Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Gerald Ford: 1913-2006

Former President Ford passed away late yesterday. It was Ford who took over as President when Nixon resigned, and it fell to him to restore respect to the presidency. If nothing else, that will be his legacy and one that he richly deserves.

Perhaps Ford's most controversial move was to pardon his predecessor a month after taking office. It led to charges that there had been some sort of deal between the two, an accusation Ford denied. Regardless of whether or not there had been one, the pardon was the right thing to do.

While it's true that Presidents must be held accountable for their actions if they break the law or betray the trust of the American people, Nixon was a broken man by the time he left office in disgrace. Subjecting him--and the nation--to further investigation and a trial would have accomplished nothing. That pardon gave America a chance to finally leave Watergate behind and start fresh. Ford must have realized that his move would kill his chances for an elected term, but he nonetheless went through with it.

Pardoning Nixon took balls, and for that Ford deserves our thanks.

0 thoughtful ramblings: