The Great Presidential Crypto Debate with Polk, Nixon, Jackson, and Washington by@michael-brooks

The Great Presidential Crypto Debate with Polk, Nixon, Jackson, and Washington

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Michael Brooks

An award-winning entrepreneur, speaker, and author.

You must be wondering why I’ve gathered presidents from the past to reflect upon how they would react to the brave new world of cryptocurrency and the decentralization of money. And you’re probably also probably curious why I chose these particular four presidents to participate in this imaginary debate. Here’s why they were selected and what I’d think they’d have to say about crypto in this lively forum.

Criteria for participating in this debate:

  • Richard Nixon: He got rid of the gold standard for currency during a time of rapid inflation. It sounds a bit tricky, but he made that happen in 1971.
  • Andrew Jackson, 7th president: Jackson was a big proponent of states’ rights. He stood up for the common man and shut down the national bank during his tenure. He was called Old Hickory for his toughness.
  • James Polk, 11th president: Polk was a protégé of Andrew Jackson, who earned the nickname as Young Hickory because they were so much alike. He was often referred to as the first dark horse candidate because Polk was basically unknown outside political circles. He also reformed the banking system, favored states rights, and reduced tariffs. He was a take-charge guy—he set out goals for his administration and accomplished them all.
  • George Washington, 1st president: The other three presidents had many accomplishments but were also considered by some to be divisive during their time. It only seemed fair to round out the team with a very popular president. Plus, as you’ll read about later in this article, one expert describes why Washington would’ve been fascinated with blockchain technology.

Round One: Meet and Greet the Presidents

Moderator: Here’s a message to the panel. First, I’d like to tell you that we’ve gathered here in the year 2022. It’s way into the future for some of you. I’ve already given you a briefing on key happenings that have transpired since you all left office. As you can see, so many things have changed since your time – even Nixon’s.

For today’s discussion, we’ve selected a topic that spans generations and decades. We’re going to discuss changes in US currency and the emergence of cryptocurrency. This should be pretty lively since a few of you – Nixon, Polk, and Jackson were all lawyers at one time. Washington was a farmer and general and he gets special bonus points for being the US first president and presiding over the first convention that drafted the US constitution.

Nixon: Just before we get started, I’d like to add something to the discussion.

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Moderator: Okay, Mr. President, go ahead.

Nixon: No matter what people might say, I am not a crook. My dog Checkers will vouch for me.

Jackson: So maybe you’re not a crook but I haven’t seen your face on a U.S. bill. George is everywhere on coins and a $1 bill. I’m on the popular $20 and was on some big banknotes back in the day. James, you should’ve been on a bill, too, but at least you were on the presidential gold dollar in 2009. Instead, Ben Franklin gets all the attention now by appearing on a $100 bill.

Washington: And no matter what anyone says, I wasn’t wearing a wig when they captured my image. That was all my own hair.

image

Moderator: Well, soon that might not even matter because today we’re going to focus on why a new form of currency – crypto – offers more flexibility than the bills that you’re used to and can ultimately possibly replace the old paper money system that’s centralized. We’ll discuss why crypto offers more freedom to people because they aren’t beholden to just one single issuer of currency. Some states could even issue their own currency backed by assets, such as land.

Polk: I like that concept! It sounds like crypto is our new Manifest Destiny, so to speak. I supported my friend Andrew’s plan to dismantle the bank of the United States and replace it with a decentralized banking system. That helps give the states more independence. Don’t forget, I created an independent treasury back in 1846. Freedom. Independence. It works for me.

image

Washington: Hmm…I heard about that place in Massachusetts where they use their own local currency called BerkShares to buy goods and services in a community. It helps to build a sense of local identity. I discovered another place where people use wood chips to buy products. What will they think of next? In my day, wooden chips were used to replace teeth. I would have given anything to have had porcelain crowns.

