Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Gerald Ford dies

When Gerald Ford became president, I was 14 years old. I was still in high school when he left the presidency. I wasn't involved in (or even caring about) politics at the time. I wasn't allowed to vote for or against him. So I really don't recall much about him.

I do recall the Mayaguez incident, a ship that supposedly was not a spy ship (wink, wink) that was taken be a group. I recalled that during Ford's presidency he sent troops in to rescue hostages. I recall it being successful. Recently, I had to research this incident for some other reasons (can't even recall why) and it looks like my memories weren't as good as I thought they were. The incident seems to have been not as much of a success as I thought. I may have to do more research.

Ford is most remembered for pardoning Richard Nixon. Contrary to his own admissions, Nixon was a crook. He was paranoid. Whether he was involved in the original Watergate break in or not, he was involved in the cover-up. He also was a phony. Having church services in the White House, then having an attitude that showed no reverence for the religion he used. Had congress been allowed to continue investigating him, it would have tied up the country for months. Maybe pardoning Nixon wasn't the best option, but it quickly put the issue to rest. I agree with Ford that the pardon was a quick solution. I don't believe America could have handled more months of post-Watergate investigation.

But it cost Ford his re-election. Surely Ford knew this was likely. Surely he knew the cost BEFORE he issued the pardon. He made a concious decision to do what he thought was best for the country, despite what it meant for him personally. For that, I respect him.

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