A typical Media Matters takedown of one of Glenn Beck’s ignorant conspiracy theories, made noteworthy by the inclusion of Classical Scholars:
Ignoring Caesar, Beck Calls Octavian “The Last Guy Of The Republic”
Beck: Octavian Was “The Last Guy Of The Republic Before It Went Into An Empire” On the December 2 edition of his radio show, Beck said:
BECK: This goes to what I said last night on television and what we talked about yesterday on radio: That we are repeating Octavian. Barack Obama is Octavian. The first Roman, real, god. But he was the first citizen. He was the last guy of the Republic before it went into an empire. And he changed everything. He left the illusion of a republic, but became a dictator. But he always claimed that he wasn’t.
This is what’s happening to us. They are cutting out our system. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 11/2/10]
In Fact, Julius Caesar Was “Perpetual Dictator” Before Octavian Became Emperor. From Jacob Abbott’s History of Julius Caesar:
The supreme power had been hitherto lodged in the hands of two consuls, chosen annually, and the Roman people had been extremely jealous of any distinction for any one, higher than that of an elective annual office, with a return to private life again when the brief period should have expired. They now, however, made Caesar, in the first place, consul for ten years, and then Perpetual Dictator. They conferred upon him the title of the Father of his Country. The name of the month in which he was born was changed to Julius, from his praenomen, and we still retain the name. He was made, also, commander-in-chief of all the armies of the commonwealth, the title to which vast military power was expressed in the Latin language by the word IMPERATOR.
Caesar was highly elated with all these substantial proofs of the greatness and glory to which he had attained, and was also very evidently gratified with smaller, but equally expressive proofs of the general regard. Statues representing his person were placed in the public edifices, and borne in processions like those of the gods. Conspicuous and splendidly ornamented seats were constructed for him in all the places of public assembly, and on these he sat to listen to debates or witness spectacles, as if he were upon a throne. He had, either by his influence or by his direct power, the control of all the appointments to office, and was, in fact, in every thing but the name, a sovereign and an absolute king. [History of Julius Caesar, accessed 12/3/10, emphasis added]
Not that History, Science, or Logic have ever won an argument with a Fundamentalist, but it’s always Precious to watch them try to use Historical, Scientific, or Logical arguments, like watching your pet monkey trying to write in cursive.