Design of Government in General
“I believe that truth is the glue that holds government together, not only our government but civilization itself.” — Gerald R. Ford, Inaugural Address, 9 August 1974
My father was a junior high history teacher in Brooklyn, and each summer, he and my mom would take my brothers and me to historical sights – for fun. And it was. As I got older, I developed this pass time into a hobby, and I visit US presidents’ homes/libraries whenever I can. On June 11th, I visited the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids, MI, which had recently reopened after extensive renovation.
Ford’s Museum marked the first time I visited the legacy of a president who lived during my lifetime. I was 15 years old when Ford narrowly lost the election to Jimmy Carter in 1976. Having first hand memories of the events, photos and clips displayed in the museum profoundly influenced my experience of it. I came away with this lesson: what the media showed me in 1974 – 1976 had very little to do with truth. In my view, Gerald R. Ford was one of the few presidents who actually desired to serve his country, not his own legacy.
Had the democratic Congress passed Ford’s energy plan, our current economic condition as well as our relationship with the Middle East would be vastly different. Historians and statesmen – not talking heads or party sycophants – have been equating Ford’s presidency with Lincoln’s for quite some time. In 2001, the John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage award went to Gerald Ford for his pardon of Nixon. Historians agree the pardon cost Ford the 1976 election, and history showed, as Ted Kennedy said when presenting the award, “He [Ford] was right.”
Standing at the exhibit about the Mayaguez Incident, an irony struck me. Consider the Mayaguez Incident and juxtapose how Gerald Ford (Lesley Lynch King, Jr) handled that with Barry Soetoro’s response to 10 American sailors from two riverine command boats kneeling to Iranian soldiers. Which “paper of record” showed integrity in reporting either of those events?
The chasm between what is going on and what we’re told is going on has never been wider. What’s worse, the blatant complicity of our so-called free press with the ruling class in distorting and preventing true public discourse is repugnant. Take a minute and get in touch with how you feel – really feel – about Hillary Clinton’s escape from justice with the help of the FBI.
For the 2016 elections, get at the truth about why a candidate is running for office. Go beyond the slogans, web sites and ad campaigns. Find primary sources (speeches, books, editorials by the candidates) and analysts you trust and respect. Check the historical record in academic books and periodicals. Electing representative should not rest on “Never —–” propaganda, party platforms, -isms, or identity politics.
Remember Robert Heinlein’s observation: “Political tags . . .are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.” Because America is a representative republic, we should be weeding out politicians and parties determined to control how we earn and spend money, who we socialize with, what we eat and drink, how we protect and defend ourselves, what we may and may not create, and what we think and say.Tags: 1976 Election 2016 election Gerald Ford History of the presidency Media ruling class