Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Gerald Ford, 1913-2006

The 38th President of the United States has died. He was 93.

Appointed, not elected, to the Vice-Presidency he would ascend to the Oval Office in the wake of Watergate. Most controversially, he pardoned President Nixon, a move that probably cost him election proper.

It is no secret that I am a hard-core leftist, liberal being not strong enough a word to describe me. Nevertheless, I have always held Gerald Ford in high esteem. When called upon to serve- in war, in Congress, in the White House- he did so with honor and diligence. He led the country through dark times, probably knowing that he had inherited a no-win situation, and yet did so without complaint.

In his later years, he would decry the bitter partisanship that has come to define our politics. It would seem that the lesser women and men stalking the halls of Congress these days take a perverse glee in backstabbing and rancorous discord, never so much as taking a social lunch with a member from the opposing party. This was not always the case- Ford was elected to Congress the same year that a young Jack Kennedy was first elected. They became fast friends, leaving the politics to the floor of the House, understanding that policy differences need not be personal differences.

This country could use another man like him.


panthergirl said...

Great post. Bob Schieffer also said that Ford was the most genuinely NICE politician that he ever had the pleasure to meet (funny, because I would have thought that Jimmy Carter would have been the one).

And hey.. .anyone who describes himself the way you do, politically, is a friend of mine. ;)gneixct