Woodrow Wilson
Image from the Library of Congress.

How 20th-century Democratic presidents might fare in today’s ‘cancel culture’

Andrew Stiles of the Washington Free Beacon highlights an interesting aspect of today’s left-of-center political standards.

Unfortunately for Democratic leaders who are not currently alive or holding office, the cancellation brigades are on the offensive. There’s a decent chance that by the time 2020 draws to a close, every single Democratic president who served in the 20th century will have been canceled, toppled, exiled, and erased.

Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)

Canceled… for his family’s support of slavery and the Confederacy, for identifying as a proud Southerner, for being a member of a fraternity, for coaching football, for attending law school at a university founded by slave-owning president Thomas Jefferson, for writing a poorly received biography of slave-owning president George Washington, for excluding black students from Princeton, for appointing segregationists to his cabinet and arguing that segregation removed “friction” between the races, for screening The Birth of a Nation at the White House, and for being a virulent racist in general.

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)

Canceled… for supporting Woodrow Wilson’s presidential campaign, for growing up in a wealthy family, for being related to Teddy Roosevelt, for fetishizing monogamy despite engaging in numerous extramarital affairs, for failing to win support for his court-packing legislation, for his association with Winston Churchill, for distrusting Joseph Stalin. …

… Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969)

Canceled… for serving in the military, for waging the Vietnam War, for supporting Israel, for being a racist who cynically exploited the civil rights movement for political gain, for frequently using the n-word, and for allowing the FBI to conduct wiretaps on Martin Luther King Jr., whom he once called a “hysterical preacher.”

Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)

Canceled… for being a devout Christian, for being from the South, for serving in the military, for imposing cruel boycotts and embargoes on the Soviet Union, for not hating Israel enough, for sanctioning Iran and attempting to rescue U.S. hostages in Tehran, and for having ancestors who owned slaves.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...