In Memoriam: President Gerald R. Ford
Since I was a young boy, I have loved studying the various men who have occupied the Oval Office. Among those men, one in particular stood out to me as a good man and a role model - his name was Gerald Ford. After the scandals of the Nixon administration, Ford reminded the nation of what a president should be. So, while I may be ideologically closer to his 1976 primary opponent Ronald Reagan, I will always think of Ford as a true statesman and a great man.
It is also worth noting that several of the men who now lead the Republican party owe much of their success to Gerald Ford. Donald Rumsfeld served as White House Chief of Staff, and later as Ford's Secretary of Defense. When Rumsfeld was promoted, his position as Chief of Staff was filled by a man named Dick Cheney. Ford also made George H.W. Bush his envoy to Communist China and then appointed him as Director of the C.I.A. Both of these appointments were key stepping stones on Bush's road to the White House. So, while Reagan is now considered the ideological patriarch of the modern Republican Party, it was Ford who selected the men who would lead the party into the 21st Century.
You can say what you want about Ford's policies or the fact that he was an unelected president, but it is hard to dispute that he was a great man. He led the country through a very trying time in its history, and he single-handedly restored the people's trust in the Presidency.
America has lost a great leader, and every patriotic American should be forever thankful for the life of Gerald Ford.