Every Denial is an Admission

In Woodrow Wilson’s book, The New Freedom, he starts many a paragraph by saying “I am not suggesting…” and “I do not mean…” then goes on to say something very diplomatically that is a denial of something that might actually be happening. For example, he says in Chapter 8, Monopoly or Opportunity “I am not to suppose…there is a deliberate and malevolent combination somewhere to dominate the government of the United States.” But yet, that is exactly what he seems to be inferring. Have you ever heard the saying “In every denial, there’s an admission?” See if you can see the admission in the following:

“I am not even now suggesting corrupt influence. That is not my point. Corruption is a very difficult thing to manage in its literal sense. The payment of money is very easily detected, and men of this kind who control these interests by secret arrangement would not consent to receive a dollar in money. They are following their own principles,—that is to say, the principles which they think and act upon,—and they think that they are perfectly honorable and incorruptible men; but they believe one thing that I do not believe and that it is evident the people of the country do not believe: they believe that the prosperity of the country depends upon the arrangements which certain party leaders make with certain business leaders. They believe that, but the proposition has merely to be stated to the jury to be rejected. The prosperity of this country depends upon the interests of all of us and cannot be brought about by arrangement between any groups of persons. Take any question you like out to the country,—let it be threshed out in public debate,—and you will have made these methods impossible.

“I wonder whether these men who are controlling the government of the United States realize how they are creating every year a thickening atmosphere of suspicion, in which presently they will find that business cannot breathe?

“So I take it to be a necessity of the hour to open up all the processes of politics and of public business,—open them wide to public view; to make them accessible to every force that moves, every opinion that prevails in the thought of the people; to give society command of its own economic life again, not by revolutionary measures, but by a steady application of the principle that the people have a right to look into such matters and to control them; to cut all privileges and patronage and private advantage and secret enjoyment out of legislation.

“Wherever any public business is transacted, wherever plans affecting the public are laid, or enterprises touching the public welfare, comfort, or convenience go forward, wherever political programs are formulated, or candidates agreed on,—over that place a voice must speak, with the divine prerogative of a people’s will, the words: ‘Let there be light!’”

Wilson, Woodrow. “Chapter 6/Let There Be Light.” The New Freedom; a Call for the Emancipation of the Generous Energies of a People. New York and Garden City: Doubleday, Page, 1913. 128-35. Print.

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