The need to worship is hardwired into the human psyche. Yet, as unfashionable as it's become in the last century to worship the God of Creation, the same cannot be said of the worship of political heroes. The most notable – and horrific – examples that come to mind are found in the frenzied, almost religious zeal that led to the rise of tyrants like Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. One would think that the 20th century would have broken us of our delusions about one man's ability to perfect society, but think again.
The American people – exceptional though we are in so many ways – are among the best at creating political golden calves. We are obsessed with image; we love a good stump speech; we can't get enough of soaring rhetoric and a snappy slogan! The almost cult-like enthusiasm for Barack Obama is only the most recent example of this phenomenon.
But as Mr. Obama's star has begun to fade and the 2012 elections loom large, it's now the GOP that’s casting about for a savior. The current field of would-be candidates contains all the necessary components for the perfect Republican chimera. Combine Romney's good looks with Gingrich's intellect and experience, add a bit of Cain's ethnic appeal and everyman charisma along with a dash of Ron Paul's plain-spokenness and Mike Huckabee's self-deprecating good humor and you have almost the perfect candidate.
The only thing missing is the hard-hitting, inimitable grit of someone like Chris Christie, and with a clear front-runner yet to emerge from the pool of declared GOP presidential hopefuls, more and more Americans are concluding that the New Jersey governor just might be the man to save us from our worsening woes.
"Do it – do it for my daughter. Do it for our grandchildren. Do it for our sons. Please, sir . . . we need you. Your country needs you to run for president."
These kinds of emotional pleas have become commonplace for Governor Christie, according to a recent Washington Post article by Dana Milbank. Having reached a point of desperation, Americans eager for a hero to hang their hopes on, have resorted to outright begging. The only problem is that Chris Christie isn't capable of living up to the public's growing expectations of him. No one is. Milbank explains:
"I feel sorry for this woman, because she will, inevitably, be disappointed – even if Christie runs, even if Christie wins. This is because it is not Christie that she and so many other Republicans want but what Christie represents: a political superman who can, in a single-bound, transform the whole mess our political system has become."