28. Woodrow Wilson: The former dean of Princeton University was a very private man. He entered his latest office (Woodrow was a very successful man) with society about to collapse into World War I, which was the most terrible war in human history, filled with fields of soldiers screaming, sprayed with mustard gas. Their skin was melting. Their eyes were dripping out. Thousands and thousands of patriots on every side were melting on a battle field was probably a campground in earlier times instead of this Mageddo it had become.
This was also the beginning of a time of consequences for the greedy and thoughtless years since the end of the American Civil War, a time when ‘Big Money’ truly got involved with government. We were all running out of space and food and clothes and property, searching for purpose to our lives. This was the world about to happen, the one Woodrow Wilson would go down in history for gutting America into the cruelest war we may ever have.
Now I’m not talking sheer numbers. World War one can only offer us an imprecise estimate, anywhere from 8,500,000 to 21,000,000 fatalities. But remember, at least half of them dissolved in a field that could have been used for a school, their bodies sticking to the grass, becoming sustinance to feed the weeds.
World War II has a much greater number of deaths, guesses running as high as 85,000,000. Probably the most vicious war we’ve had up to this point. It was all about hatred and hurt feelings and pride and no one was any longer going to give an inch for the sake of cruelty or our enemies’ suffering.
If you really want to go way back in time, check out the Germanic Wars fought intermittently from 113 AD, the age of Constantine, when the Roman Emperor turned Catholic, all the way until 596 AD as Rome was collapsing and much of the rest of the world was catching up. Imagine the isolated sense of mysticism those people must have developed, having only their primitive faith to see them through the Dark Ages. That war killed about 15,500,000
The Three Kingdom’s War of 184 AD to 280 AD. This was a multi-generational conflict between–you guessed it!–the three kingdoms of ancient China. This was a pure turf war, like mobsters fighting over a corner. Rival gangsters Wei and Shu and Wu were trying to insert themselves at the head of the government of the whole province. They didn’t like the competition. The war was a hundred year killing spree, considering how many people lived in China eighteen-hundred years ago. It is predicted that the number of deaths circled around 40,000,000.
There have been so many wars and we’ve seen so many deaths that the horrors of the everyday seem to have taken on more power than the actual conflict which inspires the fighting. Property. Money. Debt. War is for profit and it always has been. You conquer a territory. Topple a government. Raze the earth of the parasitic monsters not letting you completely have your way. There is the An Lush Rebellion with 30,000,000 dead and the Mongol Conquests with as many as forty.
Conquest of Timur: 20,000,000
Spanish ending Native Mexican civilization: 35,000,000
French Wars of Religion: 3,000,000
The Ming-Qing Transition: over 25,000,000
The Seven-Year’s War: way more than 1,000,000, over a family scuffle.
The Napoleonic Wars: 5, maybe 6,000,000?
There are rebellions and revolutions and civil wars that are killing millions and millions of people since time immemorial. Many of these wars are fought over a new faith. Woodrow Wilson: Democrat. Skilled Diplomat. Smart fucking guy. Great handshake. Stands tall and upright. Upper class. A little stiff. Obviously racist, but doesn’t really wish anyone any harm. He just wants to fight for peace in this noisy and unkempt world.
Woodrow Wilson was also a very religious man.
He ran on the catchy slogan “He kept us out of war” for his second term, and promised to avoid it when he first ran. This was a bold proclamation while he was fighting for the office versus and incumbent and another former president. That and the classy communist–Eugene Debs. Debs was as American as everybody else in the land, only stained red by with nerves caused by the coming Bolshevik Revolution. Debs gathered up some of the hopeless and extremist votes, taking them away from Teddy Roosevelt and giving those who hated TR and thought Taft a loser. This give them no one other than Wilson to vote for.
Wilson was slow and steady. Competent and smart. He looks like a President should. “He kept us out of War,” 1916 repeated, but it was a lie. he was. We entered World War I after claiming a fortune arming both sides of the conflict.
Some people called it ‘Mr. Wilson’s War,’ which you have to admit is a very polite way to condemn a person for the death of millions. These days you get “No more war!” and “Death to Islam!” and “It was the Jews! The Jews!” just the way we always have for as long as we can remember.
Wilson had a lot of hard feelings against Latin-Americans, and other island people. Repeatedly throughout his tenure, year after year–even during World War I–the US was busy invading nations like Haiti, The Dominican Republic, Cuba and Panama. He kept troops throughout Nicaragua in order to help the western nations keep away from Communists (see Ronald Reagan down below) and tyrants as democracy was imposed upon the natives. There was even a Nicaraguan puppet government in place, as well as more than one exiled political leader soon to be assassinated or establishing a government in exile.
