Friday, October 15, 2010

Academia Lashes Out Against Woody Woo

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?


Anonymous said...

probably because they both want(ed) to piss away our sovereignty for a new government

Anonymous said...

Unnecessarily confusing title; I thought I was going to be reading about a backlash against WWS. Which would have made for a far more interesting read.

David J. said...

Conservatism is not about religion per se. Many conservatives think religion is important because it tends to restrain government (everyone looks to a higher power, whether it is govt or God). As West said, conservatism and the Founding Fathers principles are all about limited and restrained gov't. But it is a fallacy to equate faith and politics, not all religious folk are conservative nor vice versa.