“Aren’t you supposed to be the king of the jungle here?” asked the tiger.
“I am,” answered the lion, “just not in the old-fashioned way. Things have changed around here. And the new arrangement suits me just fine; even better.”
“The new arrangement? What new arrangement?” The tiger was confused.
“Well, you know, at the time when we lions ruled this jungle, things were simpler but dangerous. We had to be on our guard all the time. There was always the threat of stronger lions attacking us and taking our kingdom away, and that did happen frequently. Then there were all kinds of pressures of government. But most irritatingly, there was this constant complaining by all the other animals, this continuous whining about how everyone should be given a chance to rule.”
“Everyone? Even if they were weaker and sillier and ugly?”
“Exactly. They wanted everyone to have an equal chance to become the king.”
“Ha ha!” laughed the tiger at this stupid idea. “But they did have equal chance. Any one of them could defeat the lion and become king.”
“Yes yes, but the bastards wanted equal opportunity for even those who were too weak and too dumb to do that. They wanted all the animals of the jungle to elect their king. Whoever got more votes would be king. That way, they thought that the elected king, his kingship being dependent on the animals themselves, would work for the welfare of the animals.”
“Hmmm! Does make some sense.”
“I know it makes sense. The only problem is that it doesn’t make any sense.”
“Meaning?” the tiger was a little confused again.
“Well, as I said earlier, I am still the king of this jungle. Only now I leave the worries of government to the elected king, and only enjoy the fruits of kingship. The elected king lives in the royal cave and pretends to be the king. While I, with my strength and intelligence, simply control the elected king, and enjoy.”
“Ha ha! Genius! And what about the other animals?”
“Well, they are happy to have democracy, and keep cursing the elected king for all their woes. I don’t even have to listen to their stupid complaints.”
“What about their general condition though? Has it improved?”
“I think it has deteriorated. But who gives a shit?”
“Ha ha! Genius!” said the tiger.