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his form of expression are as direct as his Mr. Taft complained of the seclusion desk is orderly. He no more clutters up of the White House, and no matter how his conversation with idle words than he frequently the President entertains and litters his desk with papers. He keeps to how numerous his visitors, from the day the subject in hand with as much fidelity he enters the White House he is no longer as he keeps his appointments. Mr. Roose- free to come and go or to mingle with men velt was often so interested in a visitor's as he did before. But despite these restricconversation that he forgot that other peo- tions, Presidents have not lived the hermit ple were waiting to see him. Mr. Taft life in Washington; they either renewed was notorious for being from thirty min- friendships made in the earlier days of utes to an hour or more behind his sched- their Washington service, as Harrison and
Mr. Wilson adheres to his schedule Cleveland and McKinley and Roosevelt as punctiliously as a train-despatcher. He and Taft did, or they formed new ones. listens or talks, as the occasion may de- Mr. Wilson came to Washington almost mand; but he remains master of his own a total stranger, knowing no
one intitime, and brings the interview to a close mat and it is doubtful if he has really on the tick of the clock. The man who made a friend in the year he has been in comes primed to tell a story in the hope office. With the exception of a call at of impressing the President with his the house of Mr. Tumulty, his secretary, "good-fellowship” goes away chilled; the one has yet to hear of his entering any priman to whom intellect appeals, who the vate house in Washington, or “dropping force of character impresses, and a clear- in” on friends for a chat and a cup of tea, cut decision is a delight, goes away warmed as did his predecessors. He has accepted by the intellectual magnetism that has no invitations outside of the immediate radiated from the President. Hence two cabinet circle. Sordid as politics often opinions so contradictory, the general be- are, warm and lasting friendships are frelief in Mr. Wilson's coldness, and the feel- quently made between politicians; for ing confined to a few that he is magnetic. common interests and a natural liking
It is doubtful whether any man with a bring men together, and each finds the serious purpose has ever been helped by best in the other. Although Washington popularity or hindered because he was is a selfish and artificial place, it has andeemed unpopular. Contemporary public other and more generous side. opinion, a thing usually wrong and seldom Mr. Wilson cares little for society, for enduring, can neither add an iota to a which one cannot blame him. His society man's moral or intellectual stature nor is in his home, his wife, and his daughters. subtract from it. Yet valueless as popu- Large dinners and rich food, much chatlarity is, scornful as a man may be who tering small talk when nothing is said cares nothing for the verdict of the mo- worth remembering, fuss and feathers and ment and looks to the future to do him show, do not attract him, perhaps because justice, it must be conceded that it is an he has known little of that exotic life. asset no sensible man will reject and not Plain living and high thinking make their every man may possess. In the larger appeal. He finds his relaxation at the thesense Mr. Wilson has not yet succeeded ater in the company of Mrs. Wilson and in making himself popular in Washington, his daughters, or in a book. He golfs not nor has he infused the imagination of the avidly, but as a penance imposed by his country. Democrat though he is by hered- physician. By preference he goes to bed ity, environment, and conviction, he is an early, sleeps eight or nine hours, and gets intellectual aristocrat, to whom know- up early. He has none of that catholicity ledge is the one thing to excite reverence. of taste and interest that Queen Victoria A nature cast in this mold is apt to have had, who delighted hearing from their little pliability; it breaks seldom and bends own lips the reports of statesmen, soldiers, never. Mr. Wilson has little tolerance travelers, or any one who had done somefor the superficial. “He could not or thing out of the usual. would not suffer fools gladly.” Hence he Rather he is of the type of the late Lord listens not willingly to the ordinary per- Salisbury, who was noted for his belief son, rates men by his own standard, and that when a man had something important makes few friends.
to communicate, he could do it much bet
ter in writing than orally. And yet a seri- to criticize a half-finished portrait. But ous man, as the President is, need not nec- while nothing shall be said as to what the essarily be a melancholy man, to whom life future may bring in regard to Mexico, ceris as unjoyous as it was to the Puritan, tain things arising out of the Mexican crushed under the immensities of the revolution can properly be said as contribweight of existence and always struggling uting to a better understanding of Mr. to repress the desire to live gladly. Mr. Wilson's aims and purposes. Wilson finds his enjoyment in the way he Mr. Wilson has formulated a broad would; he has humor, and he can laugh. policy touching the relations of the United No man needs to be pitied so long as he States with Latin America, and of Cenhas not forgotten how to laugh.
