Monday, August 04, 2008

Something Different: Woodrow Wilson

I'm just an old guitar player, I don't know much about history and politics and such things, so I don't know if Woodrow Wilson turned out to be a good president or not, or who decides, or what. I'm sure some anonymous person in the comments will set us straight on all that. But I came across a page of quotes of things Wilson said, and I have to say, this is what I'm looking for. Remember, he was President from 1913 to 1921, this was nearly a hundred years ago.

But man, wouldn't it be nice to have somebody leading the country who could say things like this?
A conservative is a man who just sits and thinks, mostly sits.

A little group of willful men, representing no opinion but their own, have rendered the great government of the United States helpless and contemptible.

America is not anything if it consists of each of us. It is something only if it consists of all of us.

America lives in the heart of every man everywhere who wishes to find a region where he will be free to work out his destiny as he chooses.

America was established not to create wealth but to realize a vision, to realize an ideal - to discover and maintain liberty among men.

Caution is the confidential agent of selfishness.

Democracy is not so much a form of government as a set of principles.

I am not sure that it is of the first importance that you should be happy. Many an unhappy man has been of deep service to himself and to the world.

I have long enjoyed the friendship and companionship of Republicans because I am by instinct a teacher, and I would like to teach them something.

I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.

A conservative is someone who makes no changes and consults his grandmother when in doubt.

I will not speak with disrespect of the Republican Party. I always speak with respect of the past.

I would rather belong to a poor nation that was free than to a rich nation that had ceased to be in love with liberty.

If you want to make enemies, try to change something.

Interest does not tie nations together; it sometimes separates them. But sympathy and understanding does unite them.

It is the object of learning, not only to satisfy the curiosity and perfect the spirits of ordinary men, but also to advance civilization.

Liberty has never come from Government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of limitations of governmental power, not the increase of it.

Neutrality is a negative word. It does not express what America ought to feel. We are not trying to keep out of trouble; we are trying to preserve the foundations on which peace may be rebuilt.

Never attempt to murder a man who is committing suicide.

Property as compared with humanity, as compared with the red blood in the American people, must take second place, not first place.

Sometimes people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American. America is the only idealistic nation in the world.

That a peasant may become king does not render the kingdom democratic.

The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy.

The history of liberty is a history of resistance.

The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it.

The only use of an obstacle is to be overcome. All that an obstacle does with brave men is, not to frighten them, but to challenge them.

The seed of revolution is repression.

This comes from THIS SITE.


Anonymous Robert said...

Too cool.


August 05, 2008 2:10 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

I again was reading that thread about whether the Nazi's were gay, Catholic, whatever. Don't y'all realize how toxic this discussion is? IMHO, the lesson to be learned from Europe in the 30's and 40's (and much of our own civil rights history) is 1)such horror can be perpetrated by any people in any country; and 2)we must be ever vigilant that it doesn' happen again, on our watch.


August 05, 2008 5:43 PM  
Blogger Emproph said...

"the lesson to be learned"

Here, here!

It's the ideology that binds them.

August 07, 2008 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim's post about Woodrow Wilson was great.

I wasn't going to comment but I was listening to Bob Dylan's Theme Time hour yesterday and the theme of the day was Presidents. He even had songs about Jimbo Carter and Tricky Dick Nixon.

Got me to thinking I should post the lyrics to one of my favorite Warren Zevon songs. As I'm sure you're aware, Woodrow was well-known for his interventions in Latin American affairs. The late, great Warren sang about one such incident in Mexico. Here goes:

"I heard Woodrow Wilson's guns

I heard Maria crying

Late last night I heard the news

That Veracruz was dying

Veracruz was dying

Someone called Maria's name

I swear it was my father's voice

Saying, 'If you stay you'll all be slain

You must leave now - you have no choice

Take the servants and ride west

Keep the child close to your chest

When the American troops withdraw

Let Zapata take the rest'

I heard Woodrow Wilson's guns

I heard Maria calling

Saying, 'Veracruz is dying

And Cuernavaca's falling'

Aquel dia yo jure

Hacia el puerto volvere

Aunque el destino cambio mi vida

En Veracruz morire

Aquel dia yo jure

I heard Woodrow Wilson's guns

I heard them in the harbor

Saying, 'Veracruz is dying'


BTW, trivia fact: Woodrow Wilson was the first President to leave the country while in office.

So that's where George Bush got the idea!

August 07, 2008 3:23 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Maybe CRW takes its theme from Warren:

"Send lawyers guns and money

Dad get me out of this."


August 07, 2008 8:18 PM  

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