Richard Nixon was the Best President of the United States
All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.
With 5 votes and 8 points ahead, the winner is ...
- Publication date
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- One week
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- Open voting
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- One month
- Point system
- Four points
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- Characters per argument
I will argue that Nixon was the best president of the US. My opponent must pick a president that they believe was better for this debate. Events leading to their presidency(ie. previous political career, humanitarian work, etc.) may be used as points and are encouraged if context is needed. Attacks against character are allowed, but should be kept to just 2-3 points. This is mainly based on policy.
Round 1: Opponent and I state our president and the main 3-5 points we will emphasize in the debate.
Round 2: We will argue the aforementioned main strengths of our president.
Round 3: We will discuss the negative points of our opponent's president.
Round 4: We rebut the negative points and iterate the main strengths of the president.
- Better: of a more excellent or effective type or quality.
- Best: of the most excellent, effective, or desirable type or quality.
- Moral character
- Economic policy
- Foreign policy
- Environmental policy
- Turned the US into a superpower
To conclude, Richard Nixon was crucial to the furthering civil rights for both minorities and women. He also saved his party through his tireless work and evinced a strong loyal character. Nixon can be thanked for the preservation of our environment and saving the lives of many endangered species. He also took America off of the gold standard, which allows us to effectively alter the money supply to combat recessions. Finally, Nixon’s deft foreign policy initiatives ended the Vietnam War, helped end the Cold War, and gained us many trading allies that have been boons to our economy and military.
I. Moral Character
The most important test for leadership is a moral character and a willingness to lead. FDR exemplified this vital trait more than most Presidents. First to consider is his education. He went to Groton School in 1904, Columbia Law School from 1904-1907, Harvard College, Harvard University, and Columbia University and excelled in his academics . Second, FDR was self-confident and had the ability to disagree strongly with his advisors. Most importantly, FDR was bound to a wheelchair due to Polio, but he never let that stop him . Finally, we must consider his fireside chats. Without a doubt, FDR had the hardest presidency in US history. He had to deal with the great depression and the start of WWII. From 1933-1944, FDR gave a series of 30 fireside chats that instilled confidence in the American public and calmed the nerves of the American people .
II. Economic Policy
When FDR was elected, the US was undergoing The Great Depression. When the economy crashed in 1929, half the banks failed, unemployment rose to 25%, international trade plummeted, among many other economic failures . In response, FDR proposed the New Deal that has had a profound economic impact that can be felt today.
A. Banking Holiday
“I can assure you that it is safer to keep your money in a reopened bank than under the mattress.” - Fireside Chat, March 12, 1933 .
FDR declared a bank holiday from March 6-March 13, 1933. The result was a resounding success. When the banks reopened, depositors stood in line to redeposit their cash. Within two weeks, Americans redeposited more than half the currency that it withdrawn .
B. Fair Labor Standards Act
“Do not let any calamity-howling executive with an income of $1,000 a day, ...tell you...that a wage of $11 a week is going to have a disastrous effect on all American industry.” – Fireside Chat .
The Fair Labor Standards Act is arguably the most important economic bill in US history. The act prohibited oppressive child labor, set a minimum wage, set overtime pay, and a 44-hour work week . Without this act, we would still be employing children in dangerous working conditions and pay workers far less than $7.25/hour.
There are a lot of other points I could go into, but I feel these two are enough for the purpose of this debate.
III. Foreign Policy
FDR had the most challenging foreign policy test in US history. When he was elected, America still felt the aftershock of WWI. Balancing an anti-war, American-first populist with Hitler rising in Europe is no easy task. When Pearl Harbor was attacked, FDR remained calm and vigilant. FDR’s brilliance helped to defeat the Nazis and the Japanese. Without US involvement, the Nazis would almost certainly have won.
IV. Environmental Policy
To make The Great Depression worse, the dust bowls created drought and crop failure. Unfortunately, the dust bowl was a self-inflicted wound caused by federal land policies, weather changes, and farming practices [9, 10]. In response to this, FDR created the soil erosion service, now called the National Resource Conservation Service. FDR also created the Prairie States Forestry Project not only stopped the dust storms but also changed the landscape of America for the better .
V. Turned the US into a superpower
At the conclusion of the great depression and WWII, America stood above all other nations and came out as the global As Sam Ellis et al. notes: “The United States was the only country to emerge from the war in strong economic and military shape, and thus was in a unique position to shape the terms of the peace. The result was a global financial system, called the Bretton Woods system, aimed at coordinating the global economy and preventing another Great Depression — and the United Nations, created to preserve the postwar peace.” 
To conclude, FDR had the hardest presidency in history, and he proved himself to be a strong leader who wasn’t afraid to act. Due to his courage, we were able to end the great depression, set up an economic policy that is still felt today, and helped us to win WWII. Not only that, but his policies single-handedly turned the US into a global superpower. The resolution is negated. FDR was a far superior president than Nixon.
5. Quoted here: https://www.federalreservehistory.org/essays/emergency_banking_act_of_1933
7. Quoted here: https://www.theprogressivesinfluence.com/2013/11/us-minimum-wage-time-to-increase-it.html