Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Oct 21, 2009

Woodrow Wilson, One of the Greatest US Presidents

Filed under: Presidents — admin @ 12:56 am

Upon learning Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, I thought of my favorite US president, the greatest one according to this writer, also a Nobel Peace Prize winner– President Woodrow Wilson.

No president has been as visionary, intelligent, inspiring and progressive as Wilson. He was the only professor-turned president and was the president of Princeton University before that. After World War I, he introduced in his 14-Points the idea of a league of nations, the first time in history of its kind, which won him the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize.

While Wilson fought hard for the League of Nations, he failed to have his peace effort passed in US Senate. Being a great thinker and an idealist, he would naturally be not understood and accepted by the average crowd of herd. He left the white house, rather beaten and disheartened. In fact, he was so unpopular by the time of next election that Americans chose a president who was in direct opposite to Wilson — Warren G. Harding. Harding came to the white house only to prove how dim-witted and incompetent he could be in that position.

Yet, years later, Wilson’s tremendous value was gradually discovered by historians and unfolded to the future generations.

Some people called him a white supremacist, which is absolutely true. Then again, at that time, how many white men in upper society were not white supremacists? And how many of the nation’s founding fathers did not own black slaves? It might be too harsh to judge a person out of his historical context.

Wilson once said, a president can be as great as he wants to. Indeed, in that position of high power, anything seems possible — war or peace or whatever. That’s how America found itself in Vietnam and now in Bush’s 2 wars. Alas, as Wilson was not popular when he left white house, his brilliant words and ideas were not taken seriously, so much so that the next three US presidents following Woodrow Wilson, Harding, Coolidge and Hoover, had proved themselves to be the most insignificant and nugatory occupants of white house.

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