Friday, October 15, 2010
By Beth Zak-Cohen '13
We all love to love Woodrow Wilson, especially those of us in Wilson College. But the New York Times reminded us this week that not everyone is involved in as torrid a love affair with Woody Woo. The NYT asks why Wilson continues to be so high on the list of presidents hated by conservatives. Why, they add, is this criticism of Wilson, amping up in the current political climate?
The Times asked professors from across the country this question. Jill Lepore, a Professor of American History at Harvard, claims that conservatives want to turn the word ‘progressive’ into an insult. Conservative writers and Tea Party supporters such as Geroge Nash highlight the similarities between Wilson and Obama as points of criticism. Thomas G. West, a professor at the University of Dallas, further bashes our campus hero, saying that big, unconstrained government was his ideal.
Some professors, however, are standing firmly by Woody Woo in the face of this recent backlash. John Milton Cooper, a Professor at University of Wisconsin and author of Wilson’s most recent biography, defends Wilson, saying that other presidents deserve the same scorn. He also emphasizes Wilson’s extreme devotion to religion, which fits the values of many of the conservatives trying to tear him down. Michael Lind, author of “Up From Conservatism," calls the demonization of Wilson an “accident.”
Whether Wilson really was the New Jersey devil reincarnated as Obama or is simply an easy scapegoat, this is really just too much, too soon. Wilson did no wrong. How could anyone criticize the inventor of the preceptorial system?
Posted by Daily Princetonian Web Staff at 3:21 PM