Wednesday, 29 October 2008

QotD, embarrassing former APSA/US presidents edition

Radley Balko picks my least favorite American president for dishonor:

Woodrow Wilson. Jailed political dissenters, created the Federal Trade Commission, got us into World War I. He also enacted the first federal income tax, the first modern military draft, and the first federal drug prohibition. Wilson also re-segregated the federal government. When blacks protested, he told them to consider segregation a “benefit,” not a debasement. An all-around loathesome human being.

I agree with Balko’s assessment except on the World War I point, if only because I think U.S. involvement was inevitable based on rather boneheaded provocations by the Central Powers, most notably the Zimmerman telegram.

1 comment:

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As usual, Balko is fast and loose with the facts, at least on income tax. The Sixteenth Amendment may have given Wilson the luxury of signing the first constitutional income tax into law, but surely signing unconstitutional ones doesn’t make Presidents Lincoln and Cleveland any better. As to the first “modern” military draft, I guess that all depends on what the meaning of “modern” is. If anything that happened between 1913 and 1921 counts as “modern” in 2008, surely the Civil War would have counted as “modern” back then.

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