Letter to the Editor, Moscow Pullman Daily News
The Judgement Seat of the President
After the election, when asked about President-elect Trump, President Obama assured the international community and people at home that the seat of the presidency has a sobering effect. He said it “…has a way of waking you up to the realities of daily governing.”
It reminded me of a short story which we read in our grade school in India, “The Judgement Seat of Vikramaditya,” by Sister Nivedita. After the death of the wise king Vikramaditya, his palace and fort turned to ruins where grass grew and shepherds grazed their cattle. One day a shepherd boy sat on the mound and acted like a judge. The wisdom with which he spoke the truth and settled disputes brought many villagers to him for consultation.
Immediately after the election, Mr. Trump acted presidential and was gracious in acknowledging Secretary Clinton’s work for the nation. He praised President Obama and the First Lady and he made some effort to be inclusive. That gave us hope that the seat of the president could make a person gracious and grounded. Then the twitter assaults and negative comments about anyone who disagreed with him started again and I remembered the end of the story.
When the news reached the new king, he sent his ministers who suspected that the judgement seat of Vikramatiya was under the mound. They dug the place and deep inside found the famous throne with marble slabs and angels. The throne was moved to the king’s palace. The angels questioned the king and found that the king’s heart wasn’t as pure as the shepherd boy’s, they didn’t consider him deserving of the throne. One by one the angels took a slab of the marble throne and flew away.