This post makes a pretty convincing claim he wasn't.
I have a really hard time with the idea that the Federal Reserve was and is a bad idea, but when you make this much more nuanced point:
"In the long run the Fed may have been a good thing, but there can be no doubt that 1913 was premature, we didn’t know anywhere near enough about monetary policy to warrant a central bank meddling in the gold standard."
That's a pretty strong argument to make since one of the reasons we had the Great Depression was because the Fed made some really bad decisions, but we do know a lot more now.
"Wilson had arguably the most destructive foreign policy in American history. When there is a delicate balance of power in Europe you don’t want to meddle unless you plan to stay there permanently. Yes, I know Wilson did intend the US to hang around, but he should have known we were an isolationist country before he brought us into WWI. All he did was assure that the strongest country in Europe lost. When we pulled out (as was inevitable), a rematch was almost preordained. WWII was the fruit of Wilson’s foreign policy. (As were more than 116,000 dead American soldiers.)"
This argument falls right in line with my moderate pacifists leanings. There's no question that without WWI WWII would not have happened. And WWI was a senseless war. If we would have stayed out of it, Germany would have won? Then no WWII? Certainly, no Hitler. That's such a radical departure of how history did go, I really have a hard time wrapping my mind around it.
One quick diversion. If you analyze the wars in the last century, how could have America behaved differently to ensure a more peaceful prosperous 100 years:
Key decision 1: we stay out of WWI:
1) Germany wins and becomes the dominant power in Europe., who knows what happens then.
2) WWII - does not happen.
3) Vietnam and Korea are no longer divided, neither is most of Europe - no Korean or Vietnam wars.
4) The US, Soviet Union and Germany become the 3 world powers?
Key Decision 2: (We had to enter WWII to stop Hitler so I'm skipping that war), We turn back North Korea and instead of launching a counter-offensive deep into North Korea (which brings China into the war), we heavily enforce the border until North Korea excepts a truce.
This basically occurs within 3 months of North Korea's original invasion. That war would have literally ended in 3 months and would have saved countless lives.
Key Decision 3: We should have never gotten involved in Vietnam. We completely misunderstood the dynamics there. The South Vietnamese government was weak and did not have the support of its people. Organically, the North Vietnamese were bound to unify the country. The war tore our country apart in the process and launched our politics into a 30 year cultural war.
I'm skipping the Iraq War in 1990 because I think largely that was handled in precisely the right way (you can site specific mistakes).
Key Decision 4: We should have never launched a preemptive invasion into Iraq. The war has cost $3 trillion dolllars and thousands of American lives. We have lost considerable world power (both hard and soft) because of it. And it served as a painful distraction to the larger war on terror.
So, how should we keep from repeating these mistakes in the future? Use the lessons of the Book of Mormon as our guide. War in the book was only justified in times of self defense. If we would have applied that basic principal, we would have avoided a lot of pain and political fallout over the past 100 years and would have a much more prosperous and peaceful world as a result.
That was a massive diversion. But returning to the original point. Maybe Woodrow Wilson was one of the worst presidents in history. What are your thoughts?