The following Op-Ed was submitted by Bob Shillingstad. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.
From time to time you see rankings of American Presidents from the best to worst, consistently George Washington is ranked as the greatest. In the modern era it is a different story. I would put Calvin Coolidge, Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump in the running as our greatest of this past century and this could create a lively debate. When it comes to our worst President, and the jury may be out as we evaluate the current resident of the office, there is no doubt that it was Woodrow Wilson.
Wilson’s mistakes were either huge or disgusting and often times both and affect us to this very day. Wilson signed into law the income tax that is punitive and currently plagues America. The Federal Reserve, this private, secretive central bank that was created in 1913 and signed by Willson has caused immense damage with its erratic, boom-bust approach to monetary policy. If you haven’t read the classic The Creature From Jekyll Island by Griffin you don’t understand this history. This central bank has created more economic mischief than any other federal initiative or institution in the last 100 years. He took up and established the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 with sweeping authority given to the federal government. He locked up dissidents right and left as he trampled on the Constitution’s guarantees of speech, assembly and press freedoms. To consolidate the power to the federal government the 17th amendment adopted in 1913 that provided for direct election of Senators instead of their election by state legislatures. Sounds good, but that took away important oversight from the states to protect their rights and independence.
It is also worth noting that Wilson was a believer in global governance, which adds to his awful legacy. It was his idea for the League of Nations which the U.S. rejected but would be the forerunner of the United Nations. His foreign policy did significant damage to America and an excellent book on the subject by Jim Powell is entitled Wilson’s War. David Goldman describes Wilson’s approach this way, “So utterly utopian was Wilson’s vision that it is unfair to characterize the internationalism of Bill Clinton or George W. Bush as “Wilsonian.” Clinton and Bush threw America’s weight around after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but they did not propose as Wilson did to replace America’s sovereign decision-making with a global council. …”
Finally, Wilson was a racist. He segregated the military and the civil service and forced many African-American workers out of the employ of the federal government. His views and actions solidified Jim Crow in the South.
Now, I know what you are thinking – what is the point of this history lesson? Is it to convince us that Joe Biden might only be second worst of modern Presidents? Nope, there is a deeper lesson for us in Idaho. The election of 1912.
The Republican party split when Teddy Roosevelt challenged William Howard Taft for his re-election bid. Taft received the nomination but Teddy formed a new group to run as a third party. The Democrats nominated the former President of Princeton University Woodrow Wilson. Because of the split Wilson won 41.8% of the vote while Roosevelt won only 27% while Taft took 23%.
What happened in Idaho four years ago in 2018? . We had three major candidates running Raul Labrador, Tommy Ahlquist and the former Lt. Governor Brad Little. Mitt Romney endorsed Tommy Ahlquist. Charlie Kirk of Turning Point and Candace Owens both also endorsed Ahlquist. Raul Labrador, former Congressman, was the clear conservative and won the Panhandle with a plurality of the vote Raul was endorsed by Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz along with most state legislators from the Panhandle. Brad Little had the backing of Butch Otter, Senator Jim Risch, Congressman Mike Simpson, Speaker Scott Bedke and most liberals and the newspapers of Idaho. Most of us remember the results of that election. Little received 37% of the vote, Labrador 32.6% and Ahlquist 26.2%.
We know the results of the voting that November day and now we know the disastrous results of nearly four years of governance by Governor Brad Little! Will this happen again? Will we have four more years of arrogance and liberalism from an unqualified governor? We can add Brad Little’s name to the “Hall of Shame” along with Woodrow Wilson, but we don’t need four more years to solidify his credentials.
We have four major candidates for Governor in the Republican party for the May 2022 election. Little has raised more money than the other three combined and has the swamp behind him. There is no doubt that the other three running have strong conservative beliefs and a strong desire to move Idaho in the right direction. One candidate, Janice McGeachin has proven herself as a fighter. Will we unite to elect her as our next Governor? We need unity now! The same is true for Lt. Governor and uniting our support for Priscilla Giddings. The history lesson about the election of 1912 and the disastrous results is to remind us that elections have consequences. We need unity now!
Tags: Bob Shillingstad, Brad Little, Elections, Mitt Romney, Raul Labrador, Tommy Ahlquist