Gerald Ford, The Right Person To Succeed Richard Nixon, But Is Mike Pence The Right Person To Succeed Donald Trump? NO!

On this day in 1974, the nation was fortunate that Richard Nixon resigned, and Gerald Ford became President of the United States.

We needed someone like Gerald Ford to heal the nation after the Watergate Scandal, and Ford fit the situation very well.

A respectable member of the House of Representatives for 25 years, House Minority Leader for the last nine of those years, and Vice President by appointment for eight months under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, we were fortunate that he was next in line for the Presidency, instead of corrupt Vice President Spiro Agnew, who would have been a disaster in the Presidency, dividing the nation even more than Richard Nixon.

Ford was controversial for pardoning Nixon one month into his Presidency, and it helped to cause his defeat, along with the strong right wing conservative challenge of former California Governor Ronald Reagan, but he had the right personality and instincts, and as a moderate conservative, was able to work with both parties, considering that the opposition Democrats controlled both houses.

Ford was an honest, decent man, and his wife Betty was arguably the most accessible and decent modern Republican First Lady, sharing her private turmoil with alcohol and breast cancer with the nation.

Gerald Ford lost a very close race to Jimmy Carter in 1976, so was the fifth Vice President not to be elected President, the first since Chester Alan Arthur in 1884, but he came to be admired and loved as he aged, and he ended up as the longest living President, when he died at age 93 years and 165 days on December 26, 2006, the same day of the year as Harry Truman died in 1972.

The longevity of Ford will be surpassed by George H. W. Bush if he lives to November 25, just three and a half months from now, and Jimmy Carter will pass Ford’s age on March 15, 2018, although if Bush continues to be alive, it will not break the record of longevity.

Now, however, Mike Pence would be the successor if Donald Trump is impeached and removed, or resigns from office, but Mike Pence is no Gerald Ford. Pence is much more extreme right wing conservative, unlike Ford, and is a religious extremist, promoting church and state combination in government, which is against the spirit of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The policies and programs under Pence, while certainly likely to be somewhat different than Trump, would be dramatically different from those of Gerald Ford.

So one could wish that Gerald Ford could come back from the dead to be available to succeed Donald Trump, but sadly we are going to have to live with a President Pence at some point in the near future.

We can wish him luck, but be prepared to oppose him vigorously in the promotion of his right wing agenda, with less chaos, anarchy, and craziness, but still out of the mainstream of the American people and what they want the policies of our government to be in the future.

Fear, Panic, Hysteria, And The Media: Reflection On The Real Dangers Amidst Us!

It is shocking and reprehensible how the reaction to the Ebola issue is fear, panic, and hysteria, all fueled by irresponsible, reckless media of all kinds and opportunistic politicians!

Yes, Ebola is something to be concerned about, and knowledge and education is essential, but not the crazy reaction of media, and the demagoguery being promoted by politicians, who do not know or appreciate medicine and science, but are too ready to make Ebola a political issue, and promote, in the process, their own careers by scaring people, and undermining cooperation to resolve this matter in an organized, sensible manner.

IF we really want to overcome dangers, threats, and concerns about what we face, consider the following:

Ebola, as terrible as it is, has killed about 5,000 people, mostly in West Africa, and only one person in America. Even if that death toll rises, it is NOT going to reach the total of about 50,000 annually dying from Flu and Pneumonia in America, and even with that reality, many Americans do not get annual Flu shots or Pneumonia shots as a precaution, because of unfounded fears that any shots or vaccinations, even for children, is dangerous!

Auto accidents cause the death of 40,000 per year on the average, but what do we do about texting while driving; drinking while driving; reckless speeders; and those on illegal drugs who drive and often are high?

Gun deaths average at least about 11,000 per year, but we cannot get any gun legislation through Congress, due to the National Rifle Association.

Smoking, alcoholism, and drug addiction causes hundreds of thousands of deaths per year combined, but no panic and hysteria about that.

Child abuse and assaults on women cause innumerable deaths per year, but no sense of trying to do something about it has occurred, just shaking heads and rolling eyes!

When there was limited media, we had real epidemics of Typhoid Fever, Tuberculosis, Flu, Leprosy, and other diseases, yet no panic on the scale we see now.

We have the continued problem of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and AIDS has caused more deaths than Ebola ever will, without all that much concern by most people, who just figured that since a majority of people who have this disease have been gay or lesbian, at least in America, why worry about “them”, but also there are many heterosexual victims as well, and no great attention paid to it by most Americans.

The point being made is that it is the reckless news media and the political opportunists who are trying to blame Ebola on Barack Obama, and make it seem as if he wants this epidemic to occur in America, and they have a stupid, ignorant portion of the American people who accept every allegation and sensationalistic statement as total truth, when they are bald faced lies!

Presidents And Alcohol Issues

There are many ways that scholars and Presidential “junkies” evaluate Presidents, and one not often thought about is the problem of alcohol issues, Presidents who have had problems of drunkenness that affected their ability to do their job.

Three are well known for having major alcohol problems, and at least for two of them, it affected their performance in office.

Franklin Pierce (1853-1857) had a massive alcohol problem, made worse by the fact that his last and only child was killed in a train accident shortly before the inauguration in 1853. His Presidency is seen as one of the absolute worst, and his signing of the Kansas Nebraska Act in 1854 was a major step toward the Civil War.

Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877) was a great General who won the surrender of Robert E. Lee, and yet, it was well known that he drank too much, although it was claimed that he made better military decisions when drunk. But this massive drinking problem undermined his ability to do his job, and his Presidency became one of massive scandals, generally known as the Credit Mobilier Scandals, which along with the Panic of 1873, undermined his historical reputation.

George W. Bush was also a certifiable alcoholic, although it seems as if he had stopped drinking after his wife, Laura, threatened to leave him in 1986, when their twin daughters were still very young. But some have wondered about whether some of his decision making was influenced either by “stealing” a drink, or the damage done by the alcohol dependency that he had become captive of in earlier years.

Additionally, there are many who think that the following Presidents may have had too much dependency on liquor, while not maybe at the level of Pierce, Grant, and George W.

John Adams (1797-1801)
Martin Van Buren (1837-1841)
James Buchanan (1857-1861)
Chester Alan Arthur (1881-1885)
Grover Cleveland (1885-1889, 1893-1897)
William Howard Taft (1909-1913)
Warren G. Harding (1921-1923)
Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969)
Richard M. Nixon (1969-1974)

The strongest cases would be Cleveland and Taft, both of whom were very overweight, and evidence of their extensive drinking is found in different sources about their lives. Also, it was known that Harding drank liquor every day in the White House, despite Prohibition being in effect

The evidence against Adams, Van Buren, Buchanan and Arthur is less extensive, but all three were known to be drinking a lot more than would be safe for one’s health.

The situation of Johnson and Nixon is more based on their personality traits, that under stress, they were likely to drink excessively, but not apparently an habitual problem.

At the same time, those who would be seen as least likely to lean on alcohol would include Rutherford B. Hayes, whose wife was infamously known as “Lemonade Lucy” for banning alcohol at White House gatherings; Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover, who were vehement in their enforcement of Prohibition of liquor; and Jimmy Carter, who avoided alcohol, although his brother Billy was an alcoholic.