Woodrow Wilson

America’s Relation With World Conflict Began On This Day In 1917, And Now Facing New World Conflict!

On this day, April 6, 1917, 105 years ago, America left its isolationist heritage, and began its relation with world conflict, as Congress voted American entrance into World War I.

Woodrow Wilson had wished to keep America at peace, but war was forced upon him by the actions of Imperial Germany under Kaiser Wilhelm II.

After World War I, America went back into isolationism, but the rise of Nazism and Fascism forced America and its President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, into World War II in 1941, against Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan.

Isolationism would never fully revive again, as America entered the challenges of the Cold War against the Soviet Union from 1945-1991.

Once the Soviet Union collapsed, it was thought America was free of foreign conflict, but international terrorism woke us up in 2001.

And now, the Russian Federation and Vladimir Putin has begun waging war against Ukraine, including war crimes, massacre, and genocide.

It places the United Nations organization, the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the United States as a world leader to have to consider going into what might become World War III, a horrifying thought.

But it seems clearly, to this blogger and author, that ultimately, Vladimir Putin will not stop at Ukraine, but will very likely attack NATO nations, including the Baltic States (Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania) and Poland at some point, and the US and NATO will need to respond to attacks on their allies.

Nuclear war is a possibility, horrendous thought, but in the end, a bully must be stopped, or he becomes a worst, more dangerous bully!

So it seems highly likely that Joe Biden will have to do what Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt did, take America into a world war!

Joe Biden Becomes A Wartime President

Joe Biden has become a wartime President, alongside James Madison, James K. Polk, Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush.

At this point, he looks more like Lincoln, Wilson, FDR, Truman, and George H. W. Bush than the rest of the group.

If fortune goes against him, he might look more like Madison, who saw the nation divide during the War Of 1812 and the White House being burned; like Polk, who caused a split over slavery expansion during the Mexican War that helped to lead to the Civil War a decade later; like LBJ, who divided the nation over Vietnam just as he promoted the Great Society; like Nixon, who continued an unpopular war in Vietnam that ended up in a tragic loss; and like George W. Bush, who started two wars based on poor tactics and planning, and dominated by lies and deception in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Historic Nature Of March 4 In Presidential History

March 4 is an historic date in Presidential history, as it was the Inauguration Day for every President through the first Inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933.

It also was the beginning of the government under the Constitution in 1789, as Congress met for the first time.

The inauguration date was changed late in 1933 by the 20th Amendment, and January 20 became the new Inauguration Day, starting in 1937.

Every Inauguration Day was the day for every President except George Washington at the first inauguration, which was delayed to April 30, 1789 by Washington’s delay in arriving to New York; and also the succession to the Presidency of John Tyler in 1841, Millard Fillmore in 1850, Andrew Johnson in 1865, Chester Alan Arthur in 1881, Theodore Roosevelt first term in 1901, and Calvin Coolidge first term in 1923.

The most historic March 4 inaugurations are considered to be Thomas Jefferson in 1801, Andrew Jackson in 1829, Abraham Lincoln both in 1861 and 1865, Woodrow Wilson in 1913, and Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, and Lincoln’s Second Inauguration and FDR’s First Inauguration are considered to have been the times of the two greatest Inaugural Addresses!

First Year In Oval Office Under Most Presidencies Problematical, And Joe Biden Better Than Many!

One could argue that Joe Biden has accomplished a great deal in the first year, while often having disappointments and shortcomings.

Two major pieces of legislation were accomplished (The American Rescue Plan, and the Physical Infrastructure legislation), and the only reason why the Build Back Better bill and voting rights have failed to be accomplished is the opposition of two Democrats–Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema–and the reality of an equally divided Senate for only the third time in American history!

While inflation has become a major problem, the stock market dramatically rose, more jobs were created in the first year of a Presidency than any other administration, and the unemployment rate has dropped to a very low rate.

There are still the issues of the COVID 19 Pandemic, and the disaster of Afghanistan withdrawal, but the first issue was unpredictable as the worst health crisis in a century, and the second would have been the same result had Donald Trump stayed on as President, since he had made a deal with the Taliban without Afghanistan government involvement, to leave in May 2021, NOT as occurred in August 2021!

