The roots of the Democratic Party, which had sprung from the ashes of the Democratic Republican Party in 1830, were deeply and unquestionably racist.
I know this is quite a statement to make, but Democrats repeatedly lied to, broke treaties with, and slaughtered Indians. They supported slavery, fractured the nation with secession of the South, and in large measure, were responsible for thrusting America into the Civil War, which cost over 600,000 lives.
The political ideology of the Democrats, however, hadn't been so radical or so destructive, as their racist tendencies. At least, not until Woodrow Wilson.
Wilson coupled the party's racism with radical progressivism. That's why the election of 1912 was a critical turning point in the history of the party and the United States.
VOICE: The incumbent was Republican William Howard Taft. The Democratic challenger, tall and dignified, Woodrow Wilson. And taking them both on was the most formidable third party candidate in history, former Republican president Theodore Roosevelt.
Disappointed that his handpicked successor Taft had abandoned many of his policies, Roosevelt had actually tried to rest the Republican nomination away from him. He failed. And at that point could have chosen to bow out gratefully, but this was Teddy Roosevelt
VOICE: He said, I stand in Armageddon to do battle for the Lord.
VOICE: Running under the banner of the new progressive party, the popular Roosevelt capsized Taft's reelection bid. But TR's candidacy had an unintended consequence: By splitting the Republican vote, he allowed the Democrat, Wilson, to win the White House.
GLENN: While it was a former Republican, Teddy Roosevelt, who started and ran under the progressive party banner, it was Democrat Woodrow Wilson who was even more progressive than Roosevelt. A note here: Progressivism is Marxism that is accomplished without revolution, more slowly and under a different name. The principles are essentially the same.
It was under Wilson's leadership that the Democratic Party took a huge left turn. It had been a party that had been leery of centralized government, while Wilson pushed for and succeeded in greatly enlarging the size of the federal government, the one they were all so afraid of.
He also adopted the policy of an early Democratic progressive, William Jennings Bryant, in pushing for and this time succeeding in bringing about a progressive national income tax. Seems we always forget the progressive part of tax.
Now, up until his presidency, the United States had been free of the burden of a permanent national income tax. It was almost universally believed to be unconstitutional.
Yet, Wilson took office March 4th of 1913. And by October of that year, the United States had been fundamentally transformed and altered, with a new progressive income tax.
With it came the IRS and the Federal Reserve. And America would never be the same again.
Wilson had also changed the American power structure. Before his administration, the executive branch was at best, simply equal to Congress. But he made the presidency superior to Congress. Wilson also worked really hard to fundamentally transform the United States. Of America's original founding document, Wilson said...
VOICE: Some citizens of this country have never gotten beyond the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence did not mention the questions of our day. It is of no consequence to us.
GLENN: Americans were never meant to get beyond the Declaration of Independence. It is inextricably linked to the Constitution and to every principle of governance that we hold dear. It is the idea of America, while the Constitution is the framework to make that idea work.
Wilson's thoughts, however, on the Constitution were similar to his thoughts on the declaration.
VOICE: All the progressives ask or desire is permission. In an era when development -- evolution is the scientific word to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle. All they ask is recognition of the fact that a nation is a living thing and not a machine.
GLENN: In other words, all he desired was the ability to interpret the Constitution in whatever way he might deem appropriate.
In Woodrow Wilson's mind, the Constitution was ever changing, ever evolving, rather than a set of rights that were eternal.
With that in mind, Wilson set out his agenda. One of his worst acts was sponsoring the Espionage and Sedition Acts. The Sedition Act prohibited criticism of the government, armed forces, or the war effort. This, after Wilson had promised and been reelected for keeping the United States out of World War I.
If the citizens dare violate the act and actually said, "Wait a minute. What did you just say?" They were imprisoned or fined. Some 1500 people were arrested under this law, including socialist presidential candidate Eugene Debs. As of all of that were not enough un-American activity for one president, Wilson went so far as to have thousands of German Americans forced into one of two internment camps that he had set up in the United States. One of the camps was in Utah. And the other one was in Georgia.
