Once upon a time, there was a mad emperor who was so corrupt and incompetent that he drove his kingdom into ruin. The people could stand it no longer so they drove him off of his throne and stripped him of his title. This made the mad emperor even madder. “I will always be the emperor! It doesn’t matter what the people want – it only matters what I want!”
Determined to retake his throne, he went back to the corrupt and incompetent advisors who had been thrown out with him. “I deserve to be emperor!” he cried. “Tell me how I can take back my throne from the people of this kingdom.” One advisor had an idea: “What you need is to look like the emperor again. Get the fanciest suit that’s ever been made. When people see you wearing that, they’ll immediately accept you as emperor again.” “That’s a great idea!” said the former emperor. “I’ll get the best suit that any emperor has ever worn! EVER!”
The former emperor went to the royal tailor. “Make me the best suit that’s ever been made for any emperor!” he commanded. Now, the tailor knew that the disgraced former emperor had no powers to command. But he decided to humor him. He pretended to hold up a suit. “This is the best suit that any emperor has ever worn. It’s called ‘voter fraud’.” “I don’t get it,” said the former emperor. “It’s a magic suit,” explained the tailor. “It’s invisible to stupid people. But to the very smartest it is the most fabulous and obvious suit ever worn.” “I see it now,” said the former emperor. “Voter fraud is so plain to see, I don’t know why I didn’t see it before.” And it wasn’t clear if the former emperor was lying again or if he really believed he saw the suit. That much was never clear.
The former emperor ran back to his former advisors wearing nothing besides the imaginary suit. “I got the best suit any emperor has ever worn!” he said proudly. The advisors looked at each other. “We don’t see it” they agreed. “It’s a magic suit,” said the former emperor. “It’s called ‘voter fraud’. Only the smartest can see it. Stupid people see right through it. “I see it now!” each said, one after another. “It’s so perfect!” they exclaimed. But there was one junior advisor who admitted “I still don’t see it.” The former emperor whispered to him “Did I mention that anyone who doesn’t see the magic suit will be thrown into the dungeon when I’m made emperor again?” To which, the junior advisor said “I see it too.”
The former emperor arranged to hold a parade where he could show off his magic suit. He told his loyal followers that the suit ‘voter fraud’ was obvious to the smartest but invisible to everyone else. Since they wanted him back as emperor, they were happy to oblige. So, the former emperor paraded down the street in proud nakedness while his followers yelled out how beautiful and obvious his voter fraud suit was.
But all this noise drew the attention of many ordinary people. They were neither mad, nor gullible. They pointed and laughed at the naked man boasting about his imaginary suit. “That’s no emperor!” they yelled. “That’s the Court Jester!” And still the former emperor jumped up and down and screamed about his invisible suit.
Eventually, the real emperor had to step in. He had the former emperor thrown into the Royal Lunatic Asylum. To the end of his days, the former emperor refused to wear clothes, even on the coldest of days, insisting that his imaginary suit really existed.
And the kingdom lived happily ever after.