Saturday, February 25, 2012

Woodrow Wilson absolutely hated the principles of the Founding Fathers

"If you want to understand the real Declaration, do not repeat the preface." - Woodrow Wilson

There is so much in that little line. The obvious question is regarding the preface - what's in the preface of the Declaration of Independence that scared Wilson so much? In short, fundamental truths. Timeless, tested, proven to work fundamentals. Our reliance on our creator, and not upon government, for our rights.

In 1911, Woodrow Wilson gave his now infamous speech regarding the Declaration to - of all places, I love this - the Jefferson Club. "An Address to the Jefferson Club of Los Angeles" is the full title of this speech. What's really telling about how much disdain he had for the Founders is the line that precedes the one I opened this up with: (You can read the majority of this speech here)

Now, the business of every true Jeffersonian is to translate the terms of those abstract portions of the Declaration of Independence into the language and the problems of his own day. If you want to understand the real Declaration, do not repeat the preface.

See what I mean? Just with one single sentence, we get a much fuller view of Wilson's contempt for the Founders. Especially when he says 'translate the terms of those abstract portions of the Declaration'. But what's so abstract that needs translation? The natural law portions. Something that progressives have always been consistent about,(and I have a full blog devoted to proving this, in their own words) is the need for bigger and bigger government. But how can you grow government if the foundation is built on the rejection of tyranny? You don't repeat the preface. Just skip it.

And it's not like Wilson only said this once. September 1907, in "The Author and Signers of the Declaration", Wilson wrote the following:

So far as the Declaration of Independence was a theoretical document, that is its theory. Do we still hold it? Does the doctrine of the Declaration of Independence still live in our principles of action, in the things we do, in the purposes we applaud, in the measures we approve? It is not a question of piety. We are not bound to adhere to the doctrines held by the signers of the Declaration of Independence; we are as free as they were to make and unmake governments. We are not here to worship men or a document. But neither are we here to indulge in a mere rhetorical and uncritical eulogy. Every Fourth of July should be a time for examining our standards, our purposes, for determining afresh what principles, what forms of power we think most likely to effect our safety and happiness. That and that alone is the obligation the Declaration lays upon us.

He might as well have said his name was Philip Dru when he wrote this.(though, the book wouldn't have been released at that time) Notice how he throws out that fallacy about worshipping men or a document? That's the stereotypical progressive arrogance, and beyond that - that's ridicule. That might as well have come out of Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, even though that wasn't written yet either.(Page 128, rule # 5)

So even though the constitution is the law of the land, they don't have to uphold it. And they don't. When progressives get into office, the ends justifies the means, anything goes, and they're free to "Fundamentally Transform The United States of America". Wilson even says so himself - the Declaration only holds them up to one single obligation. All the rest of that stuff about tyranny? Throw it out the window, it's just some dusty old document anyways, it's just a living document anyways. We are the ones we have been waiting for.

Woodrow Wilson also directly rejected the rule-of-law theory, you can read about it here.


  1. Sounds to me like Wilson and Jefferson actually had a lot in common. And the Declaration of Independence is not the Constitution. You seem to have confused the two in your last main paragraph.

    1. Jefferson was very distrustful of governmental power. Wilson sought to concentrate governmental power (exercised through capable, scientific administrators).

  2. You do realize, don't you, that the Constitution is not the same document as the Declaration of Independence? The Declaration was a statement of principle, while the Constitution is an establishment of law. The Declaration stood alone for a single purpose, while the Constitution has built in to it the ability to be amended.

    1. The view of the Declaration and the Constitution that animated Lincoln's defense of the Union and attack on slavery was that they were deeply connected, that the country was founded with the signing of the Declaration. For example, the Gettysburg address took the birth of the country to be 1776, not 1787 or 1789 ("four score and seven years ago").

      In this view, the Constitution is the means by which the aims of the Declaration are achieved. Those aims are stated in the what Wilson called "the preface" (the actual document has no manifest preface per se). Lincoln referred to the Apple of Gold (Declaration) surrounded by the Frame of Silver (Constitution).

      The secessionist view, by contrast, saw the Founding not as having its origins in universal principles, but in particular political acts that were bound to particular peoples (and their descendants) at particular times, much like Woodrow Wilson (who, coincidentally, was also responsible for re-segregrating both the District of Columbia and the federal civil service).

    2. Nicely stated. Libs have to marginalize our forefathers to justify their goals. The Declaration is always relevant as it stated universal truth

    3. Nicely stated. Libs have to marginalize our forefathers to justify their goals. The Declaration is always relevant as it stated universal truth

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.