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The National Nightmare of Gerald Ford's Obituary

By       Message John Pagoda     Permalink
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Gerald Ford, our 38th president, passed away at the age of 93 after living most of that life in relative comfort compared to most. Based on personal experience I understand and empathize with the grief and suffering of those who loved him and those who will miss him and since one should not speak ill of those who passed away I express neither praise nor criticism for Gerald Ford.

Yet I will not hesitate to let the venom flow from my pen for those who are using his death to rewrite history and condemn us to repeat it on the way forward. I refer here to the single most defining moment of the Ford presidency i.e. when he granted Richard M Nixon a full pardon of any crimes with which he was charged before he was even tried.

The Fourth Estate in its frenzy to bestow praise and honor from a cornucopia of cleverly construed accolades upon Gerald Ford are but disingenuous attempts to create reality out of myth by claiming that when Gerald Ford granted the pardon it was an act of "noblesse oblige" to bring the country together after Vietnam and Watergate at the expense of his own political future.

Daily clips of Ford saying "our long national nightmare is over" ad nauseam are intended to create a reality out of a myth and reinforce it with repetition. The "myth" was that "we were a nation of laws not men" and "the constitution worked" for the reality is that our long national nightmare is not over.

The reality was that "In his conduct of the office of President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States, and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has prevented, obstructed and impeded the administration of justice when he has repeatedly engaged in conduct violating the constitutional rights of citizens, impairing the due and proper administration of justice in the conduct of lawful inquiries, of contravening the law of governing agencies of the executive branch and the purposes of these agencies".

The reality is that the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land according to the law codified in Article VI, Section 2 which Richard M Nixon violated.

The reality is he never accepted responsibility.

The reality is that he never had to show remorse for his high crimes and misdemeanors.

And the reality is that he was never held accountable for his actions.

For the reality is that Richard M Nixon violated federal law even before he was elected president when members of his election campaign interfered with the foreign policy of an elected president.

And the tragic reality is that most Americans got their names engraved in a granite wall and most Vietnamese died on Commander-in-Chief Nixon's watch in another failed war based on another lie.

The reality is that when Richard M Nixon was pardoned for whatever reason or excuse had the constitution really worked history would not have repeated itself in the form of another president who violated the supreme law of the land and another commander-in-chief who waged a war based on a lie.

Indeed the consequences of Ford's pardon include the manifestations of tyranny in a political ideology that permits government surveillance of civil rights and anti-war activists and tramples the Bill of Rights in the process.

While I'll accept Gerald Ford's good intentions to unite the country I would be remiss to neglect the irony that it was Congressman Gerald Ford who sought to impeach Supreme Court Justice William O Douglas who criticized Nixon's government agency surveillance of civil rights and anti-war activists and Nixon's trampling of the Bill of Rights in the process. The same Justice Douglas tried to get his fellow justices to review the legality of the government's actions in Vietnam. Ford cited Douglas' "liberal opinions" as well as his "defense of the filthy film, 'I Am Curious Yellow to justify the impeachment of Douglas.

It is said that good intentions pave the road to hell but they also provide us with an opportunity to best honor Gerald Ford's legacy by renewing his goal to unite the country and end our long national nightmare by impeaching this president for high crimes and misdemeanors and become what throughout history we have always claimed but seldom in our actions reflected i.e. that we were a nation of laws not men and in the process prove that we have a constitution that works when we follow it for these are the foundations which unite us as a free people.

All else is a mainstream media entertainment event manufactured by a mawkish media that appeals to the maudlin by honoring the messenger, neglecting the message, and proving that history repeats itself, first as tragedy when Gerald Ford's pardon failed to unite the country not withstanding his good intentions and second as farce because today no presidential candidate from either of the two political parties even has the courage of a Gerald Ford to even accept the reality of a national nightmare that divides us today.

 

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The author is the Contributing Editor of Rabble Rouser

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