Woodrow Wilson 
the Visionary President

"I can predict with absolute certainty that within another generation there will be another world war if the nations of the world do not concert the method by which to prevent it." Woodrow Wilson, 1919 There never was a good war, or a bad peace Benjamin Franklin I slept, and dreamed that life was Beauty; I woke, and found that life was Duty Ellen Sturgis Hooper

America and Americans "We have restricted credit, we have restricted opportunity, we have controlled development, and we have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated, governments in the civilized world--no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and the duress of small groups of dominant men." Woodrow Wilson Source: in his book, The New Freedom: A Call For the Emancipation of the Generous Energies of a People, chapter 9 "The great melting-pot of America, the place where we are all made Americans of, is the public school, where men of every race, and of every origin, and of every station of life send their children, or ought to send their children, and where, being mixed together, they are all infused with the American spirit and developed into the American man and the American woman." "A man who thinks of himself as belonging to a particular national group in America has not yet become an American." We want the spirit of America to be efficient; we want American character to be efficient; we want American character to display itself in what I may, perhaps, be allowed to call spiritual efficiency--clear, disinterested thinking and fearless action along the right lines of thought. America is not anything if it consists of each of us. It is something only if it consists of all of us; and it can consist of all of us only as our spirits are banded together in a common enterprise, That common enterprise is the enterprise of liberty and justice and right. And, therefore, I, for my part, have a great enthusiasm for rendering American spiritually efficient; and that conception lies at the basis of what seems very far removed from it, namely, the plans that have been proposed for the military efficiency of this nation. Some Americans need hyphens in their names, because only part of them has come over; but when the whole man has come over, heart and thought and all, the hyphen drops of its own weight out of his name. Just what is it that America stands for? If she stands for one thing more than another, it is for the sovereignty of self-governing people, and her example, her assistance, her encouragement, has thrilled two continents in this western world with all those fine impulses which have built up human liberty on both sides of the water. She stands, therefore, as an example of independence, as an example of free institutions, and as an example of disinterested international action in the main tenets of justice. America is not a mere body of traders; it is a body of free men. Our greatness-- build upon freedom--is moral, not material. We have great ardor for gain; but we have a deep passion for the rights of men. Woodrow Wilson 12/6/1911 American Army "One of our American wits said that it took only half as long to train an American army as any other because you only had to train them to go one way." American Revolution "The American Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation. " Blessed "There are blessed intervals when I forget by one means or another that I am President of the United States. " Brains "I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow. " Business "Business underlies everything in our national life, including our spiritual life. Witness the fact that in the Lord's Prayer, the first petition is for daily bread. No one can worship God or love his neighbor on an empty stomach." Change "If you want to make enemies, try to change something. " Character Nothing is worthwhile that is not hard. You do not improve your muscle by doing the easy thing; you improve it by doing the hard thing, and you get your zest by doing a thing that is difficult, not a thing that is easy. Woodrow Wilson 6/5/1914 Civilization "The sum of the whole matter is this, that our civilization cannot survive materially unless it be redeemed spiritually." The Road Away from Revolution," Atlantic Monthly, August, 1923. Clients My clients are the children; my clients are the next generation. Wilson, pleading the cause of the United Nations Competition While competition cannot be created by statutory enactment, it can in large measure be revived by changing the laws and forbiding the practices that killed it. Woodrow Wilson Speech, Aug 7, 1912 Congress "Congress in session is Congress on public exhibition, whilst Congress in its committee rooms is Congress at work. Congressional Government, A Study in American Politics (1885). Conservative "A conservative is a man who just sits and thinks, mostly sits." "A conservative is someone who makes no changes and consults his grandmother when in doubt." "By 'radical,' I understand one who goes too far; by 'conservative,' one who does not go far enough; by 'reactionary,' one who won't go at all." Creed "There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed. Declaration of War "It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance. But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts, for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free. To such a task we dedicate our lives and our fortunes, everything that we are and everything that we have, with the pride of those who know that the day has come when America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and happiness and the peace which she has treasured. God helping her, she can do no other. Address to Joint Session of Congress, asking for a declaration of war, April 2, 1917. Democracy "I believe in democracy because it releases the energies of every human being." The world must be made safe for democracy." (To Congress when seeking a declaration of war, 1917 Gentlemen, the select classes of mankind are not longer the governors of mankind. The fortunes of mankind are now in the hands of the plain people of the whole world. Satisfy them, and you have not only justified their confidence, but established