The Instigator
PatriotPerson
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Sheldor
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Richard Nixon was a good President.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/26/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,202 times Debate No: 29589
Debate Rounds (4)
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PatriotPerson

Pro

I believe that the 37th President Richard Nixon was a reasonably good President aside from the Watergate scandal.
Sheldor

Con

Before we begin this debate, I would like to define the parameters of "good president", as the instigator has neglected to do so. Using the dictionary, I have defined the previous term as "The elected head of a nation having or possessing moral value. So, Nixon was not a good president for the following reasons:

During the grueling war for our soldiers in Vietnam, Nixon didn't take any decisive action. There was no powerful military push to win the war, nor a quick and efficient retreat. He allowed the war in Vietnam to go on without doing anything, squandering thousands of lives in Vietnam before he finally decided to pull out the fighters from the foreign land.

Also, Nixon cut Nasa's budget, making the shuttle program effectively useless when it came into play. Before the reduction, Nasa had planned to implement space stations and shuttles to send astronauts to the stations. However, Nixon simply thought that after the moon, there was no need to follow up in the space race.

Finally, although my opponent states that "I believe that the 37th President Richard Nixon was a reasonably good President aside from the Watergate scandal.", the Watergate scandal was indeed a clearly criminal and amoral act. One cannot simply dismiss one of the hugest scandals in American History with a simple "despite". He and his administration were caught illegally spying on the opposing party. Even when faced with the evidence, he denied it continually. Even though more and more evidence was being accumulated, he still refused to resign until the threat of impeachment was above his head. He was one of the few presidents that ever had to retire in disgrace, and clearly not "a good president".

I look forward to a fun (and first) debate!
Debate Round No. 1
PatriotPerson

Pro

We've given Bill Clinton "despites". We've given Hoover, Johnson, Buchanan, Athur, Taft, Wilson "despites", and on many occasions with others we've given Nixon many a "despite." So why does that matter? Every man has his faults. yes, Watergate was big, but he knew he did wrong and resigned so he didn't have to be hated for his country through coming impeachment. Let's look at some reasons why Nixon was a favorable (since you disliked "good") President of the United States.
-Started the Environmental Protection Agency.
-Negotiated SALT.
-Started trade with China
-Got us out of Vietnam
-Almost won us the war
-Controlled rising prices
-Flexible for proposals on health care
-Flexible for proposals on welfare reform
-Pushed for the Government to have a higher role
-Promoted lessening of tensions for the Soviet Union
-Did not let the economy suffer
-Very helpful to the environment
-Controlled air pollution
-Protected marine animals
-Made bodies of water cleaner and healthier
-Protected endangered adnimals
-Passed OSHA
-Gave poor people better jobs
-Launched the war on cancer
-Largely responsible for the Equal Rights Amendment
-Began the process to end the Cold War
-Sought peace between Israel and its enemies.
That's all I have for now, but I will most likely discover more
-PatriotPerson
Sheldor

Con

I'd like to point out that giving other presidents "despites" was because although that they may have done rash or amoral actions, they were not against the law. The point is moot. Nixon DID break the law, and only so that he could attempt to win the next election. He was guilty of bribery, wire-tapping, lying (With his famous "I am not a crook" speech), obstruction of justice, breaking and entering, and many other charges. The only reason he resigned was because of the threat of the mounting evidence, looming trial, court conviction, and finally, the sure to come impeachment.

Now with the rebuttal to the long list of positives:

Getting us out of the Vietnam War: This was one of the biggest foreign policy events of his presidency. The interesting thing is, after Lyndon B. Johnson first chose to condone, and later approve of the war, who was destroyed by it later, Nixon decided to do the same thing. He told voters, "We will end this war and make peace." However, he did not get the soldiers out of Vietnam. He instead decided to continue to fight the war, against public opinion. The secret bombings and wartime lies had it's toll on America. By the time he decided to pull soldiers out, another 15,000 were dead, with more then half a million Vietnamese dead as well. He did not "almost win us the war". And the prolonged years of conflict did not help settlements in Vietnam at all.

Controlled rising prices: It was later proved and discredited by economists, as the price control turned out to be an utter failure. "Inflation pressed ahead (at 6.6 percent over the period). And when the controls came off, inflation surged still more." In the short term, it helped, but over the four phase period, it became worse and worse, and in the end, failed.

Pushing for government to have a higher role: This may or may not be a good thing (there has been an ongoing debate on this).

As for equality, he approved affirmative action, which led to allowing jobs to be given based off skin color. However, this allowed unskilled workers to take advantage of this, and simply created more resentment between races.

Nixon was not "largely responsible for the equal rights amendment", but he did approve it.

As for the large list of organizations he started, he was attempting to do good, but the total spending that is required to sustain them per year is over half a trillion dollars a year. Irresponsible spending.

Also, the fact that he lied, cheated, and was dishonest to the American people created mistrust between the government and the people, that reverberates up until now.

Overall, there were a lot of positives that I failed to address, as they were, in short, positives of his legacy. However, the cons (NASA budget cuts, failure and indecision in Vietnam, Watergate, criminal activity, failure to curb inflation, affirmative action, causing mistrust and making the American people less trusting of their government, spending ridiculous amounts of money) of his legacy far out shadow his pros.
Debate Round No. 2
PatriotPerson

Pro

Nixon was just accused of doing all those things, and pardoned by Gerald Ford. Are we sure that he was a crook? Most of us are. But that doesn't mean he was.

Secondly, Mr. Nixon was very persistent in politics and had high hopes. He waited for eight years, anxious to be President, as Eisenhower's vice. He then ran against JFK, and lost, having to endure an additional 3 years, adding up to 11 years. After JFK's assassination, he had to wait 6 more years for Johnson to leave the office and have himself be inaugurated. So, in total, he waited for nearly 17 years to become president plus the many years of his earlier life. And in those 16/17 years, he built up the country's hope so they knew how they needed him. "More than ever, they needed Nixon now." (If you get that reference, haha).
Sheldor

Con

"Nixon was just accused of doing all those things, and pardoned by Gerald Ford. Are we sure that he was a crook? Most of us are. But that doesn't mean he was."
It was very, very obvious that he was guilty. All the proof pointed to this. He was pardoned simply to avoid the hassle of an extensive and not worthwhile court case. Also, the judge believed that Nixon had been punished enough by the resignation and the fall to his pride.

"Secondly, Mr. Nixon was very persistent in politics and had high hopes. He waited for eight years, anxious to be President, as Eisenhower's vice. He then ran against JFK, and lost, having to endure an additional 3 years, adding up to 11 years. After JFK's assassination, he had to wait 6 more years for Johnson to leave the office and have himself be inaugurated. So, in total, he waited for nearly 17 years to become president plus the many years of his earlier life. And in those 16/17 years, he built up the country's hope so they knew how they needed him.

First of all, just because you keep doing something doesn't mean you are a good person. It simply meant that you are persistent.Also you bring up the point that he made the country's hope to know how they needed him. If this is truly the case, would it not be more despicable how he betrayed and lied to the people of america that "More than ever, they needed Nixon now."

You also fail to address my various points on his cons.
Debate Round No. 3
PatriotPerson

Pro

PatriotPerson forfeited this round.
Sheldor

Con

As my opponent has forfeited and failed to address my points, I believe I have won this debate.
Debate Round No. 4
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