In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 28, 2006 / 7 Teves, 5767

Ford was a political sedative for a nation with jangled nerves

By George Will

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Those who believe that a kindly Providence keeps a watchful eye on America's welfare can cite the fact of Gerald Ford. On Aug. 9, 1974, at a moment when the nation was putting aside an unhappy, tormented President, and was aching for serenity in high places, to the center of national life strode an abnormality — a happy, normal man as President.

Watergate and a Presidential resignation were only two of the nation's problems that August. The mid-'70s were years when everyday things could no longer be counted on — inflation was undermining the currency as a store of value, and lines at gasoline pumps testified to the power of foreigners to get between the Americans and their best friends, their automobiles.

Ford was a political sedative for a nation with jangled nerves.

He was one of five Presidents who never got elected to the office.

(The others were John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson and Chester Arthur.) He was the only person to be President without receiving any popular or electoral votes for President or vice president. He was about as exotic as ... well, as he was fond of saying, he was "a Ford, not a Lincoln." He was born in Omaha and represented a western Michigan district, and much was made, rightly, of his Midwesternness. In the years before the Southern ascendancy in the Republican Party, the party spoke in the flat Midwestern cadences of the senator who had been Mr. Republican when Ford came to the House in 1949 — Robert Taft of Ohio. When Ford became minority leader in 1965 — replacing an Indianan, Charles Halleck — the second-ranking Republican was Leslie Arends and the Senate minority leader was Everett Dirksen, both of Illinois.


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Ford was an "accidental President," but there are reasons why accidents happen as they do. Call it the cunning of history, or an irony of American life, but this underestimated graduate of the Yale Law School served a purpose Nixon did not have in mind when he nominated him to replace the disgraced Vice President Spiro Agnew. Nixon probably hoped Ford's popularity in the House would enable him to rally House Republicans against impeachment. Instead, Ford's presence in the vice presidency probably made his former House colleagues less afraid of impeachment.

There is a photograph of the House Chamber when President Truman was delivering one of his State of the Union addresses. Scattered through the chamber in front of Truman were four future Presidents — Congressman Kennedy, Sen. Johnson, Congressman Nixon, Congressman Ford. Never before or since have four consecutive Presidents gone directly from the legislative branch to national elective office.

In 1976 Ford might have won a full term if he had been less statesmanlike: His pardon of Richard Nixon unquestionably hurt him politically, but unquestionably helped with national healing. Ford also might have won if he had stepped out of character and been more adventurous — if in selecting a running mate he had chosen, as he considered doing, Ambassador Anne Armstrong, a Texan, to be the first woman on a national ticket. Instead he chose a Midwesterner, Kansan Bob Dole, thereby giving a boost to a distinguished career that would produce the party's Presidential nominee 20 years later. Ford also might have won if some unsettling economic numbers had not come out a few days before Election Day. Or if in one of the debates he had not become lost in the labyrinth of peculiar thinking and rhetoric that went with detente. He insisted that Poland was not dominated by the Soviet Union.

He almost won anyway. A change of 12,791 votes in Ohio and Mississippi would have sufficed. The 1976 Presidential election was the only one the Republicans lost between 1964 and 1992. Ford was punished for Nixon's sins: Jimmy Carter won by running as the non-Nixon.

Henry Kissinger, who continued as secretary of state through the Ford years, wrote in 1999 a tribute to Ford, the "uncomplicated man" who came to the Presidency in perhaps the most complicated context since the Civil War — in the aftermath of a disastrous war and as a result of a resignation. Kissinger understood that Ford, with his small-town, Midwestern aversion to histrionics, had perfect pitch for the needs of "a nation surfeited with upheavals." Kissinger noted a "curious paradox of contemporary democracy," that as political leaders become more abject in trying to conform to the public's preferences, respect for the political class plummets. Ford was different: He "was immune to the modern politician's chameleon-like search for ever-new identities, and to the emotional roller coaster this search creates."

Surely subsequent Presidential history has deepened the nation's appreciation of what it had for 29 months. .

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

George Will's latest book is "With a Happy Eye but: America and the World, 1997-2002" to purchase a copy, click here. Comment on this column by clicking here.


© 2006 WPWG