peace. Fail to satisfy them, and no arrangement that you can make will either set up or steady the peace of the world. Woodrow Wilson to the League of Nations 1/25/1919 Democrat "I am all kinds of a democrat, so far as I can discover—but the root of the whole business is this, that I believe in the patriotism and energy and initiative of the average man." Dog's Face "If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience." Dreams "We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire of a long winter's evening. Some of us let these dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nurse them through bad days till they bring them to the sunshine and light which comes always to those who hope that their dreams will come true." Duty "We live in an age disturbed, confused, bewildered, afraid of its own forces, in search not merely of its road but even of its direction. There are many voices of counsel, but few voices of vision; there is much excitement and feverish activity, but little concert of thoughtful purpose. We are distressed by our own ungoverned, undirected energies and do many things, but nothing long. It is our duty to find ourselves." Baccalaureate address as President of Princeton University, June 9, 1907. Education Every man, every man sent out from a university should be a man of his nation, as well as a man of his time. Woodrow Wilson Equality or Opportunity "There can be no equality or opportunity if men and women and children be not shielded in their lives from the consequences of great industrial and social processes which they cannot alter, control, or singly cope with." Fools "The wisest thing to do with a fool is to encourage him to hire a hall and discourse to his fellow citizens. Nothing chills nonsense like exposure to air." "I have always been among those who believed that the greatest freedom, speech was the greatest safety, because if a man is a fool, the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking." (Speech, 1919) Force "Government, in its last analysis, is organized force." -- Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) 28th US President http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/Woodrow.Wilson.Quote.2852 Freedom Freedom exists only where the people take care of the government. Only free peoples can hold their purpose and their honor steady to a common end, and prefer the interests of mankind to any narrow interest of their own. The highest and best form of efficiency is the spontaneous cooperation of a free people. Woodrow Wilson Friendship "Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together." "At every crisis in one's life, it is absolute salvation to have some sympathetic friend to whom you can think aloud without restraint or misgiving. Global Affairs Our interests are those of the open door-- a door of friendship and mutual advantage. This is the only door we care to enter. Woodrow Wilson 3/19/1913 There must be, not a balance of power, but a community of power; not organized rivalries, but an organized peace. Woodrow Wilson 1/22/1917 We are at the beginning of an age, in which it will be insisted that the same standards of conduct and of responsibility for wrong done shall be observed among nations and their governments that are observed among individual citizens of the United States. Woodrow Wilson 4/2/1917 We created this Nation, not to serve ourselfs, but to serve mankind. Woodrow Wilson The world must be made saft for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty. We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek no indemnities for ourself, no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make. We are but one of the champions of the rights of mankind. We shall be satisfied when those rights have been made as secured as the faith and the freedom of nations can make them. Woodrow Wilson 4/2/1917 Golf "Golf is a game in which one endeavors to control a ball with implements ill adapted for the purpose." Gossip "Gossip: sociologists on a mean and petty scale." Goverment "Government should not be made an end in itself; it is a means only -- a means to be freely adapted to advance the best interests of the social organism. The state exists for the sake of society, not society for the sake of the state. The State; Elements of Historical and Practical Politics (1911) Our object now, as then, is to vindicate the principles of peace and justice in the life of the world as against selfish and autocratic power, and to set up among the really free and self governed peoples of the world such a concert of purpose and of action as will henceforth insure the observance of those principles. - in a address to Congress on war being declared with Germany A little group of willful men, representative of no opinion but their own, have rendered the great government of the United States helpless and contemptible. Willson, response to a Senate filibuster on a bill to arm American merchant vessels endangered by German U-boats. Idealist "Sometimes people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American . . . America is the only idealist nation in the world." Ideas "It is not men that interest or disturb me primarily; it is ideas. Ideas live; men die." Judgment "One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty counsels. The thing to do is to supply light and not heat. Woodrow Wilson Justice Justice has nothing to do with expediency. Woodrow Wilson Labor The great struggling unknown masses of men who are at the base of everything are the dynamic force that is lifting the levels of society. A nation is a great and only as great as her rank and file. Woodrow Wilson Men everywhere are going to see that the problem of labor is nothing more nor less than the problem of the elevation of humanity. Woodrow Wilson 9/25/1919 Last Public Statement "I am not one of those that have the least anxiety about the triumph of the principles I have stood for: I have seen fools resist Providence before, and I have seen their destruction, as will come upon these again, utter destruction and contempt. That we shall prevail is as sure as that God reigns." (His last public words, November, 1923) League of Nations "Dare we reject it and break the heart of the