Thomas Sowell: The ‘Progressive’ Legacy ... In the Footsteps of TR and Wilson

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Barack Obama is the first black president of the United States, but his doctrine is by no means unique. He follows in the footsteps of other presidents with a similar vision, the vision at the heart of the Progressive movement that flourished 100 years ago.

Many of the trends, problems, and disasters of our time are a legacy of that era. We can only imagine how many future generations will be paying the price — and not just in money — for the bright ideas and clever rhetoric of our current administration.

The two giants of the Progressive era — Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson — clashed a century ago, in the three-way election of 1912. With the Republican vote split between William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt’s newly created Progressive party, Woodrow Wilson was elected president, so that the Democrats’ version of Progressivism became dominant for eight years...

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