Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Greatness of Gerald Ford

                    Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford (July 14, 1913 - December 26, 2006) is the only person to become President of the United States without first being elected by the Electoral College as either Vice President or President.  He was appointed to the office of Vice President under the terms of the 25th Amendment when Spiro Agnew resigned, and he became President on August 9, 1974, when Richard Nixon resigned.  Previous to those two positions he had represented Michigan's 5th Congressional District for 25 years and spent eight of those years as the Republican Minority Leader.

                    Due to the fact that North Vietnam defeated South Vietnam nine months after Ford took office, the involvement of the United States ended there.  Ford also signed the Helsinki Accords, which moved the Cold War toward détente.  The economy was weak during the Ford Administration, maybe the weakest economy since the Great Depression, and our nation had to deal with growing inflation and a recession during that time.

                    In a move to heal America from the effects of the corruption, which led to the resignation of Richard Nixon, Ford granted a presidential pardon to Nixon for his role in the Watergate scandal.  In the 1976 presidential election, Ford defeated Ronald Reagan for the Republican nomination by a narrow margin but lost the presidential election to Jimmy Carter.

                    I considered Gerald Ford to be a good President.  He had a reputation for his integrity and openness and was very popular during his twenty-five years in Congress.  There were no known disputes about his becoming Vice President, and Ford came into the office of President of the United States with the full support of its citizens.  He had a calm, friendly manner and an unquestioned reputation for honesty, which our nation greatly needed to restore our confidence in the office. 

About a month after his inauguration, Ford pardoned Nixon for all federal crimes that he might have committed as President - and lost many of his supporters.  Many Americans felt that Richard Nixon should be brought to trial for his part in the Watergate scandal; other Americans felt okay with the pardon if Nixon had admitted his part in the scandal.  The Watergate scandal stayed in the news for the entire Ford Administration; there was nothing that Ford could do to escape being "colored with the same brush" as Nixon.

I felt that Americans made a huge mistake by being so unforgiving to Ford.  We saddled ourselves with Jimmy Carter when we could have enjoyed a better life with Gerald Ford.  President Ford was dignified and treated his office with honor.  He loved our nation and wanted only what was best for us.  The was a greatness about the man that many people never recognized.

Ford remained active in the Republican Party after he left the White House.  He experienced health problems and died in his home on December 26, 2006, having lived longer than any other U.S. President.  He lived 93 years and 165 days.

Here are some quotes by President Gerald Ford that I consider to be very representative of the kind of man I saw while he served as President of the United States.

"My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over."

"An American tragedy in which we all have played a part."

"Our Constitution works.  Our great republic is a government of laws, not of men.  Here, the people rule."

"I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your President by your ballots, so I ask you to confirm me with your prayers."

"The political lesson of Watergate is this:  Never again must America allow an arrogant, elite guard of political adolescents to by-pass the regular party organization and dictate the terms of a national election."

"There are no adequate substitutes for father, mother, and children bound together in a loving commitment to nurture and protect.  No government, no matter how well-intentioned, can take the place of the family in the scheme of things."

"For millions of men and women, the church has been the hospital for the soul, the school for the mind and the safe depository for moral ideas."

"My commitment to the security and future of Israel is based upon basic morality as well as enlightened self-interest.  Our role in supporting Israel honors our own heritage."

"A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have."

"History and experience tell us that moral progress comes not in comfortable and complacent times, but out of trial and confusion."

"Even though this is late in an election year, there is no way we can go forward except together and no way anybody can win except by serving the people's urgent needs.  We cannot stand still or slip backwards.  We must go forward now together."

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