Richard Nixon and the 1959 “Kitchen Debate”

We usually remember Richard Nixon as the flawed 37th president, responsible for the notorious Watergate scandal. As a result, we often overlook his political successes. Despite his moral opaqueness, Nixon proved to be a shrewd and effective politician, adept in foreign policy, and able to captivate the American people. Going toe to toe with Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev on the merits of capitalism might not have been the hallmark of his political life, but it helped gain him notoriety. Nixon’s “Kitchen Debate” with Khrushchev on July 24, 1959 introduced the nation to his talent in foreign affairs and served as a stepping stone in his career.

Read More

Nikita Khrushchev’s Failed Corn Crusade: A Maize Love Affair

Nikita Khrushchev, the peasant-born Soviet leader who rose to succeed Stalin, is well known for instigating the Cuban Missile Crisis. People might not know, however, that he loved corn. His infatuation with corn forced the Soviet Union on an agricultural crusade that would disappoint him almost as much as the missile crisis humiliated him. Khrushchev, desperately needing to increase the Soviet food supply and facing competition with the United States, implemented reforms to elevate corn as the new crown jewel of the masses that would fulfill their demand for meat and dairy products. At the end of the day, his efforts showcased political ineptitude and short-sightedness more than they fostered progressive, beneficial change.

Read More

The Approaching Appointment of Brett Kavanaugh

As smoke clears from the fiery battleground that was the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, the Supreme Court nominee stands solid for appointment. After fending off intense questioning during the last two 13-hour-long days of the hearings, the image Kavanaugh’s supporters have presented of an experienced and erudite jurist prevailed over that of a far-right Trump puppet. In one of the most controversial and heated Supreme Court nomination processes that has ever occurred, Kavanaugh managed to dodge vilifying challenges and present himself as an independent judge, loyal to the Constitution, destined for the Court with the help of a Republican-controlled Senate.

Read More