Thursday, December 28, 2006
REMEMBERING TWO PRESIDENTS
I am just old enough to remember Gerald Ford known as "the accidental president" the first and only president who was never elected to either the Vice Presidency or the Presidency. Ford was awarded the "Profiles in Courage" award in 2001. In case you are unaware of what that is: President John Kennedy wrote a book in 1956 called "Profiles in Courage"-- it was even made into a television program in the 1960's following Kennedy's assassination in 1963. In the book, Kennedy outlines the stories of American men and women who through acts of extraordinary courage made decisions that protected democracy and this country by making decisions that might be considered as "political suicide".Edward G. Ross in Lincoln's era was perhaps the bravest-- for he voted against the conviction and removal from office of president Andrew Johnson. If you were a history buff like I am, you would know that single decision saved the nation in leaps and bounds. For if Johnson had been removed as president, a gentleman named Benjamin"hot head"Wade (the president pro Tem of the Senate) would have indeed become president of the United States with the most disastrous results.He was next in line in presidential succession and he was a Republican who hated the South with such passion even in 1867) that the Civil war would have been re-ignited and the result of that? The Industrial Revolution would have been delayed by at least ten years! (Computer geeks-- consider that dismaying observation) Gerald Ford was indeed a most brave individual. His total unconditional pardon of Richard Nixon was one of the noblest things a sitting president could do. It healed the nation's wounds at a time when trust in the American government was at all time low. Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace and that was enough I feel. Watergate divided us like no other act since the "Tea Pot Dome Scandal" in Warren Harding's administration. There have been many brave presidents. Woodrow Wilson was one. Today on this date, Mr. Wilson would have been one hundred and fifty years old. The bravery of Mr. Wilson who kept us out of the first years of World War One and then pushed for the creation of "The League of Nations" was incredibly brave and absolute "political suicide". I encourage everyone to read Kennedy's book-- it is absolutely fascinating! We approach the end of 2006--a year of great change and great upheaval for me and my good friends. Let us pray that 2007 is better. The years ending in "6" have always been bad years for me-- so I have another ten years before the next six decade approaches.