Op/Ed: Who’s the Next George Washington, and What Will He or She Look Like?

Dr. Peter Lillback

President of the Providence Forum

Author of George Washington’s Sacred Fire

When George Washington stepped on the American stage, he became its indispensable leader. From the first bullet fired in the French and Indian War to his Farewell Address, he molded America by his values and beliefs.

Washington pledged his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence. He honored his pledge by eight brutal years of danger from British weaponry, Congressional cabals, and the sagging morale of his under supplied soldiery.

He accumulated vast political capital in the “times that try men’s souls,” enabling him to rescue the newly independent “united” states from their floundering under the Articles of Confederation. Presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and as president, he framed and led a new government, assuring its success.

Without surprise, the seat of government was named for the “father of his country.” But surprising are the decisions—especially those of late—that have been made in the city that bears his name. Washington D. C., in an almost Freudian patricidal manner, continues to dismantle George Washington’s values.

We know what Congress, Courts and Presidents, as well as Professors like Peter Singer think of crisis pregnancies, the elderly, the handicapped. But what about Washington? His commitment to mankind’s unalienable right to life would have quickly settled these questions. Having done time for adultery in a Caribbean jail, Alexander Hamilton’s mother left her ne’er-do-well husband with babe in arms and Alexander in her womb. This was at a time when the stigma of illegitimacy had severe life-long repercussions. Nevertheless Washington personally groomed this talented young man for greatness in his corps and in his cabinet. Washington’s personal care of his aging and ailing mother speaks of his gratitude for this widow that as a single mom raised him to be a man of character. Washington’s grief at the passing of his handicapped teenage step- daughter Patsy, who succumbed to epilepsy, reveals that her death was not a relief but an intense sorrow to his fatherly soul.

Washington believed marriage to be the most significant moment in a person’s life. He had no thought of the legitimacy of homosexual marriage. “Sodomy” was a crime in his army that resulted in the drumming out of the culprits. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” was not the standard for his men.

His economics reflected his Virginian and Puritan ethics of avoiding debt, practicing thrift and taking personal responsibility. His last words to the nation were to avoid debt, not to go to China and saddle future generations with red ink. Washington proposed no bailout for his friend Robert Morris, the great financier of the Revolution. Instead Morris spent his final years in debtors’ prison due to failed speculation over the location of the city that bears Washington’s name. Both accepted this irony because they believed that personal honor was inseparable from personal responsibility. Washington’s Farewell Address tells us clearly, if we have ears to hear, why pork barrel legislation and deficit spending are deadly to a republic.

As to foreign policy, the pre-NATO Washington warned of entangling alliances. Perhaps today we must have alliances, but we would still be wise to heed his advise to avoid entanglements in battles that are not our own.

With remarkable prescience, Washington wrote of the possible demise of our Constitution due to “human depravity” manifested in political leaders’ lust for power, aided by the loss of the moral will of the people. Does this seem like this evening’s news?

Where did Washington get his moral compass that guided him from small beginnings to national greatness? The answer is contained in simple but powerful concepts that permeate his writings: “eternal rules of right,” “human depravity,” “character,” “honor,” “providence,” “God,” “true religion,” and “conscience.” These inform his timeless phrase from his First Inaugural Address, “the sacred fire of liberty.”

Who then will be the next George Washington? Perhaps the real question is, “Can there be another George Washington at all?” With hope that there can, I summarize what he or she will believe:

1. A rejection of partisan politics by putting the good of the whole before the interests of the parts.

2. Governing from principle, not from political expediency.

3. A rejection of chronic indebtedness and wastefulness.

4. A celebration of free enterprise that benefits the common good.

5. A focus on moral values, not on untested social experimentation.

6. An advocate of a limited government that limits spending by limiting activities to the limitations of the Constitution.

7. A protection of the rights of conscience and religious liberty.

8. A national defense that maintains peace by its strength.

Will we have the opportunity to vote for him or her, and repair our rusting republic by a recommitment to the wisdom of Washington? Is it too much to hope for?

General Washington was often in seeming hopeless despair during the Revolution, exemplified best by the wintery struggles of Valley Forge. But faith then, like faith today, was a powerful weapon to conquer despair. As our Founding Father wrote to a clergyman:

No Man has a more perfect Reliance on the all-wise and powerful dispensations of the Supreme Being than I have nor thinks his aid more necessary.

Those words of faith will surely characterize the next George Washington as well.