Wilson was not a timid peace-monger, in spite of his long-term ambitions. His scorn for the barbarous nature of most of humanity eventually garnered him the Nobel Peace Prize. Was it for his work in developing the League of Nations, that great cooperative idea? One which sprang into the world defiantly out of the fictitious Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, the fantasy that Adolph Hitler would later claim was ‘The Jew’ Karl Marx’s plan from the very beginning. Fiction started becoming reality for many different people throughout the world.
World War I became the culmination of these many many years of hard feelings and the almost constant cycle of civil wars and revolutions since before even America arrived on the scene. Everything fell apart based on political arrogance and regal pride. Someone shoved a gun in somebody’s chest. They pull the trigger–bang bang!–and the Great Liberator Lincoln keeps getting killed over and over again until it seems like the only solution is to never let the opposition develop a voice.
These were the struggles of Democracy in the world of this era, and there were so many new democracies of a thousand different stripes that the would could not help going to war against itself.
The world was too narrow, too agitated, and much too tight. People needed to spread out, get some space between them. People need to survive. Let us take their land of plenty and show mankind how to properly use those gifts from our Lord. Woodrow Wilson evangelized this religion, and helped give birth to the wild hatreds and conspiracy theories that swiftly led Europe to embrace Fascism or Communism–two radical beliefs based upon similar economic theories, and only truly dived by the ways which each decided to control the people.
Woodrow Wilson can also be blamed, and more urgently, for the stock market collapse and the dawn of civil rights movements, the anger among minority populations and the newly educated causing people to understand just what oppression means. This, mixed with a brief period of great economic prosperity until, after a few years, the rent was came due and we lost nearly everything.
Woodrow Wilson once famously referred to D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation as “like writing history with lightning.” This film portrays the Ku Klux Klan as a righteous army of liberators, protecting America from the terrifying ambitions of newly freed slaves. The film included cork-faced white men hoping up and down like a stereotype so absurd that the former slave owners certainly knew it was untrue.
Surely this pointed to a dubious racism in the otherwise liberal Southern, Woodrow Wilson’s voice, but this comment can also be seen as dubious in its own right. “History writ with lightning?” Does that mean it’s still the truth? Is it ampted up with a broader story and given a feel and a face and setting forward an example of a suggested way to live?
The author of the book on which the film was based–The Klansman–was an old college friend of Wilson’s. In 1915 Dixon arranged a white house screening of the soon-to-be classic film. Wilson watched and apparently enjoyed himself. He made his famous remark shortly after the viewing to some desperate Hollywood press slimeball, begging everyone for a useful quote.
But what was Wilson’s tone? Was it smiling, sarcastic–history writ with lightnin’–looking up to heaven with a shake of the head? Sounds to me like a pantomime saying bullshit.
Did he have deep and terrified hollows for eyes and a very grim expression of shock on his mortified face? Did he believe that the blacks may really be coming and what did we fight in the Civil War for? What have we done to America?
Was he giddy, laughing? Was the whole marathon just a masturbatory vision of how great the world could be again if we could only be free from outsiders? Or was it anger, or simply a piece of distraction to a man with far more important things on his mind than some boyhood chum’s film adaptation of his stupid book?
After the war was over and Wilson spent months endlessly campaigning for the Treaty of Versailles, he suffered a rather massive stroke, which left him paralyzed and blind on one side of his body, and with some apparently serious cognitive injuries. Confronting this dangerous moment were Joe Tumulty, a close aide of the President’s, and Edith Wilson, Woodrow’s wife. They got together with a very friendly journalist and started releasing messages in the president’s tone of voice (Tumulty wrote many of Wilson’s speeches) that contradicted most of the voices of the government’s goals. I suspect that Joe and Edith had a lot of fun being president-by-proxy. I also suspect that they were fucking. The scandals that ripped into this gossipy ordeal ultimately went way too far–more wild conspiracy theories about Communists and Germans and homosexuals and blacks. The Jews were still always a peripheral threat, and what with Henry Ford on his campaign to abolish Judaism, those views had found quite a number of adherents. Woodrow Wilson could be a pawn in any of these groups’ games, and sometimes with more than one simultaneously on very philosophical different sides.
It is almost an afterthought that the Volstead Act, the one which outlawed liquor, was passed by Congress in the same year the League of Nations came into being. Wilson himself, while formally very stuffy, knew that banning booze would be unenforceable and so filed a veto against it. Congress overrode this in the interests of the powerful temperance movement and a coming election season. And beer was German anyway. Let’s bankrupt the Germans. They lost. What can they possibly do?
We went from being war profiteers since the end of the Civil War into suddenly, with the flickering of war, we became world leaders in every important industry on the planet. The world was our for the taking!
Enter Warren G. Harding, until then the greatest criminal president in American history.