Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Repeating History: Is President Obama a Modern Woodrow Wilson?

It's repeated in many forms, but the philosopher George Santayana may have given us the earliest version: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Even if you're not a fan of history, you should know a little about President Woodrow Wilson, who reigned as President from March 4, 1913 to March 4, 1921. I use reign deliberately, as he did not serve the people. He was in power during a time when fascism was not yet a dirty word; many believed it was the only way to keep a firm enough hand on a modern population. President Wilson considered the Constitution outdated, and sought to bring about a more parliamentary system for the United States.

"Successful governments have never been conducted safely in the midst of complex and critical affairs except when guided by those who were responsible for carrying out and bringing to an issue the measures they proposed; and the separation of the right to plan from the duty to execute has always led to blundering and inefficiency; and modern representative bodies cannot of themselves combine the two...should we not draw the Executive and Legislature closer together? Should we not, on the one hand, give the individual leaders of opinion in Congress a better chance to have an intimate party in determining who should be president, and the president, on the other hand, a better chance to approve himself a statesman, and his advisers capable men of affairs, in the guidance of Congress?" (The Politics of Woodrow Wilson-available here, have a look at about page 46 on).

In short, the separation of powers the founders instituted to prevent tyranny after they made a thorough study of human behavior and government throughout the ages, Pres. Wilson felt was too restrictive, precisely because it prevented quick executive action.

Pres. Wilson sought to empower himself by using federal prosecutorial power against those expressing political dissent in the wake of the Espionage Act (1917), the Trading with the Enemy Act (1917), The Alien Act (1918) and The Sedition Act (1918). Mr. Wilson also deployed squads of thugs, paid by the government, to intimidate, harass and even harm political opponents.

By the way, Woodrow Wilson was one of our first Progressives, the type Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama say they are.

We now reject fascism, thanks to harsh lessons learned in the 1930's and 1940's, but we've forgotten Progressives were tremendous fans of it, and remain proponents of despotic government power today.

Is Barack Obama really that kind of leader? He absolutely is. We had the first indications of it when he organized Truth Squads during the campaign, and promised civilian forces under his direct control.

How about ACORN, a "Community Organizing" group involved in voter fraud during the election. Supposedly nonpartisan, they were exposed to have been unabashedly supporting then Sen. Obama. (See video below) They receive government funding, and are likely to receive significant funds from the stimulus bill. Oh, and they also were behind a bus tour targeting AIG executives to direct attention away from the fact that Congress and Pres. Obama were aware of the bonuses that have caused such an uproar, and that the directive to insert language in the stimulus bill expressly authorizing payment of the bonus-granting contracts came from the Obama administration.

Thus, we have government paid thugs once again intimidating and protecting a President who is working hard to expand his authority over the people and Congress.

It's frightening that the media and star-struck masses are so afraid of admitting a mistake they're willing to watch with sloppy grins as Pres. Obama prepares to finish what Pres. Wilson started using Mr. Wilson's own tactics.


NOBODY said...

More WW gems. He ran on a peace platform, but through the highly cynical use of propaganda got us to enter WWI. Post civil war the federal government had de-segregated federal employees like the postal workers. WW re-segregated. The list goes on. A lot of people are critical of the fact that the federal reserve was started under WW, but I haven't heard a convincing case for that yet.

Andrew said...

I think the Federal Reserve legislation was passed on his watch, but I haven't gone deep enough to see how involved he was. He clearly liked to be involved with legislation, though.

It's kind of shocking to study this man. It's a wonder that this happened in America. Then again, just a couple of decades later, FDR jailed people for not going along with his price controls scheme.

In other words, things we say will never happen here have in the past, and unless we're vigilant, will again in the future.

Big Jay said...

By the way, that comment by nobody was actually me. I was just too lazy to change accounts when I had already typed the comment. Just fyi. You guys probably guessed that already though

Andrew said...

I was actually flattered that Nobody had taken time to read and post. I should have known Wilson Woodrow talk would probably bore her out of her gourd.