Thursday, February 1, 2007

Imagine if George Washington was God


By David Gewirtz

Imagine if George Washington was still alive today. Imagine that even though he was born in 1732, he was still hale and hearty and large and in charge 275 years later. I know, this seems like a strange premise, but stick with me on this for a few minutes.

Imagine that, instead of being unanimously elected President by the Electoral College back in 1789 and again in 1792, he had accepted the role of King that had been offered to him.

"Imagine if George Washington was still alive today."

Now, imagine King George Washington was a good and just king. Imagine that the economy flourished consistently from 1789 all the way through to 1989 and even to today's 2007. Imagine there was no Wall Street crash of 1929, no Great Depression, and even no World Wars.

Further, imagine that, like today, most people had a life span of 70 or 80 years, but George was still ticking strong, even after 275 years. He'd been king for all your life, all your parents' lives, and even all your grandparents' lives. His being king was all anyone had ever known.

Imagine George had a big ego (which, in fact, the real George did). Imagine he was so taken with himself and so politically astute that he declared himself to be God. I know, for most of you that's a far-fetched or even blasphemous idea, but hang in with the premise. Just for the purpose of our exercise, imagine there was no Bible and all of biblical history had just never happened.

Just imagine it with me. Just for a few minutes. As an exercise.

So George, who's lived now three times longer than anyone else on the planet, decides to declare himself a god. There are no other big god myths to get in the way of his claim to godhood and since he'd lived so long, the people already thought of him as something a bit super-human.

He's very good at PR, so imagine that instead of there being a Statue of Liberty, in its place was a Statue of George. Instead of there being four presidents on the side of Mount Rushmore, there was just one big, huge carving of George. Imagine that instead of the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial, we had more huge statues of King George Washington, the god.

Imagine if, on the walls of every building in Washington, DC (which, properly, was named after our imagined king god), the stories of George's many glories were carved deeply in stone. Imagine, further, if the walls (inside and out) of the Empire State Building and all the important buildings in New York City, Boston, Dallas, Chicago, LA, San Francisco, Miami, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and so forth all had, on all the buildings, deep carvings that all cried out the glories of George the god.

And they'd been there for as long as anyone remembered.