Judge Andrew Napolitano really doesn’t like Woodrow Wilson.
Napolitano, a former Superior Court judge and the senior judicial analyst for Fox News, is out with a new book, “Theodore and Woodrow: How Two American Presidents Destroyed Constitutional Freedom.”
Asked whether there was anything about Wilson that he admired, Napolitano compared Wilson to the 20th century’s most notorious killer.
“He was awesome the way Hitler was,” Napolitano said.
“He succeeded in persuading vast numbers of people that they had consented to his destruction of their freedoms; and they believed him; and he destroyed the freedoms of many of them. He interpreted the First Amendment, which prohibits ‘Congress’ from infringing upon the freedom of speech, to permit the so-called Department of Justice to do the infringing.”
At this point, it is probably worth noting that whatever his faults, Wilson did not attempt the mass extermination of a particular people. It’s possible that some may see that as a significant difference between the two.
As for Theodore Roosevelt, whom many Americans idealize for his adventurous spirit, if not his progressive politics, Napolitano said he didn’t see much to admire about him either.
“He was a domineering thug who beat Irish immigrants with clubs for the crime of being drunk when he was Commissioner of police in New York City, who believed he was above the law, and who enjoyed killing people,” he said. “What is there to love about that?”
Well, at least Teddy avoided being compared to Hitler.
See The Daily Caller’s full interview with Napolitano below about his new book:
Why did you decide to write the book?
The roots of our big government ills today were planted in the Progressive Era.
How did Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, in your opinion, help destroy constitutional freedoms?
Both TR and Wilson did not believe that the Constitution meant what is says. They rejected the plain meaning, common understanding, and at the time of its creation universally-accepted premise that the federal government was one of limited powers. From Washington to McKinley (with the exception of the Civil War and Reconstruction), the federal government basically understood that it could only do what it was affirmatively authorized to do by the Constitution. The Progressives inverted that value and argued that the federal government could do whatever it chose to do unless that choice was affirmatively prohibited by the Constitution.
Do you think they sought to weaken the Constitution on purpose, or was it an unintended side effect of their policies?
Neither TR nor Wilson viewed the Constitution as the Supreme Law of the Land, even though they took an oath to uphold it, and it proclaims itself to be the Supreme Law of the Land. They were interested in the exercise of power and cared not for the long-term consequences of that exercise.
Is there anything you admire about Roosevelt? Putting aside his policies for a moment, he did seem like a pretty awesome guy, no?
He was a domineering thug who beat Irish immigrants with clubs for the crime of being drunk when he was Commissioner of police in New York City, who believed he was above the law, and who enjoyed killing people. What is there to love about that?
Same question about Wilson, without the part of him seeming like a pretty awesome guy. Is there anything you admire about him?
He was awesome the way Hitler was. He succeeded in persuading vast numbers of people that they had consented to his destruction of their freedoms; and they believed him; and he destroyed the freedoms of many of them. He interpreted the First Amendment which prohibits “Congress” from infringing upon the freedom of speech to permit the so-called Department of Justice to do the infringing.
In the ideal, what would be the extent of the government’s role? And do you think it is realistic to believe that our government will ever be scaled back to that point?
The only moral role for government is to protect freedom and property from force and fraud. All else that government does is theft or slavery because it violates natural rights. The individual is greater than the state because the individual has an immortal soul, and the state is a temporary organ that is based on force and lives by theft. It will take a sea-change in people’s thinking or a revolution for Western governments to abide the above.
Any plans for your next book?
Thanks for asking. I plan to publish a collection of my closing remarks from FreedomWatch–the ones that got under the skin of the Establishment.