Moderator: Did you know you all may have unknowingly helped to pave the way for the big cryptocurrency movement we’re seeing today? As I mentioned to you earlier during our briefing before this debate, cryptocurrencies are digital assets that rely on code to manage and issue transactions. I discussed how blockchain technology works and how it leverages computers for tracking transactions. And there’s no middleman involved. It’s becoming increasingly popular because it doesn’t rely on a centralized issuing authority.

image

Jackson: That’s music to my ears! When I shut down the country’s national bank in 1883, the Second Bank of the US, I redistributed the money to the state banks. That gave the public more options. It bothered me that the national bank had so much political and economic power and lack of oversight at the time. And I must have done something right because I got rid of the national debt! I’m the only president to do that.

Nixon: It’s my turn to talk. Basically, if I didn’t get rid of tying the US dollars to gold, you might not even have crypto. Well, that was a bold move on my part, and I’ll take credit for it. I did that to curb inflation and to stop foreign nations from overburdening our system when they redeemed their dollars for gold. In 1971, it was $35 an ounce – now it’s about $2,000. At the time, there were more foreign-held US dollars and not enough gold left. Instead of being backed by gold coins, the bills were backed by the faith and trust of our government. They trusted me. They really trusted me. I repeat. I am not a crook!

Moderator: That’s great, but not everyone wants to be beholden to one issuer of currency. So having the option of crypto gives them another alternative to the dollar bill. In fact, according to an article in the Guardian, “The creation of the euro, the hollowing out of US manufacturing, the arrival of cryptocurrencies and the ability of central banks to print seemingly unlimited quantities of money can all be traced back to August 1971.” That was all due to your efforts, Mr. Nixon.

Nixon: Wow! Crypto is becoming so popular. I hope that people remember me for my role in making that happen instead of thinking about Watergate.

Moderator: According to an article in crowdfundinsider.com,  Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) Senior Fellow John Berlau says that George Washington would have likely had a fondness for cryptocurrency. “Washington, as a fellow who kept detailed ledgers and used invisible ink, would [have been] fascinated by the encrypted ledgers at the core of cryptocurrency and its associated blockchain technology, both of which promise new levels of privacy and efficiency in transactions.”

Washington: That sounds right to me. Invisible ink was like encryption in my day. I like the concept of those properties in cryptocurrency—encryption, ledgers, and privately-issued currencies. I was ahead of my time and I’m proud of it. After all, I am known as the Father of Our Country.


Welcome to the Decentralized Internet Contest!

You must be wondering why I’ve gathered presidents from the past to reflect upon how they would react to the brave new world of cryptocurrency and the decentralization of money. And you’re probably also probably curious why I chose these particular four presidents to participate in this imaginary debate. Here’s why they were selected and what I’d think they’d have to say about crypto in this lively forum.

Criteria for participating in this debate:

  • Richard Nixon: He got rid of the gold standard for currency during a time of rapid inflation. It sounds a bit tricky, but he made that happen in 1971.
  • Andrew Jackson, 7th president: Jackson was a big proponent of states’ rights. He stood up for the common man and shut down the national bank during his tenure. He was called Old Hickory for his toughness.
  • James Polk, 11th president: Polk was a protégé of Andrew Jackson, who earned the nickname as Young Hickory because they were so much alike. He was often referred to as the first dark horse candidate because Polk was basically unknown outside political circles. He also reformed the banking system, favored states rights, and reduced tariffs. He was a take-charge guy—he set out goals for his administration and accomplished them all.
  • George Washington, 1st president: The other three presidents had many accomplishments but were also considered by some to be divisive during their time. It only seemed fair to round out the team with a very popular president. Plus, as you’ll read about later in this article, one expert describes why Washington would’ve been fascinated with blockchain technology.

Round One: Meet and Greet the Presidents

Moderator: Here’s a message to the panel. First, I’d like to tell you that we’ve gathered here in the year 2022. It’s way into the future for some of you. I’ve already given you a briefing on key happenings that have transpired since you all left office. As you can see, so many things have changed since your time – even Nixon’s.

For today’s discussion, we’ve selected a topic that spans generations and decades. We’re going to discuss changes in US currency and the emergence of cryptocurrency. This should be pretty lively since a few of you – Nixon, Polk, and Jackson were all lawyers at one time. Washington was a farmer and general and he gets special bonus points for being the US first president and presiding over the first convention that drafted the US constitution.

