SDMB Retrospective US Presidential Elections 1912,_1912

Would have voted for Teddy once again. Incidentally I must say that the Progressive Party platform of 1912 was one of the finest in American history.

Seven days as usual.

Vote Socialist!

One of the more interesting elections in history.

One wonders if Taft or Roosevelt would have kept us out of WWI.

Probably not.

Absent Wilson’s insane policy of insisting Americans had the right to sail on belligerent ships carrying munitions, we may have avoided a war. Although, as Debs recognized, crony business interests were in support of entering the war, I don’t think Taft held the same desire to control men and shape nations as Wilson held. Wilson’s ideology is to blame for our involvement. He is also arguably to blame for modern liberals’ (and neoconservatives’) fascination with war.

Then why did he keep us out of the war all through his first term?

One day left before the polls close.

Wilson was a racist. Not just by modern standards; he was a racist by the standards of 1912. When he became President, he ordered Federal agencies not to hire any black employees and instituted segregation in Federal facilities.

He screened “Birth of a Nation”, FFS!

Well, yeah, but:

Interesting BG! Ignorance fought.

Tough call. I guess Wilson. He was a smart guy and a capable reformer as Governor of New Jersey. T.R. was past his prime, and Taft was a flop as President. Wilson’s racist and segregationist policies are indefensible, but I wouldn’t have known that lay ahead when I went to the polls in Nov. 1912.

Nitpick: Chief Justice of the United States.

I repeat.

If you’re asking me, I’d say it’s because the list of German outrages didn’t become truly intolerable until early into Wilson’s second term. T.R. obviously disagreed - he thought Wilson unmanly for not entering the war sooner (he also resented Wilson’s refusal to let him raise a regiment a la the Rough Riders and go fight there himself).

Wilson’s racism is kind of beside the point. TR and Taft weren’t racist, but their actual policies as President didn’t differ from Wilson’s except for a few symbolic gestures (mainly, appointing a few black postmasters). By 1900 both major parties had more or less written off Civil Rights. No one with a chance of winning in 1912 would’ve helped the cause.

Roosevelt spent pretty much the entire period 1914-1916 advocating a more agressive stance against Germany. He was far more bellicose then Wilson, and almost certainly would’ve sought a war declaration after the Lusitania instead of continuing to give the Germans an out, as Wilson did.

Foreign policy aside, there wasn’t actually much daylight between Wilson and TR. I think I’d be pretty happy voting for either.