Another Richard Nixon

Angela Cesere
(ILLUSTRATION BY SAM BUTLER/Daily)

“He is a Richard Nixon. If you like Richard Nixon, you’ll like Jerry Ford.”

The almost robot-like Nixonism of House Republican leader Ford led him to support even the nominations of Clement Haynsworth and G. Harrold Carswell to the Supreme Court, as well as the administration’s Indochina policy.

The almost euphoric Congressional reaction to Ford’s nomination is just one more indication of the depths in which that organization flounders.

Perhaps the greatest distinction Ford can claim is his lack of distinction. And it is that mark which will make him a shoo-in once perfunctory Congressional hearings on his nomination are held.

Whether Ford will prove to be a highly verbal and visible figure, like his predecessor, remains to be seen. But it seems assured that there will be very little that is iconoclastic about the vice-presidential nominee.

Ford represents more of a new face than a break with customary administration policy. And so far, his appointment has served more as a diversion than as a breath of fresh air.

– Oct. 13, 1973

On the pardon

By acting Sunday to pardon former President Richard Nixon for all illegal acts he may have committed in the White House, President Gerald Ford has betrayed his country’s trust by denying the American people a public hearing into this tragedy.

We do not believe, and can never believe, that tranquility will be restored to this country until the greatest threat to the Constitution since the Alien and Sedition Acts is laid bare for the people to see.

The pardon of Nixon has removed from the reaches of American justice the central figure in this conspiracy against democracy. Nixon will be relieved of his responsibility for facing the people of the United States at a public trial – and history will be denied a full look into our greatest governmental crisis.

If Ford sincerely thought that by this arbitrary action he could restore domestic tranquility, we must believe that he has made a serious mistake.

Instead of soothing unrest, Ford has further exposed the suspicions we developed after a continual succession of lies and doubletalk emanated from the Watergate affair. Trust in politicians and the governmental process itself has diminished to a ludicrous point.

By shielding Nixon from justice under the guise of “mercy,” the president has shown an appalling lack of understanding for the people he serves. Ford’s disregard for the American legal process shows a disregard for the American citizenry. And his action in removing the threat of public trial from the shoulders of Richard Nixon makes a mockery of an “open presidency.”

Ford will not restore peace to the country by this last Watergate cover-up.

– Sept. 10, 1974

Demonstrate against Ford

Tonight a capacity crowd will jam its way into Crisler Arena to see one of the major events scheduled on campus this year.

What is being offered is the only U.S. president running as an incumbent while never having been elected.

Gerald Ford and his campaign cronies have decided to try and capitalize on the circumstantial fact that he played football and went to school here by springboarding their quadrennial GOP traveling road show at the big ‘U.’

For example, Ford is a time-proven enemy of higher education. With atypical consistency, he has vetoed almost every bill designed to benefit higher education that has passed through the Oval Office. Ford should not be allowed to exit the arena without first coming up with a rationalization for that voting record, however pathetic the reasons may be.

Ford will arrive at Willow Run Airport and proceed to Crisler Arena at about 3:30 p.m. His arrival at the arena, any other movements on campus and his speech in the evening (open to the public) provide an excellent opportunity for those concerned to voice and demonstrate their feelings. But don’t hold your breath.

– Sept. 15, 1976

Vote for Carter in ’76

In the strange saga of Richard Nixon, it is time to separate ourselves from the torrent of hypocrisy, deception and mindless invective that has been part and parcel of the 1976 presidential campaign. It is time to take a sober look at the clear and explicit choice that will confront us all in the voting booth on Tuesday. It is, moreover, time to realize that there is indeed a choice.

The choice is between another four winters of waiting in utter despair while the government remains culpably oblivious to our needs, or a first, discernible step toward sanity. We vote for that step, and the man who can help us take it – Jimmy Carter.

Unemployment remains tragically and insufferably high. Our cities have been left to rot in a morass of crime and fiscal chaos, while corporate avarice has left our environment on the brink of devastation. Our image abroad has degenerated to one of arrogance and deceit.

The dismal failures of the Ford Administration transcend mere failures of policy.

From the pardon of a president who may well have ended up a convicted felon, to the failure to immediately discharge a racist cabinet member, Gerald Ford has displayed a moral insensitivity so gaping, so unforgivable that it alone warrants a resounding mandate from the American electorate for his removal from office.

No one in government ever seriously considered the Congressman from Grand Rapids to be of presidential caliber. Even Richard Nixon cursed the pen with which he signed Ford’s vice-presidential nomination – his last sick legacy to history.

But the repudiation of Gerald Ford and the election of Jimmy Carter should not delude anyone into believing that the struggle is over.

Let it be clearly understood that what Jimmy Carter stands for is not nearly enough. Let it be clearly understood that there must be a quantum expansion in the breadth of his commitments to all the issues he has embraced this year.

– Oct. 29, 1976

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