Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Why Mourn Gerald Ford?

Today, the U.S. has a national day of mourning for recently deceased ex-President Gerald Ford.

Why? What good did he do? I can't bring to mind a single good thing that he did. He may not have been the worst recent President ( Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush immediately comes to mind), but really, Ford didn't do anything good. His most memorable acts were the pardoning of Richard Nixon and the imbecillic "Whip Inflation Now"-buttons (had he really wanted to whip inflation, he would have closed down the Federal Reserve or at least ordered it to greatly restrain its money creation), none of which was really good. So there is no rational reason at all for anyone, except for his family and personal friends, to mourn him.

The fact that such a lacklustre has been is given a national day of mourning after his death indicates a worrisome degree of President-worship, inconsistent with the original American idea of the President as a mere servant of the people, not its ruler.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

President Ford didn't do "great things" on the scale of many Presidents, but he deserves to be honored. Why? I think history will be kind to the man. He basically destroyed his own chances of a political future by pardoning Nixon. While some may want to question whether that was the right thing to do, at the time Ford did it to move the country beyond Watergate. He wasn't a stupid man and he had to know what it would cost him. He sacrificed himself for what he believed was the good of the country. Will he go down in history as a great President? No. Was he an honorable man and the right person for that moment in history? I believe in time the concensus will be that he was.

11:47 PM  
Anonymous PJ said...

I agree with your underlying thought, but as an American, I actually find it wonderful that a president did nothing. Far better to have a president do nothing than to "spread democracy", "help the middle class," or "combat terrorism."

9:43 AM  
Blogger stefankarlsson said...

Steve, I don't think he pardoned Nixon because he thought it was best for the country, but because of personal loyalty to Nixon who after all was the reason why he became President in the first place.

And had he been an honorable man, he would have dealt with the actual source of inflation (The Federal Reserve) rather than trying to delude people that it is some mystical impersonal phenonema that can be whipped through some useless campaign.

And PJ, yes, he could have been worse. But you don't celebrate someone just because he did only limited damage.

8:55 PM  

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