Readers write about American progressivism, tension in Pakistan, and The Beatles' music in space.
Are modern progressives comparable to Wilson?
Regarding Jonah Goldberg's Feb. 5 Opinion piece, "You want a more 'progressive' America? Careful what you wish for": Mr. Goldberg has been promoting his book extensively in the media with shallow and unidimensional essays glibly explaining the history of "liberal fascism."
Woodrow Wilson was, indeed, a president who did many terrible things and held many terrible opinions about race, liberty, and democracy. However, arguing that Barack Obama is of the same ilk as Wilson because Mr. Obama "champions unity," or that Hillary Rodham Clinton is so because she believes United States politics should go "beyond ideology," is a specious and hollow argument.
Those who consider themselves in the best tradition of American progressives are far more likely to see themselves in the tradition of Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt and the La Follettes than that of Wilson, whose racist Southern heritage, authoritarian militarism, and rabid antisocialism make him a poor role model for any US politician.
In response to Mr. Goldberg's recent Opinion piece on progressives: It occurred to me that the leading progressive in the United States must be, by Goldberg's definition, George W. Bush.
President Bush certainly subscribes to John Dewey's theory on the "social possibilities of war," possibilities that include Frederick Lewis Allen's dream of Americans marching in step. And we may not have a George Creel or a Committee on Public Information, but who needs a committee when the president and the vice president themselves are so willing to spout inflammatory – and false – rhetoric?