Ed Driscoll

Is Obama The Next Woodrow Wilson?

Victor Davis Hanson recently wrote, “If you are confused by the first nine months of the Obama administration, take solace that there is at least a pattern. The president, you see, thinks America is a university and that he is our campus president. Keep that in mind, and almost everything else makes sense.”

At Big Government, Frank DeMartini charts the similarities between Obama and the original academician turned president:

At the end of last week, I was watching President Obama’s speech before the United Nations. I must admit it was given with eloquence and was quite moving. However, for the most part it was rhetoric and the dreams of an idealistic man in Fantasyland. I do not want to really beat a dead horse, but as stated in my last article about the ideology of liberals, President Obama’s foreign policy completely ignores reality. It is almost delusional. Obama dreams about everything being utopian, but ignores the writings on the wall. And, in the process he insults our trusted ally Israel by demanding it stop building settlements without requiring the Palestinians to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist.

The speech was also very Wilsonian. I could imagine the words of Woodrow Wilson pitching the League of Nations to the United States Congress after the end of World War One. The League of Nations “is a definite guaranty of peace. It is a definite guaranty by word against aggression. It is a definite guaranty against the things which have just come near bringing the whole structure of civilization into ruin. Its purposes do not for a moment lie vague. Its purposes are declared, and its powers are unmistakable. It is not in contemplation that this should be merely a league to secure the peace of the world. It is a league which can be used for cooperation in any international matter.” In fact, parts of President Obama’s speech today mirrored these themes exactly.

The American Congress did not buy the sales job of Wilson and did not ratify the Versailles Treaty. America was not a member of the League of Nations. The League of Nations failed and the bloodiest war in the history of mankind resulted. As a result, for the most part, history looks at Woodrow Wilson’s presidency as a failure.

Wilson was an idealist and President Obama is an idealist. In fact, the two men have quite a lot in common. They are both of the extreme left and considered Progressives. And, there is much more.

Woodrow Wilson and Back Obama were both educated in elite Northeastern Ivy League Schools. Wilson was a graduate of Princeton; Obama a graduate of Harvard. They were both lawyers who did not practice for an extended period of time. And, most importantly, both became President with very little governmental experience. Wilson was in the midst of his first term as governor of New Jersey. Barack Obama was in the middle of his first term as a Senator from Illinois. And, both became President because of circumstances beyond their control: Wilson because of a split in the Republican Party during a three man election and Obama because of the crash of the economic system six weeks before the election.

A century of progress separates the two mens’ circumstances, but needless to say, there’s another trait that to some degree, both Wilson and Obama share.