Here's a taste of Sowell's critique of progressives Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson (both of whom were also supporters of the early eugenics movement to cleanse the race):
If this headstrong, busybody approach [to government] seems familiar because it is similar to what is happening today, that is because it is based on fundamentally the same vision, the same presumptions of superior wisdom, and the same kind of lofty rhetoric we hear today about “fairness.” Wilson even used the phrase “social justice.”
Woodrow Wilson also won a Nobel Prize for peace, like the current president — and it was just as undeserved. Wilson’s “war to end wars” in fact set the stage for an even bigger, bloodier and more devastating Second World War.But, then as now, those with noble-sounding rhetoric are seldom judged by what consequences actually follow.
The same presumptions of superior wisdom and virtue behind the interventionism of Progressive Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson in the domestic economy also led them to be interventionists in other countries.Theodore Roosevelt was so determined that the United States should intervene against Spain’s suppression of an uprising in Cuba that he quit his post as Assistant Secretary of the Navy to organize his own private military force — called “Rough Riders” — to fight in what became the Spanish-American war.
The spark that set off this war was an explosion that destroyed an American battleship anchored in Havana harbor. There was no proof that Spain had anything to do with it, and a study decades later suggested that the explosion originated inside the ship itself.
But Roosevelt and others were hot for intervention before the explosion, which simply gave them the excuse they needed to go to war against Spain, seizing Puerto Rico and the Philippines.Some things never change. Progressives (i.e., big government supporters), no matter what their party, look for excuses to expand the reach of the tyrannical central government. They stand for the antithesis of what Thomas Jefferson expounded, a weak central government controlled by sovereign states. Here's what Jefferson wrote to a foreign correspondent years after he served as our third president:
But the true barriers of our liberty in this country are our State governments; and wisest conservative power ever contrived by man, is that of which our Revolution and present government found us possessed. Seventeen distinct States, amaalgamated into one as to their foreign concerns, but single and independent as to their internal administration.Well, it's a long time since our "independent" states sold out for the federal dollar. We need to do what we can to strengthen their role and help them once again become "barriers of our liberty" protecting us from the draconian reach of Big Brother. If you're not involved in local politics, you need to be.