Dr. Peter A. Lillback, author of the #1 best-selling “George Washington’s Sacred Fire,” is the president of The Providence Forum. E-mail Dr. Lillback at plillback@providenceforum.org.

On Monday's episode of "The Glenn Beck Radio Program," Glenn opened up about the tragic death of his brother-in-law, Vincent Colonna Jr., who passed away unexpectedly on April 5. He also shared some of the important thoughts and insights he's learned through the grieving process.

"Last Monday, I was sitting in this chair ... the two-minute warning comes and Stu said to me, 'You ready for the show?'' ... And that's when my wife [Tania] came to the door of the studio here at our house and said, 'I...' and she held the phone up. And then she collapsed on the floor in tears," Glenn began. "Tania's brother had passed. To say this was a shock, is an understatement."

Glenn described his brother-in-law as having "a servant's spirit."

"He was always the guy who lit up the room. He was always the guy helping others. He would never stop, because he was always helping others," Glenn said of Vincent. "He was on the school board. He was a little league coach. He was the soccer coach. He helped build the church. He took care of the lawn of the church. He was constantly doing things, raising money for charity, working over here, helping to organize this. But he was never the guy in the spotlight. He was just the guy doing it, and you had no idea how much he had done because he never talked about it.

"We also didn't know how much mental anguish he was in because he never talked about it. And last Monday morning, after spending Easter with the family ... he killed himself. This is now the third family member of mine that has gone through this. And I keep seeing it play out over and over and over again, in exactly the same way."

Glenn described his thoughts as he, Tania, and her family struggled to come to grips with the devastating loss.

"I learned some really important things as I was watching this wake. I'm seeing these people from all walks of life ... the people that were there, were there because [Vince] made a difference in their life. He was a true servant. As I'm watching this, all that kept going through my mind was, 'by their fruits, ye shall know them.' The fruits of his labor were on display. He was a servant all the time. All the time ... he found a way to love everybody.

"There are two great commandments: Love God with all your heart and mind and soul. And love your neighbor. So those two great commandments boil down to: Love truth. Because that's what God is," Glenn said.

"Love thy neighbor. That's where joy comes from. The opposite of joy is despair, and that is the complete absence of hope ... and how do you find joy? You find joy by rooting yourself in the truth. Even if that's a truth you don't want to accept. Accept the truth," he added. "But we have to stop saying that there's nothing we can do. What are we going to do? Well, here's the first thing: stop living a lie."

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:


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After imprisoning a pastor for refusing to follow COVID-19 restrictions, Canadian officials barricaded his church. And when some church members retaliated by tearing down part of the fence, Canadian Mounties arrived in riot gear.

Rebel News Founder Ezra Levant joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to give his insight on the crazy situation. He described the new, armed police presence surrounding GraceLife Church in Edmonton, Alberta, and how it not only encouraged hundreds of protesters to stand with the church in support but forced congregation members underground to worship as well.

What's happening is eerily similar to what occurs everyday in China, Levant says, and it must stop. Who would have thought this type of tyranny would be so close to home?

Watch the video below to hear Ezra describe the religious persecution taking place in Canada.


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Enough prayers? Why is supposed Catholic Joe Biden suggesting that Congress ought to stop praying for after someone commits acts of gun violence?

On Friday, Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray filled in for Glenn and discussed President Joe Biden's remarks during his speech on gun control. "Enough prayers. Time for some action," Biden said. Stu and Pat were surprised how dismissive Biden appeared to be on the idea of prayer.

Watch the clip to hear more. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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Just days after Canadian pastor James Coates was released from prison for refusing to bow to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, several police officers showed up at another church to ensure restrictions were being followed. But Polish pastor Artur Pawlowski of the Cave of Adullam Church in Alberta, Canada, knew his rights, telling the cops not to come back until they had a warrant in hand.

Filling in for Glenn Beck on the radio program this week, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere played a video of the interaction.

"Please get out. Please get out of this property immediately. Get out!" Pawlowski can be heard yelling at the six officers who entered his church.

"Out! Out! Out! Get out of this property immediately until you come back with a warrant," he continued. "Go out and don't come back. I don't want to talk to you. You Nazis, Gestapo is not allowed here! ... Nazis are not welcome here! Do not come back you Nazi psychopaths. Unbelievable sick, evil people. Intimidating people in a church during the Passover! You Gestapo, Nazi, communist fascists! Don't you dare come back here!"

Watch this clip to see the heated exchange:

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