world?" (Regarding the League Of Nations. Liberty "Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of government. The history of liberty is the history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of the limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it." Woodrow Wilson Speech, 1912 "America was established not to create wealth but to realize a vision, to realize an ideal - to discover and maintain liberty among men. " "I would rather belong to a poor nation that was free than to a rich nation that had ceased to be in love with liberty." "Liberty has never come from Government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it... The history of liberty is a history of limitations of governmental power, not the increase of it." Life's Purpose "You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand." -- Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) 28th US President Literacy Gift "The literary gift is a very dangerous gift to possess if you are not telling the truth, and I would a great deal rather, for my part, have a man stumble in his speech than to feel he was so exceedingly smooth that he had better be watched both day and night." Monopoly "If monopoly persists, monopoly will always sit at the helm of government. I do not expect monopoly to restrain itself. If there are men in this country big enough to own the government of the United States, they are going to own it." Woodrow Wilson Murder "Never murder a man who is committing suicide." Nation's Honor "The nation's honor is dearer than the nation's comfort; yes, than the nation's life itself." No Such Thing There is no indespensable man. Woodrow Wilson Source:Speech, Aug 7, 1912 Offical Documents "No one who has read official documents needs to be told how easy it is to conceal the essential truth under the apparently candid and all-disclosing phrases of a voluminous and particularizing report . . ." Peace "The program of the world's peace, therefore, is our program; and that program, the only possible program, as we see it, is this: 1. Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view. "Fourteen Points" Address to Joint Session of Congress, January 8, 1918. Only a peace between equals can last. Only a peace the very principle of which is equality and a common participation in a common benefit. Address to the United States Senate on essential terms of peace in Europe, January 22, 1917. Victory would mean peace forced upon the loser, a victor's terms imposed upon the vanquished. It would be accepted in humiliation, under duress, at an intolerable sacifice, and would leave a sting, a resentment, a bitter memory, upon which terms of peace would rest, not permanently, but only as upon quicksand. Only a peace between equals can last; only a peace the very principle of which is equality and a common participation in a common benefit. Woodrow Wilson, 1/27/1917 A steadfast concert for peace can never be maintained except by a partnership of democratic nations. No autocratic government could be trusted to keep faith within it or observe its covenants. It must be a league of honor, a partnership of opinion....Only free peoples can hold their purpose and their honor steady to a common end and perfer the interests of mankind to any narrow interest of their own. Woodrow Wilson, 4/2/1917 Politics "Politics I conceive to be nothing more than the science of the ordered progress of society along the lines of greatest usefulness and convenience to itself." Power "Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it. " Woodrow Wilson Source: In his book entitled The New Freedom (1913) "When I resist, therefore, when I as a Democrat resist the concentration of power, I am resisting the processes of death, because the concentration of power is what always precedes the destruction of human initiative, and, therefore of human energy. Address, New York City, September 4, 1912. Prosperity "Prosperity is necessarily the first theme of a political campaign. " Reading "I would never read a book if it were possible for me to talk half an hour with the man who wrote it." Recluse "Uncompromising thought is the luxury of the closeted recluse." Re-Election "If you think too much about being re-elected, it is very difficult to be worth re-electing." Right But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts--for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own Governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free. There is such a thing as a man being too proud to fight. There is such a thing as a nation being so right that it does not need to convince others by force. Woodrow Wilson, 4/2/1917 Seed of Revolution "The seed of revolution is repression." Seed of War "Is there any man, is there any woman, let me say any child here that does not know that the seed of war in the modern world is industrial and commercial rivalry? Slave "The president is a superior kind of slave, and must content himself with the reflection that the kind is superior!" Speaking "If I am to speak ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now. " ""The great curse of public life is that you are not allowed to say all the things you think." Special Interests "The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy." Strength "The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it. " Teacher "I have long enjoyed the friendship and companionship of Republicans because I am by instinct a teacher, and I would like to teach them something. " Trickel Down (Reaganonmics) The way to stop financial "joy-riding" is to arrest the chauffeur, not the automobile. University "The use of a university is to make young gentlemen as unlike their fathers as possible." Voices Of The People "The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people. " Washington "Every man who takes office in Washington either grows or swells, and when I give a man an office, I watch him carefully to see whether he is growing or swelling. " Why We Are Here "You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand. " Winning and Loseing "I would rather lose in a cause that will some day win, than win in a cause that will some day lose. Mail James Howington

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