Posted in History by Peter W. Schramm
Steve Hayward on another reason to hate Woodrow Wilson.
The lot of you are sliding into self-parody.
Did I detect just a hint of self-awareness about the absurdity of the suggestion(s) regarding Wilson's character? (i.e., this blog is almost wholly populated by ideologues, ideologues who takes one's opinion of motorcycles as a reliable litmus test of character - let alone how Wilson's critique was AGAINST the increasing popularity of cars at the time precisely for the reason he gave; one would think a real socialist would be cheering on the effect of cars)
I also highly doubt that the average NLT/Tea Party reader even needs another reason to hate Wilson, seeing how Ashbrook honoree Glenn Beck has beat that dead horse many times over.
I have always kind of felt that there was a decent helping of parody, humor and irony involved in the use of adjectives on this blog.
There is a pretty high level of abstraction required to hate someone you never met, especially when they are already dead.
I tend to think these guys are right when they criticize folks who try to blame, say the riots in London on Thatcher.
There is also this hate of Obama, and Keynes, and Lincoln as well. Yet no one is really certain what the rules to "Aristocratic History" really are.
Personally I think it is a ponzi scheme, for inflating CEO pay, no one except the board of directors really knowledgeably follows any particular political or business titan, but as the amount of productivity that can be ascribed to human greatness goes up, so to does justification for income inequality.
What material difference an Obama vs. a Perry? Steve Jobs vs. Al Gore?
There is I suppose a certain mastery to knowing about Wilson, and the more "players" you know to "love" and "hate", the higher you stand in Aristocratic History/(Politics version of fantasy football.)
Sometimes it is just about having an opinion, or having a preference.
A lot of folks know the ideology, but don't know the players.
Personally I am not sure what effect cars had upon america, hypothetically according to say Daniel Bell, and what Dr. Lawler calls the porchers...the automobile by increasing mobility freed man from social conservative community, one could escape scandal by getting into an automobile and leaving the jurisdiction/geography of the rumor...Undermining local ties, leads to the breakdown of familly, since geography still plays a role in frequency and quality of interactions, thus leading to more demand for socialism(i.e social security)?
In terms of cheering cars, a real socialist perhaps, but also a real libertarian perhaps? It all depends on what you think the proximate cause really is, or what or why you think the evidence is relevant.
It is also clearly a joke for Hayward.
So you guys are hitting Schramm and Hayward with party admissions, and the defense is that it is either a joke, or else that the standard is any evidence that might tend to have any bearing whatsoever upon a material question, but since no one knows why you should hate or love Wilson, a standard that is personal, i.e. didn't like cars or motorcycles isn't arbitrary and capricious if the question is one of personal taste.
By challenging Schramm's seriousness you bring yourself into self parody, in part because if arbitrary and capricious reasons for likeing or hating Wilson are not allowed, one would have to take seriously the prospect of hateing and blameing Wilson for authentic reasons, which would mean in some sense that our current predicament in not the fault/or praise of Obama or Bush but Wilson.
So if you reject the rediculousness of the Schramm standard on Wilson, how far are you willing to go in taking Wilson seriously, and does the "Greatness" of Wilson give a pass to Bush or Obama, or is the chain of causation on this historical figure's material causation irreperably broken, and reduced to a sort of joke, and ponzi scheme for Glenn Beck's conspiracy theories?
So political science big question #1: How far back does history matter, and can it really matter past actual levels of memory/fresh evidence? Also a legal question of sorts, involving statutes of limitations.
Political science big question #2: If potentially race matters in the election of Obama, does height matter, does personality matter, some said that riding a motorcycle made Daniels more appealing. So to what extent does all the side stuff that potentially makes voters think that the guy is more like them matter? If it matters now, is or was it material in the days of Wilson? How much is "debris" ( what part do essentially arbitrary and capricious or personal "gut" standards play?)
Since fresh evidence, and actual experience is lacking it makes more sense to like or dislike Wilson for arbitary reasons, than it does to do so for Obama, yet no one denies that "debris" made an actual difference in the election of Obama, and potentially in his re-election.
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