The death of Gerald Ford has revived one of the great guessing games of the 1970’s: was it right to pardon Richard Nixon after all he had done?
We think it was. To drag out Nixon’s trial in the liberal-controlled media of the time would have furthered the left’s agenda by running down people’s respect for the Republic in an era when running down authority was the left’s main weapon of their own advancement (that has changed, as Hillary Clinton knows all too well.) It would have given the left another opportunity to finish the job of making their dominance over the political life of the country permanent–at least until the country had collapsed, which it would have done had they succeeded.
Ford stopped their onrush, which eventually prepared for liberalism’s check with Ronald Reagan’s election, its revival as a world power and the end of the Cold War. None of this would have happened if Gerald Ford hadn’t pardoned Nixon and gotten the matter off of centre stage of American life.
Whether the right has squandered this legacy in this decade was the issue of the 2006 election and certainly will be again in 2008.