Thursday, January 04, 2007

Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford was a good man. He didn't seek the presidency, but he filled the office when called upon. He pardoned Nixon, even though it was an unpopular thing to do, because he knew it was what the nation needed in order to move on.

Yesterday I saw a few minutes of his funeral service. Our nation's leaders, past and present, showed up to honor this decent man. I was struck by the irony of two voices in the long list of speakers: Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. Both owe their careers to Gerald Ford. Both lauded his integrity and his decency in their eulogies. Both cite him as a mentor.

WTF??? How can you move so far from your mentor that you are his polar opposite, and yet still claim his influence and laud his virtues?? Lightning didn't strike either man, though I was waiting for it. Is it possible they see themselves as following in Ford's footsteps?

Gerald Ford gave one last interview a few months ago. He asked that it not air while he was alive. In it, he criticizes his proteges, and the war in Iraq. He did not want to interfere with current policy, but he wanted his opinion on record for posterity.

I wish there were more Gerald Fords in the world of politics, and far fewer Cheneys and Rumsfelds.

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