Death of a politician


Published: Saturday, January 6, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 6, 2007 at 12:15 a.m.
It took America a long time to bury Gerald Ford. Might we not be attaching just a bit too much significance to the death of a president?
Every day in this country individuals far nobler and more productive than our politicians die and we keep pushing on. Americans achieve despite, not because of our political leaders. H. L. Mencken warned us long ago that sooner or later we would elect a moron to the office. We have proven him prophetic with increasing frequency. It is painful to watch the talking heads struggle to say something profound about the mundane.
Ford is being called the "healing president." He restored our faith in government by pardoning the criminal who appointed him to office. That's called a conflict of interest and it reminded us that not everyone is subject to the rule of law.
He led a self-absorbed and spoiled nation into group therapy. While Americans were consumed with self pity because daddy lied and we lost a war, the Nixon-Ford Administration was evacuating the last Americans by helicopter off the roof of the Saigon embassy and calling it peace with honor, thereby paving the way for "the killing fields." We want to remember the killing fields about as much as the Germans want to be reminded of the Holocaust.
Someday we'll be told that Bill Clinton was the president who helped teach us the meaning of "is." And W. was the one who reminded America that fighting terrorism is tough work. Perhaps at the death of the next president we can strip congressmen of all their perks and limit their spending to the revenue collected. You would see some genuine mourning then.

Scott Pifer,

Gainesville

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