Thursday, June 03, 2004

My favorite president


This may come as a shock to most people, but Richard M. Nixon is my favorite American president. Despite his shortcomings, he was no more crooked than most of his predecessors and successors. He had some attitude problems - and recent documents indicate that he was sloppy drunk at some point during the Six-Day War. Nevertheless, he had intelligence, and his policy decisions continue to impact the world today.

Besides opening up relations between China and the U.S., Nixon embodied the element of randomness that made his outrageous threats so credible. As my international trade professor enjoyed pointing out, Nixon would occasionally act on one of his outrageous statements, and as a result was much better able to wrangle concessions out of foreign entities. For instance, Nixon threatened Hong Kong that the U.S. would support China's immediate regaining of control over it unless Hong Kong agreed with U.S. trade barriers on textiles and implemented a voluntary export restraint. Hong Kong was just worried enough that he would follow through with that threat that the export restraints were quickly implemented.

Nixon was an economic president, and since to me, economics determines the course of politics rather than vice-versa, I will continue to argue that Nixon was one of the best presidents the U.S. ever had, and will maintain despite great criticism from my peers and family that he is my favorite president of all time.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

of course, Nixon's muddling in October 1973, created the oil crisis, and screwed the economy. :(

11:44 PM  

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