This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.
Officially, today is Washington’s Birthday. Abraham Lincoln and other presidents got in on the deal later.
So let’s give Washington his unadulterated due this time. There are multiple reasons to honor the first president, including his crucial role in creating the nation, the Constitution and the executive branch. His single most important contribution, though, is something he didn’t do: cling to power.
The world is full of horror stories written by rulers unwilling to let anyone else run the show. One of those stories is unfolding right now in Syria, where long-time dictator Bashar Assad has spent 11 months spilling the blood of Syrians who are sick of him and tired of waiting for a change in management.
What started as peaceful demonstrations inspired by nonviolent revolutionaries in Tunisia and Egypt has become a brutal civil war that Assad will probably and deservedly lose.
This is the human race’s customary method of transferring power. To get rid of a dictator or king, you’ve got to defeat his army and kill him – the fate of Moammar Gadhafi in October. Dynasties and one-party regimes generally have to be shown the door the same way.
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