Like most Americans, I was shocked at the results of the Iowa caucuses. How, I wondered, could Rick Santorum rise to the top of the Republican presidential contest? Santorum is among the most ideologically extreme leaders in the GOP.
Searching for insight, I found one explanation for Santorum’s success in the words of another Republican radical: Glenn Beck.
Glenn Beck said on his radio show, “I think the next President has got to be Abraham Lincoln, he has got to be somebody who knows exactly who he is, knows exactly where he stands and is willing to, in the end, turn those reins of power back over. The temptation and the pressure is going to be absolutely enormous. If there is one guy out there that is the next George Washington, the only guy that I could think of is Rick Santorum.”
If you take Glenn Beck at his word, and you trust Glenn Beck’s judgment, then you shouldn’t vote for Rick Santorum. After all, Beck says that the next President of the United States has to be Abraham Lincoln. But, Beck then says that Rick Santorum isn’t Abraham Lincoln at all. He’s the next George Washington instead.
Of course, Glenn Beck’s logic simply got garbled, as often happens for him. If we take the larger attempted point that Rick Santorum would make a great next President of the United States, though, we’re still left with a problem.
How can the next President of the United States be the next George Washington? The very essence of George Washington, the reason that he’s significant in American history, is that he wasn’t the next anything. George Washington was the first President of the United States. There can’t be the next first President. That doesn’t make any sense.
Rick Santorum isn’t like George Washington in any other way, either. He isn’t a great military leader. Santorum wasn’t an effective leader in Congress. George Washington was never voted out of power. Rick Santorum was.
Most importantly, George Washington was regarded as an effective leader because he was absolutely non-partisan. George Washington was the only President in American history who rejected the idea of political parties. Rick Santorum has always been a strident Republican partisan.
What on earth could Glenn Beck have been getting at when he compared Rick Santorum to George Washington? The thing George Washington was most famous for was his leadership in the violent overthrow of one government in order to establish a new kind of government. Is Glenn Beck trying to suggest that Rick Santorum would begin an armed revolution against the democracy of the United States of America?
Whichever way you look at it, this George Washington meme can only expose Rick Santorum’s profound inadequacies. Santorum is no Washington, and he’s not up to the task of commanding the Oval Office.
We’ve created a new collection of anti-Santorum political buttons to aid in the effort to resist Santorum’s growing regressive force. Take a gander.