Contemporary American Presidents

Discussion 6: Contemporary American Presidents:

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

AMH 2020


4% of final grade

Due April 5, 11:59 pm

This is meant to be a sort of light or fun exercise as we wind down the semester.

For this discussion students will match a more modern American President to the following categories:

Good: identify an American President that you have an affinity for, and then explain what makes that President good.

Bad: identify an American President that you think performed poorly in his constitutional duties, and then explain what makes that President bad.

Ugly: identify an American President that you think brought shame to the executive office, and then explain what makes that Presidents behavior/policies ugly.

Students can only assess the following Presidents:

Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, or Clinton.

Students can focus on one President, or write about two or three, depending on their assessments. For instance, if you think Ford met all three categories, then explain why. Or if you think Nixon was good, but Bush I was both bad and ugly, explain why.

Three categories, up to three Presidents.


–Each assessment should be a paragraph long. 3 categories, 3 paragraphs long.

–Students will also respond to a classmates post. Your response to a classmates post should be about a paragraph long and of substance. Be cordial in your response to a classmates post. You only need to respond to one part of your classmates post.

–The entire exercise should be 4 paragraphs. The first paragraph should be an introduction.

–The discussion should be informed by the readings associated with module 8 on Contemporary American history and students need to base their assessments on actual historical information. Students must reference at least 2 resources from the course modules.


This discussion asks you to apply the concepts from the module’s readings to evaluate a recent U.S. President. This practice helps you to develop the skill of defending a position using logic and evidence. You have the opportunity here to practice applying, translating, and re-working what you have learned to function in unexpected ways.