So some disappointing developments in the first year of a Presidency are not unique to the 46th President!

When one looks back at other Presidencies, it is actually quite common that the first year of a Presidency is a learning curve, and does not reflect on whether such Presidents will be, in the long run, successful, and also have the possibility of successful reelection.

The following Presidents had very successful first years—Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, George H. W. Bush!

Three Presidents had what could be described as mixed records in the first year in office–Dwight D. Eisenhower, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

The following Presidencies in the 20th and 21st century were far from successes in their first year:

Harry Truman 1945
John F. Kennedy 1961
Richard Nixon 1969
Gerald Ford 1974-1975
Jimmy Carter 1977
Ronald Reagan 1981
Bill Clinton 1993
Donald Trump 2017

Among these eight Presidents, four—Truman, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton–won reelection.

So it is not time to say that Joe Biden will fail to succeed, as he already has in many respects, and it is not time to say he cannot win reelection fo a second term!

America Is In A New “Gilded Age” Of Obscene Wealth And Monopoly Capitalism: Reform Is Essential!

At the beginning of the 20th century, America escaped the Gilded Age period of obscene wealth and monopoly capitalism, under the leadership of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Robert LaFollette Sr., George Norris, and others who promoted the Progressive Era.

The Progressive Era was far from perfect, but it gave hope of escaping the worst elements of the GIlded Age in the last third of the 19th century.

We have had ups and downs since the Progressive Era, the New Deal, the New Frontier, and Great Society, particularly with the triumph of conservatism under Ronald Reagan and the two Presidents Bush, and then made ever worse by Donald Trump.

But now, the news of billionaires having arrangements to keep their wealth from being taxed by overseas havens and even South Dakota allowing such reprehensible tactics is highly disturbing. This, along with the clear cut monopoly of Facebook promoting division, conflict, polarization, and affecting even young girls’ self image due to the toxic Instagram social media site, cries out for strong movement toward another “Progressive Era”.

The idea that concentration of wealth and power rivals and is clearly greater than the time of John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J P Morgan, and other monopolists of the late 19th and early 20th century is totally outrageous!

But is it possible in a nation with a 50-50 US Senate and a six vote margin in the House of Representatives to accomplish necessary reform?

This present, disturbing situation is a massive crisis of American democracy, with the threat of Donald Trump possibly regaining power, and destroying any possibility of reform!

The Afghanistan Crisis Likely Insures A One Term Joe Biden Presidency

Only about one of every three Presidents historically (14 of 44) through Inauguration Day 2021 has served two terms:

George Washington
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
James Monroe
Andrew Jackson
Ulysses S. Grant
Grover Cleveland
Woodrow Wilson
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Ronald Reagan
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Barack Obama

Additionally, 7 others served more than one term, but not two complete terms:

Abraham Lincoln
William McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
Calvin Coolidge
Harry Truman
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon

And only Lincoln, McKinley, and Nixon were actually elected to two terms, so a total of 17 Presidents elected twice, while TR, Coolidge, Truman, and Johnson succeeded after deaths of their predecessor, and were only elected once to the Presidency.

So a total of 21 Presidents served more than four years, although Lincoln and McKinley for just a few months more, and Coolidge, Johnson and Nixon only months more than a year. So only TR and Truman were very close to two complete terms. Ultimately, 16 out of 44 basically served two terms.

Now we can add Joe Biden to the list of those who will not serve two terms or even be elected a second time, as with the Afghanistan debacle, it seems certain that he will not run again in 2024!

C-Span Presidential Historians Survey 2021 Announced Today!

For all Presidential followers, including scholars and specialists in the American Presidency and Presidential history, today is a great day, as C-Span announced its Presidential Historians Survey results for 2021!

It will take time to analyze the results, but a few points stand out:

Barack Obama went up from 12th to 10th in the overall listings.

