Woodrow Wilson and his Failures

As a dreamer and thinker, Wilson was not a highly pragmatic person. Consequently, he faced a number of national and international debacles. A major drawback with Wilson was his arrogance and obduracy.

His failure to attain several goals can be attributed to these faults. A striking illustration of such a failure is that relating to the Treaty of Versailles (Wilson, (Thomas) Woodrow , 2004).He was an idealist, and he believed that he was infallible, especially in matters relating to world peace, morality and the education of the youth (Auchincloss L. , 2000.

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P. 23).Wilson avoided trouble and taking difficult or unpleasant decisions. He was highly prejudicial towards some people and on most occasions these prejudices were unfounded.

The consequence was that he would make all efforts to avoid dialogue with persons against whom he harbored a strong dislike. He could not entertain more than a idea at a time and had a lackadaisical attitude towards most things, which resulted in several decisions that had been taken on the spur of the moment (Auchincloss L. , Woodrow Wilson , 2000. P.52).After the Great War of World War I, Wilson lobbied far and wide for the formation of the League of Nations.

However, to his great chagrin, the US did not become a member, because of the objection raised by the Senate. Wilson took the dispute to the public and travelled all over the US. He made stirring speeches, wherever he went. This tour took a heavy toll on his health and he underwent another stroke. This stroke had a permanently crippling effect on him (Miffin, 2002).

It was the pet grievance of the business community that Wilson was doing all in his power to harm private enterprise. The enhancement of taxes on the higher incomes was decried by the wealthy. A number of reformers had expressed their dissatisfaction with his poor showing in achieving reformative objectives. The Federal Reserve Act, in the words of the capitalists, had discouraged venture capital and legislators were incensed at his uncalled for intervention in making laws (Auchincloss L. , Woodrow Wilson, 2000. P.

55).Consequent to his third stroke, Woodrow Wilson’s effectiveness diminished. He failed to make the US a member of the League of Nations. This failure has been partially attributed to the scheming designs of his wife Edith Wilson. She concealed the true nature of his affliction from not only the cabinet but also Congress. This resulted in Wilson’s continuation in office, despite being incapacitated.Woodrow Wilson strongly believed that he had moral intuition to an extraordinary degree. Accordingly, any opinion that contradicted his intuitive beliefs was anathema to him.

 He advocated a distancing of the US from the Allies who were fighting against all odds against a strong, immoral and brutal enemy. This reprehensible attitude of his, prompted Roosevelt to remark that Wilson was a mere rabble – rouser, who was bereft of heroism “in his cold, selfish and timid soul.” (Auchincloss L. , Woodrow Wilson, 2000.

P. 83).In addition to being vain, stubborn, reticent and a non – conformist, Wilson was convinced that he represented the general will of the people. He was a man possessed when it came to the topic of the League of Nations, which he felt was his sole brain child. He was totally convinced that it was the panacea for all human ills. His irrational and peculiar religious beliefs were the cause of his erratic behavior.From the above it can be concluded that most of his shortcomings were of his own creation. He was impractical and obstinate.

He was given to taking strong dislikes, and once he formed an opinion, he would not change his mind. His only contribution of some value was advocating the formation of the League of Nations. As such his attitude was idealistic rather than pragmatic. In this world of terrorist attacks and globalization, the need of the hour is a practical approach. Hence, Wilson and his ideology are unsuited to these times. As such they were of little importance to any age or country.



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