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This post was edited by reedak at 2018-5-30 04:33|
Narrator: Since he left his homeland, the priest had travelled miles of rough terrain in the daytime and lodged mainly in an inn or slept on a tree at night. One month after meeting the twin brother of the Old Man of the Mountain, he came to a mountain stream near a forest. After tying his horse to an ancient giant tree, he took a dip in the stream. After eating some wild fruits, he climbed up the giant tree to retire for the night.
Next morning while bathing in the stream, he suddenly felt the whole ground and the water shaking violently around him. With much difficulty, he rushed up the bank and sprawled flat on the ground. The earthquake lasted about 30 seconds. Meanwhile his horse was neighing loudly and prancing wildly under the tree.
After sometime when there were no more aftershocks, he got up, put on his clothes, untied his horse and continued his journey. Soon he found himself galloping along a vacant sandy land where he could see crabs crawling beside some dead fish. As the breeze blew towards his face, he could smell the salty air.
To his amazement and horror, he discovered that he was actually travelling in a sea whose water had receded far out into the ocean. He was not alone as he discerned a figure walking with an animal in the distance. As he approached them, he saw an old man walking a dog.
Priest: Hi, Old Man of the Mountain! Glad to see you here!
Old man: No, I am not the Old Man of the Mountain. I am his real twin brother. I am his real, real twin brother.
Priest: Glad to find you alive and kicking after jumping down the wall. But why the need to highlight your identity now?
Old man: I have won the election and will be sworn in as the ruler of the Mountain next month. Since my election victory, my name and identity have often been stolen by imposters, particularly in telepathic communication.
Priest: Congratulations on your new job! Sometimes the fake looks more real than the genuine.
Old man: That's why I have to highlight to everybody, particularly in my telepathic messages, that I am the real twin brother of the Old Man of the Mountain.
Priest: What is your goal for the Mountain?
Old man: I shall "make the Mountain great again"!
Priest: Do you think you can ever achieve your goal?
Old man: Of course, I have what it takes to "make the Mountain great again" because I am a brilliant deal maker. In addition, I am a businessman who knows how to get things done.
Priest: On the way, I heard from some people that your twin brother had mocked your business failings in a major speech arguing that you would be disastrous for the economy. He said, "He’s written a lot of books about business. They all seem to end at Chapter 11. He bankrupted his companies not once, not twice, but four times."
Old man: Hundreds of companies have filed for bankruptcy. I used the law four times and made a tremendous thing. I'm in business. I did a very good job.
Priest: One guy had investigated your business dealings and found a total of six bankruptcies. Why the discrepancy?
Old man: I counted the first three bankruptcies as just one.
Priest: You seem to have invented a new form of mathematics which makes "three equal to one". It's good news for any man with three wives. He can claim that he is practising monogamy.
Old man: You are welcome to exchange anything three for one with me. It reveals the great business acumen and winning mentality I have to become the greatest ruler of the Mountain.
Priest: You are as slippery as the dead fish on the ground, able to convince your voters of your so-called "high net worth" with your twisted arguments after filing for bankruptcy multiple times.
Old man: That's why I claimed that I did a very good job.
Priest: Okay, enough of your "very good job" in multiple bankruptcies. Let's switch to another subject. Are you willing to accept the election outcome as the will of the voters?
Old man: Of course, I am glad to accept the election results now.
Priest: But do you peacefully accept the election outcome if you are the loser?
Old man: Ask me this question in the next election.
Priest: Do you think the Old Man of the Mountain, who is your twin brother and election opponent, is accepting the election results willingly?
Old man: It is the “Mountain way” to peacefully accept election results. He had conceded defeat by congratulating me on election night. He told his voters, "We must accept this result and then look to the future. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead."
Priest: Do you think he will push for vote recounts under the pretext of examining whether the electoral democracy of the Mountain is working?
Old man: In the last debate, he chastised me for my unwillingness to pledge that I would accept the outcome of the election. Calling my statement “horrifying”, he said: "That is not the way our democracy works. We’ve been around for 240 years. We’ve had free and fair elections. We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them, and that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a debate stage during an election.” Hence I don't think he will push for vote recounts. So much time and money will be spent - same result! Sad.
Priest: On the way here, I heard allegations of a hack-riddled election with hacking into the party members' brains with witchcraft. The election system of the Mountain is even condemned as extremely vulnerable for relying on a system that is wide open to hacks by sorcery. Hence do you think he will eventually push for vote recounts?
Old man: I can still remember what he said in the first election debate. He said: "Well, I support our democracy. And sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But I certainly will support the outcome of this election. And I know my twin brother's trying very hard to plant doubts about it."
We had even sought the advice of our first ancestor who gave a grim warning through the mouth of our temple medium: "That is not a joking matter. No, no, no. I want everyone to pay attention here. That is dangerous. When you try to sow the seeds of doubt in people’s minds about the legitimacy of our elections, that undermines our democracy. Then you are doing the work of our adversaries for them because our democracy depends on people knowing their vote matters.”
Hence I don't think my twin brother will go back on his word.
Priest: Don't you know that your twin brother is so notorious for flip-flopping on key issues that he is nicknamed Mr Flip-flop?
Old man (pointing to a dead fish on the wet ground): Like that dead fish, he is something of a spent force. I have yet to hear any flip-flop from him.