tral America more especially as being peIt would be better for Mr. Wilson per- culiarly the victim of its own unhappy sonally, and it would make his leadership political system. In brief, it is that the easier, if he were able to cultivate the art United States has been morally responsible of companionship and remembered that for Latin American revolutions and dislife is reciprocity. A man of warm and order, first by the encouragement citizens generous impulses, he suffers as Cleveland of the United States have given to Central and Harrison did under the imputation of Americans by providing them with money coldness and indifference; he is accused of and munitions to raise a revolution, lookbeing as unmindful of obligation as was ing for their return in valuable conceshis immediate predecessor; for Mr. Taft, sions and other profitable favors; and despite his good nature and large heart, again in the laissez-faire policy of the was often curiously careless of acknow- United States in recognizing de-facto govledging service. It is easy for a President ernments without ascertaining how these to show appreciation, and even the man governments came into existence. Mr. inspired by the highest motives, unsel- Wilson is resolved not to recognize every fishly working for the public good rather adventurer who may set up a so-called than for his personal advantage, likes to government. He reverses the traditional know that his efforts are appreciated. American policy of more than half a cen
As President Mr. Wilson has done in tury, that the United States could not go his first year two things, and has done or behind the returns, and when a man called not done or has still to do, according to himself president and appeared to be in the point of view, one thing. Accomplish- possession of the government, that was ment is written in the two great legislative sufficient for the United States to accord acts of the special session, the tariff and the him recognition. That policy has done currency. Still inchoate is Mexico. incalculable harm. It has been a direct
Exactly as there are two views held as incitement to revolution. There was no to the President's personality, so there are profit in being the President of a Latin two views as to the President's Mexican American state unless the world accepted policy. He is commended for what he the title as valid, and Europe followed the has done; he has been vigorously attacked lead of the United States. Mr. Wilson not only for what he has done, but even purposes not to accept a revolution as the more for what he has failed to do. Both certificate of the electoral college. He schools, however much they may disagree purposes to do what President Pierce said on the main proposition, are united as to could not be done. He purposes to go beits consequences. Supporters and oppo- hind the returns if necessary, to ascertain nents concur that Mr. Wilson's Mexican whether the president is in fact as well as policy will either make or break him. If in law president, or whether he has by it is successful, his position will be un- force, cunning, and perhaps murder seized assailable; if it is a failure, it will destroy power. him.
Whether this is a practical policy or I shall not discuss Mr. Wilson's Mexi- idealism run mad it would be foreign to can policy, for it would be absurd and im- the purpose of this article to discuss; nor pertinent to attempt to pass judgment would its discussion be of much imporwithout a knowledge of all the facts, and tance. Time and the course of events will that no one has; it would be as unjust to render the answer; but it is proper to the President as it would to an artist note that Mr. Wilson has saved the coun
try from war; and while every one vehe- Doctrine; but at least it would have made mently asserts that the whole of Mexico Mr. Wilson's task easier. He not only is n't worth the life of a single American refused to listen to the suggestion, but soldier, many of these same people in the without offending European sensibilities same breath condemn Mr. Wilson for hav- he made it known that the United States ing no policy. Any time in the last year would not consent to European interferit would have been easier to have brought ence in an American question, which Mexon war than it has been to avert it. ico is, and rather than the Monroe Doc
The Mexican complications have af- trine being relaxed, it would be strengthforded Mr. Wilson an opportunity to re- ened, if necessary. There is now no doubt affirm in a broad and emphatic manner in any European foreign office what Presithe Monroe Doctrine. As an English- dent Wilson's attitude is on the Monroe man, I am naturally not particularly Doctrine, and what his course would be enamoured of a doctrine which, no matter should any European power challenge it. how essential it was to the safety and Whether for good or evil, the Monroe well-being of the United States in the Doctrine exists as long as Woodrow Wilpast, is to-day, in my opinion, as injurious son remains in the White House. The to Latin America as it is unnecessary to rest of the world "allows” the United the United States, and detrimental to the States a free hand in dealing with Mexico progress of all the rest of the world; but because it has no alternative. that is a controversial subject not properly Mr. Wilson has been his own foreign belonging here. As an American, as Pres- minister, as he has been his own cabinet. ident of the United States, Mr. Wilson The Mexican policy is his policy. He canholds to the national polity, and permits not shift responsibility. He must accept no weakening of the Monroe Doctrine blame for whatever happens, and to him while in his keeping. In the early days will be accorded the credit if he brings of his Presidency, when relations with about peace without having forced his own Mexico began to assume a threatening as- country into war. He has put his impress pect, and some of the great European upon the state department, as he has upon powers were showing signs of nervousness all the other departments of the Governabout the safety of their subjects and their ment. He controls Congress. He domiinvestments in Mexico, suggestions were nates Washington. He is the most masthrown out that Mexico was an interna- terful figure American politics has known, tional, and not purely an American, ques- as determined as Jackson, but with the tion, and certain newspapers urged the persuasion and tact that were foreign to President to call a conference or in other Jackson's nature. He has done things. ways invite the coöperation of Europe. Among the men to whom the White That would not have been unpopular in House is a background there is no more some quarters, even although it might not interesting study, none with nature more unlikely have brought down on the Presi- perplexing, none whose future defies predent criticism for ignoring the Monroe diction. Time will deliver the verdict.