In 1912, there were at least two massive disasters for the United States of America: The sinking of the Titanic and the election of progressive Woodrow Wilson. Just a month after the completion of the grim Titanic recovery operation, Woodrow Wilson addressed the prestigious economic club of New York at a hotel bearing the name of one of the Titanic’s most prominent victims.
Speaking to business leaders at the Time Squares Hotel Astor, Wilson pushed back against the complaints that his ideas opposed the free enterprise system. He believed that wealthy families such as the Astors had turned the American Republic into their own fiefdom. The rich, he said, had to be reined in and their wealth confiscated for the public good, if necessary:
The very thing that government cannot let alone is business.
Government cannot take its hands off business. Government must regulate business because that is the foundation of every other relationship.
The tragic sinking of the Titanic, a ship that its owners boasted was unsinkable, was the consequence of a hubristic, humanist assumption about man’s ability to control natural law and to defy the will of God. And so was the candidacy of Woodrow Wilson.
Few presidents have displayed such open contempt for the Constitution they swore to preserve, protect and defend. Even fewer had such severe disdain for women, minorities and anyone else who deviated from Wilson’s view of the “perfect citizen.”