A Fourteen Point Plan for a Post-Wilsonian America

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare

President
Woodrow Wilson, following the precedent set by Abraham Lincoln during
the Civil War, transformed the American Republic into an Empire.
He did it by sending U.S. troops to Europe to join in a fight between
Empires, where one, the German Hohenzollern Empire was trying to
best its better-established neighbor, the British Empire. When U.S.
troops arrived in France in 1917 the three-year-old war had reached
a stalemate. But with American troops coming to the aid of Britain,
France, Russia, and their allies the balance shifted, and in 1918
this coalition of states defeated Germany and its Central Power
allies.

In
an address given to a joint sessions of Congress in 1918, Wilson
presented a 14 point program, "our program…the only possible
program," as he put it, for world peace. These points addressed
the adjustment of colonial claims, the borders and sovereignty of
Belgium, France (in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine), Italy, Austria-Hungary,
Rumania, Serbia, Montenegro, Turkey, and Poland. Point 6 welcomed
Russia into the society of free nations, with the "assistance
of every kind she may need and may herself desire." Point 14
advocated a new world order through the formation of a "general
association of nations," i.e., the League of Nations. As Richard
Gamble puts it in Reassessing
the Presidency
, "The Fourteen Points were a direct
effort to rearrange Europe, marking an unprecedented entry of the
U.S. into European affairs and a further departure from America's
traditional foreign policy of nonentanglement and non-intervention."

American
intervention in this European war, one that had no bearing on American
national interests, resulted in the Wilson-inspired Treaty of Versailles,
which effectively destroyed Germany as an economically and politically
viable nation and led to the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazis.
America's first acts as an Empire had consequences that proved disastrous.
Had the United States not intervened and allowed World War I to
end in a stalemate, an intact Hohenzollern Germany could have thwarted
the Bolshevik takeover of Russia and prevented the rise of Stalin.
Although he said he wanted to "bring light and liberty and
peace to all the world," Wilson's involvement in European affairs
instead enabled Bolshevism to conquer Russia and Central Asia. Over
the next seventy years Lenin, Stalin, and their successors killed,
in the name of socialism, more than sixty million people, by starvation,
exposure, and executions. Soviet apparatchiks tortured many millions
of innocent men, women, and children.

Eight
decades after President Wilson created it, the American Empire now
deploys its military forces worldwide. Our Empire has troops in
106 countries. American presidents impose their will on other countries,
for whatever wrongs their leaders may commit, even when they do
not affect our national interests, by bombing them (without a declaration
of war) and by imposing crippling economic sanctions, both of which
have killed many thousands of innocent civilians. These imperial
actions have fomented widespread resentment, and millions of people
in the world hate our country. Our government's actions have bred
a horde of bitter enemies, people who will sacrifice themselves
in an attempt to kill as many Americans as they can, including children,
by whatever means they have at their disposal.

Wilson
was a Progressive. From a domestic and economic standpoint, as with
his foreign policy, he wanted to expand the power of government
to effect a revolution in society. He sought to increase both the
size and scope of government. He said that he wanted to put government
"at the service of humanity." During his two terms as
president, from 1913-1921, Congress passed bills creating the Federal
Reserve System (1913); the Federal Income Tax (Amendment 16, ratified
in 1913); the Harrison Narcotics Act (1914), which made heroin and
cocaine illegal; the Federal Trade Commission (1914); the Federal
Farm Loan Act (1916); and the Prohibition of alcohol (Amendment
18, ratified in 1919).

Before
Wilson was elected president federal government spending never exceeded
3 per cent of GDP, except during times of war (the War of 1812 and
the Civil War). Government spending rose to more than 20 per cent
of GDP during Wilson's two terms as president; and over the last
half of the 20th century, with Franklin Roosevelt's New
Deal and Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, government spending has
ranged between 17-24 per cent of GDP. The principal reason why the
thirteen American states agreed to establish a central government
was to have a more coordinated and effective defense against foreign
invasion. Now, however, 57 per cent of federal government spending
goes for social programs, 12 per cent for interest on the federal
debt, 1 per cent for foreign aid, 14 per cent for miscellaneous
things, and 16 per cent for defense. Making matters even worse,
the Federal Reserve Bank's monetary policy has obliterated 94 per
cent of the value of the U.S. dollar. A basket of goods and services
that cost $100.00 in 1913 now costs $1,673.00.

John
Lukas, in his book Outgrowing
Democracy: A History of the United States in the Twentieth Century
,
argues that Wilson, not Lenin, "turned out to be the real revolutionary."
Abraham Lincoln, with his "American System" of high tariffs,
internal improvements (i.e., corporate welfare and subsides), and
central banking with paper money not backed by gold, set the stage
during the Civil War for Wilson's social and economic revolution
sixty years later. (For more about Lincoln's role in helping to
create the American Empire see my article "A
Jeffersonian View of the Civil War
."

American
citizens now have to bear the consequences of Lincoln and Wilson's
transformation of the United States from a Constitutional Republic
into an Empire. American citizens are now subject to attack at home,
and we can expect terrorists to begin using chemical, biological,
and nuclear weapons of mass destruction on us. Citizens who escape
these attacks must confront the economic consequences of a burst
economic bubble created by a Federal Reserve-engineered credit expansion,
consequences that include a falling stock market, further devaluation
of the dollar, job layoffs, and rapidly increasing personal and
corporate bankruptcies.

