People Rule - WE DON'T APPROVE!

WE DON'T APPROVE! (Illustration) American Presidents Censorship Civil Rights Government History Law and Politics Social Studies American History

Edward Sorel skewers Spiro Agnew in a parody of a World War I poster, published in Harper’s, during1973. The image is maintained at the Library of Congress, courtesy of Edward Sorel.


When Spiro Agnew was Richard Nixon's vice president, people throughout the country were upset with him. Questioning Agnew's financial dealings, Harper's (in 1973) published a parody of Agnew in a World War I poster. Not long after, Agnew was forced to resign.

As Grover Cleveland left office, in 1888, the government had a huge budget surplus. Near the end of Benjamin Harrison's first term, Cleveland's successor had spent it all. The people didn't approve, and Harrison did not get a second term.

Becoming President in 1913, Woodrow Wilson did not like the political situation in (or the President of) Mexico. Drawing attention to those concerns - in his 1913 State of the Union Address - Wilson said:

We are the friends of constitutional government in America; we are more than its friends, we are its champions...As friends, therefore, we shall prefer those who act in the interest of peace and honor, who protect private rights and respect the restraints of constitutional provision.

Many Americans thought Wilson was out-of-line when he intimated the President of Mexico had to go. Verbalizing the people's concerns, a Republican journalist (George Harvey) observed:

What legal or moral right has a President of the United States to say who shall or shall not be President of Mexico?

After World War I, Woodrow Wilson tried to turn his idea for a League of Nations into American law. Even though it was his brain-child, and many other countries agreed with the concept, Wilson could never persuade the U.S. Senate to pass the bill.

, of course, Congress approved membership in the United Nations, but in the early years the public, as well as the Senate, were strongly against the League.

In America, the U.S. Constitution requires that the people are "the boss." That fact would have posed difficulties had the League of Nations actually materialized. How could it enforce unpopular decisions on a disagreeing American public? (Indeed, the same situation exists today with respect to the United Nations and its various resolutions.)

Sometimes the people are wrong - no matter how deeply held their feelings or how loud their collective voices. When Lincoln freed the slaves, some folks didn't think much of the president or his Emancipation Proclamation.

Despite what people thought, however, Lincoln did what he thought was right ... and paid the price with his life.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Sep 01, 2004

Updated Last Revision: Feb 07, 2017

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"WE DON'T APPROVE!" AwesomeStories.com. Sep 01, 2004. Feb 25, 2020.
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