we shouldn't be flip about the shortcomings of progressivism in the twentieth century. woodrow wilson had a vision in the league of nations, but he was also an avowed racist. teddy roosevelt broke up the big combines and monopolies, but he also led an imperialist war that had lasting effects for nearly a century. these aren't just character flaws, either. this understanding of the world as something that needed to be "saved," "civilized," "pacified," etc. was a defining element of progressivism, from william jennings bryan on up to john f. kennedy.