Woodrow
Wilson presented a Fourteen Point plan to Congress that launched
the 20th century American Empire. The following is a
Fourteen Point plan for a post-Wilsonian America, one that will
restore our country in the 21st century to the Republic
it once was:

Foreign
Policy

  1. End the United States' worldwide military presence and keep American
    troops in the United States.
  2. Stop
    placing economic sanctions on other countries.
  3. Engage
    in unrestricted trade with all nations; drop all trade barriers
    with nations that will do the same.
  4. Declare
    principled neutrality in all foreign disputes and wars.
  5. Withdraw from the United Nations.

Domestic
Policy

  1. Abolish Government restrictions on domestic energy production.
  2. End the War on Drugs; decriminalize their sale and use.
  3. Privatize health, education, welfare, and social security.
  4. Dismantle federal government regulatory agencies, such as the
    EPA, FDA, OSHA and BATF.
  5. Proscribe corporate welfare and subsidies.
  6. Return all illegal aliens to their homeland.

Economic
Policy

  1. Decommission
    the Federal Reserve banking system.
  2. Repeal the 16th Amendment and abolish the Federal Income
    Tax
  3. Place the nation's currency back on a Gold Standard.

Are
these Fourteen Points too radical? The founders of our Republic
– Jefferson, Mason, and Madison, in particular – and other
classical liberals would argue that this is a sound plan. Implementing
these Fourteen Points would restore the American government to its
pre-Wilsonian state and re-establish freedom and property rights
for its citizens.

Left
liberal socialists, like my son-in-law, a Harvard academic leftist,
revere Woodrow Wilson. For them, he is a Progressive hero, a millennial
prophet. Such people think Wilson did the right thing by having
government take more control over the economy and extend the scope
of its power to solve social problems and achieve "social justice."
They brand a plan like the one offered here as "isolationist"
and dismiss these fourteen foreign, domestic, and economic points
as not applicable to the complexities of life in the 21st
century. Pursuing "peace, commerce and honest friendship with
all nations; [but] entangling alliances with none," however,
as Thomas Jefferson put it, is not isolationist. It is engagement
in a peaceful manner. It is the best way to deal with people throughout
the world. Trade with them and otherwise leave them alone.

Would
an American President and Congress, irrespective of which party
they belong to, ever adopt such a plan? Not any time soon, and not
willingly. The lure of the power they wield is too great. But it
can happen nevertheless.

After
terrorists commandeered four large civil airliners and used them
to kill thousands of Americans and destroy the World Trade Center
and part of the Pentagon, symbols of America's financial and military
might respectively, the blood of the American people is up and a
war fever grips the country. Retribution will be had, come what
may. But as suicidal terrorists carry out more attacks on American
civilians on their home soil, more and more Americans will address
the question: Why is this happening? They will examine
more carefully their country/cum/Empire. They will find that having
the United States serve as the self-appointed policeman of the planet
carries unacceptable risks in a world where zealots who hate us
can gain access to weapons of mass destruction. American citizens,
acceding to government authorities to give up their freedom for
security, will find that they have neither freedom nor security.
As the circle of violence widens an increasing number of people
will come to realize that the only sure way to end the terror will
be to close down our Empire and to return to our country's roots.

We
need in the 21st century to adhere to the advice President
George Washington gave Americans in the 17th century
– to extend commercial relations with all nations but
have as little political connection with them as possible.
The United States should declare neutrality in the continuing Thousand
Year War between Muslims and Christians in the Mideast, one that
shows no signs of ending anytime soon.

Likewise,
if we do not wish to be mired in the coming economic depression
for a prolonged period of time, as happened with the last one in
the 1930s, which lasted twelve years, we must substantially reduce
government spending, taxes, and regulatory compliance costs. Federal
spending has grown eight times faster than the economy since the
last depression. Over the last forty years federal expenditures
on regulatory activity have increased 2.7 times faster than economy
– a 14 per cent per year annual growth rate, compounded. Government
regulations currently consume $977 Billion annually, siphoning off
13 per cent of the economy, which is $3,300.00 per man, woman, and
child. In order for our country to regain economic health we must
make sure that the free-market private sector once again becomes,
as it was before our nation assumed the burdens of empire, the largest
and fastest growing segment of the economy.

In
the war against terrorism, the president and Congress will most
likely put into effect National ID cards, travel permits, video
surveillance cameras on roads and in public places, and other measures
that encroach on individual freedom. When Americans find that these
measures are ineffective in combating terrorism and all they have
to show for it is the loss of their liberty and freedom, people
in some states may do what people in the southern states choose
to do in 1860-61 when Abraham Lincoln was elected president. They
may opt to secede from a United States controlled by a ruling elite
that wants to maintain its Empire despite continuing and unstoppable
terrorist attacks on Americans. Such a move would enable citizens
in those states to regain their liberty, plus secession from the
United States Empire would insulate seceded states from continuing
terrorist threats. If this were to happen and one or more states
once again seceded from the Union, it would go a long way towards
helping to coerce U.S. political leaders to dismantle their Empire.

When
Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America,
was vacating Richmond as the war was coming to a close, a traveling
companion remarked that the cause of the Confederacy was lost. Davis
replied:

It
appears so. But the principle for which we contended is bound
to reassert itself, though it may be at another time and in another
form.

That
principle is the federal compact of limited constitutional government,
natural rights, and the rule of law. It is grounded in state sovereignty
and the right of secession.

Let
us hope that as a nation we will have the good sense to dismantle
our Wilsonian Empire and choose to live in peace with our neighbors
before a growing army of terrorists kills too many more Americans,
and before our military kills too many more innocent Islamic civilians.

September
28, 2001

Donald
Miller (send him mail)
lives in the state of Washington and is a cardiac
surgeon in Seattle.

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare
  • LRC Blog

  • LRC Podcasts