Remember, this isn't the Japanese internment. This was two decades before. Just a few of the notable German interns were geneticist Richard Goldschmidt, as well as 29 of the very scary and dangerous members of the Boston symphony orchestra. The orchestra's musical conductor, Carl Muck, spent more than a year at the camp in Georgia, as did Ernst Kunwald, the musical director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
What are we afraid of? Oh, are they ninjas with the batons? How, you might be asking, in a nation with a revered Constitution, such as America, which prohibits all of these actions, can all of this take place? Author of Theodore and Woodrow, Judge Napolitano sums up exactly how it happened.
VOICE: Roosevelt -- and I speak of Theodore, of course -- and Wilson openly boasted that they were not obliged to follow the words of the Constitution, that as president they could make changes on their own. So you have two presidents who believe -- this is a radical difference from all of their predecessors, even Lincoln, that they can from the White House order and direct changes which will affect the lives of every American.
GLENN: Coupled with the inaction of separate, but equal branches of government, Congress and the judicial branch and the nation was thrust into a constitutional crisis that virtually nobody even noticed.
As I said earlier, the American people had been very vocal about staying out of the war in Europe. And Wilson had been reelected in large part because he had kept America out of World War I.
Nearly as soon as he was reelected, however, Wilson wasted absolutely no time in using the sinking of the British passenger ship, the Lusitania, to plunge the United States into the worst war in world history up until that time. Wilson claimed...
VOICE: I am an advocate of peace, but there are some splendid things that come to a nation through the discipline of war.
GLENN: The Alien and Sedition Act was one of those splendid things he had accomplished. He was also interning American citizens behind barbed wire. He also splendidly raised the top income tax rate from 15 to 77 percent. And along the way, he resegregated the civil service and US military. But other than that, he was a constitutional dream.
Considering all of this, it is inconceivable to hear modern day Democrats sing Wilson's praises or seek to even be associated with him, as Hillary Clinton did several years ago.
HILLARY: I prefer the word "progressive," which has a real American meaning, going back to the progressive area at the beginning of the 20th century. I consider myself a modern progressive, someone who believes strongly in individual rights and freedoms, who believes that we are better as a society, when we're working together. And when we find ways to help those who may not have all the advantages in life get the tools they need to lead a more productive life for themselves and their families.
GLENN: Sure. I mean, who wouldn't be inspired by an early 20th century American progressive? And comments like this one from Woodrow Wilson.
VOICE: The white men were roused by a mere instinct of self-preservation, until the last there had sprung into existence a great Ku Klux Klan, a veritable empire of the South, to protect the Southern country.
GLENN: The believer he was in the KKK, he actually premiered the movie that glorified the Klan, called Birth of a Nation at the White House -- it was the first movie ever to be screened at the White House.
So given the despicable legacy of the party, it's difficult to understand the arrogance of many of today's Democratic elites, such as Hillary Clinton, who stated...
HILLARY: Now, as Democrats, we have diverse views and backgrounds. We are Democrats after all.
GLENN: Wow, indeed, it has been a diverse party, willing to persecute citizens of Native American, African-American, Asian-American, and German American descent. Oh, yes, and they love to hear from people of all kinds of views and background, just as long as you're in lockstep with the prevailing elites of the party. After all, they're Democrats.
After the war, Woodrow Wilson became obsessed with entangling the United States in international laws and regulations by joining his brainchild The League of Nations. However, the people of the United States didn't want anything to do with it. They instead wanted to maintain American constitutional sovereignty, and they rejected the league.
The problem is, Woodrow Wilson wasn't a guy who was going to take no for an answer. He ignored the Senate. He ignored the veto. He began a rigorous nationwide campaign to try to sell to the American people, The League of Nations. He had a whirlwind tour that turned out to be too strenuous for him, and on October 2nd, 1919, Wilson suffered a massive stroke, which left him virtually incapacitated for the rest of his presidency.
I don't like to wish ill on anybody, but thank goodness that stroke happened. But to make a bad presidency worse, his unelected wife essentially secretly ran the executive office from then on. She was actually our first female president, and she kept the severity of his illness under wraps until the election of President Harding in 1920.
Next time, the Democratic Party of today.
VOICE: Tomorrow, on the Glenn Beck Program, in chapter four of the history of the Democratic Party, you'll learn how the party continues to cover up its racist past. Listen live or online at GlennBeck.com/serials.