Nixon: Just before we get started, I’d like to add something to the discussion.

image

Moderator: Okay, Mr. President, go ahead.

Nixon: No matter what people might say, I am not a crook. My dog Checkers will vouch for me.

Jackson: So maybe you’re not a crook but I haven’t seen your face on a U.S. bill. George is everywhere on coins and a $1 bill. I’m on the popular $20 and was on some big banknotes back in the day. James, you should’ve been on a bill, too, but at least you were on the presidential gold dollar in 2009. Instead, Ben Franklin gets all the attention now by appearing on a $100 bill.

Washington: And no matter what anyone says, I wasn’t wearing a wig when they captured my image. That was all my own hair.

image

Moderator: Well, soon that might not even matter because today we’re going to focus on why a new form of currency – crypto – offers more flexibility than the bills that you’re used to and can ultimately possibly replace the old paper money system that’s centralized. We’ll discuss why crypto offers more freedom to people because they aren’t beholden to just one single issuer of currency. Some states could even issue their own currency backed by assets, such as land.

Polk: I like that concept! It sounds like crypto is our new Manifest Destiny, so to speak. I supported my friend Andrew’s plan to dismantle the bank of the United States and replace it with a decentralized banking system. That helps give the states more independence. Don’t forget, I created an independent treasury back in 1846. Freedom. Independence. It works for me.

image

Washington: Hmm…I heard about that place in Massachusetts where they use their own local currency called BerkShares to buy goods and services in a community. It helps to build a sense of local identity. I discovered another place where people use wood chips to buy products. What will they think of next? In my day, wooden chips were used to replace teeth. I would have given anything to have had porcelain crowns.

Moderator: Did you know you all may have unknowingly helped to pave the way for the big cryptocurrency movement we’re seeing today? As I mentioned to you earlier during our briefing before this debate, cryptocurrencies are digital assets that rely on code to manage and issue transactions. I discussed how blockchain technology works and how it leverages computers for tracking transactions. And there’s no middleman involved. It’s becoming increasingly popular because it doesn’t rely on a centralized issuing authority.

image

Jackson: That’s music to my ears! When I shut down the country’s national bank in 1883, the Second Bank of the US, I redistributed the money to the state banks. That gave the public more options. It bothered me that the national bank had so much political and economic power and lack of oversight at the time. And I must have done something right because I got rid of the national debt! I’m the only president to do that.

Nixon: It’s my turn to talk. Basically, if I didn’t get rid of tying the US dollars to gold, you might not even have crypto. Well, that was a bold move on my part, and I’ll take credit for it. I did that to curb inflation and to stop foreign nations from overburdening our system when they redeemed their dollars for gold. In 1971, it was $35 an ounce – now it’s about $2,000. At the time, there were more foreign-held US dollars and not enough gold left. Instead of being backed by gold coins, the bills were backed by the faith and trust of our government. They trusted me. They really trusted me. I repeat. I am not a crook!

Moderator: That’s great, but not everyone wants to be beholden to one issuer of currency. So having the option of crypto gives them another alternative to the dollar bill. In fact, according to an article in the Guardian, “The creation of the euro, the hollowing out of US manufacturing, the arrival of cryptocurrencies and the ability of central banks to print seemingly unlimited quantities of money can all be traced back to August 1971.” That was all due to your efforts, Mr. Nixon.

Nixon: Wow! Crypto is becoming so popular. I hope that people remember me for my role in making that happen instead of thinking about Watergate.

Moderator: According to an article in crowdfundinsider.com,  Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) Senior Fellow John Berlau says that George Washington would have likely had a fondness for cryptocurrency. “Washington, as a fellow who kept detailed ledgers and used invisible ink, would [have been] fascinated by the encrypted ledgers at the core of cryptocurrency and its associated blockchain technology, both of which promise new levels of privacy and efficiency in transactions.”

Washington: That sounds right to me. Invisible ink was like encryption in my day. I like the concept of those properties in cryptocurrency—encryption, ledgers, and privately-issued currencies. I was ahead of my time and I’m proud of it. After all, I am known as the Father of Our Country.

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