Donald Trump ended up tied for 42nd out of 44, with Franklin Pierce, with only James Buchanan at 44 and Andrew Johnson at 43 below him.

Woodrow Wilson slipped from 11th to 13th as he continues to decline in overall rankings.

Andrew Jackson slipped dramatically from 18th to 22nd, and is now just in the middle of the overall rankings.

James K. Polk slipped from 14th to 18th, a continued decline in overall rankings.

John Adams and John Quincy Adams both rose four points from earlier rankings.

Bill Clinton dropped from 15th to 19th, a dramatic decline after having risen in earlier rankings.

Jimmy Carter ended up tied with James A. Garfield at 26th, and in the “battle” of Gerald Ford vs Carter, Carter came out ahead for the third time in the four C-Span surveys, in 2000, 2008 along with 2021, with Ford ahead in 2017.

The Record Of Donald Trump

Donald Trump has “many” accomplishments that no other President has had over the long haul of American history.

He is the first President not to serve a second term in the past 28 years, since George H. W. Bush, and only the 11th in history.

He is the first President since Herbert Hoover to lose the Presidency, the House of Representatives, and the US Senate.

He is the first President to lose hundreds of thousands of Americans to a pandemic since Woodrow Wilson a century ago.

He is the first President to lose the popular vote twice since Benjamin Harrison in the Gilded Age, and by massive margins unlike Harrison.

He is the first President to boycott his successor’s inauguration since Andrew Johnson a century and a half ago.

He is the first President ever elected with the help and collaboration of a foreign government, the Russian Federation.

He is the first President ever to fail to gain a majority popular vote approval rating since polling began in the late 1930s.

He is the first President to be impeached twice in the same term of office.

He is the first President ever to have a member of their own party vote for conviction in an impeachment trial, in both trials.

He is the first President ever to refuse to concede defeat.

He is the first President ever to insure a peaceful transfer of power.

He is the first President ever to actively incite a terrorist attack against his own government.

He is the first President in the Social Media age to be banned by Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram from posting, because he incites right wing domestic terrorism.

He is the first President who will be indicted and go to trial for criminal and civil violations in American history.

He is the President who will have more convictions of people engaged in corruption in his name, even more than Richard Nixon.

He is the first President who is mentally deranged and a danger to the Constitution and rule of law, and to the future of American democracy.

America Became Part Of The World This Week In 1917!

America became part of the world this week in 1917, when President Woodrow Wilson went to Congress on April 2, 1917, and asked for a Congressional Declaration of War against Imperial Germany, the Austro Hungarian Empire, and the Turkish Empire, putting us into “the Great War”, later called the World War, and after entrance into World War II, termed World War I.

Although America went back into isolationism in the 1920s and 1930s, the nation learned that it was a false decision, and since World War II, we have recognized that we are part of the world, and cannot ignore what is going on outside America, as it can and has threatened American national security.

President Joe Biden faces many foreign policy challenges, most significantly with China, Russia, North Korea and Iran, but with many other authoritarian nations that also undermine America’s basic values.

While Biden wishes to deal with the many domestic challenges, he will not be able to ignore the many problems other nations pose for the United States!

Foreign Policy Rears Its Ugly Head For Joe Biden

Every President enters office wishing to deal with domestic policy and change.

But invariably, foreign policy rears its ugly head much too often!

Woodrow Wilson came to office in 1913, not expecting the First World War I to break out in 1914, and bring us into that war in 1917.

Franklin D. Roosevelt came to office in 1933, wishing to deal with the Great Depression, but also had to deal with the growing Fascist threat of Japan, Nazi Germany, and Fascist Italy, and eventually, entrance into World War II!

Harry Truman came to office in 1945 to end World War II, but had to deal with the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and send troops to Korea.

John F. Kennedy came to office in 1961, and had to deal with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Lyndon B. Johnson came to office in 1963, wanting to promote the Great Society, but also had to deal with the Vietnam War.

Every other President in modern times has had to face similar issues, and now, Joe Biden must deal with China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran as major headaches, as he tries to resolve the COVID 19 Pandemic Crisis!