able to actually believe what the President was saying, and since nobody was willing to admit the speech from the President was a bunch of lies, they all behaved as the two scoundrels had predicted.
Several people however, who had no important jobs and could actually see though the false promises shouted, “The President is lying!” they shouted.
“Fools!” the two Politians reprimanded. “Don’t talk nonsense!” The two Politians declared people that didn’t believe what they had devised, were stupid. But the people kept yelling, “We are right, the President is lying and trying to help the Politians cover up things that are wrong.”
The President knew that the people were right but could not admit to that. He though it better to continue the speech under the illusion that anyone who couldn’t believe their lies, was either stupid or incompetent. And he stood stiffly behind his podium, while behind him the two Politians smiled knowing what they had done.
The President knew he only had a few more months of his term to continue the facade, and as promised he would do his best to help one of the politians run for the Presidency.