Unz评论•另类媒体选择$
美国主流媒体大都排除了有趣,重要和有争议的观点
 博客浏览约瑟夫·索伯伦(Joseph Sobran)档案
福特,不是凯撒
通过电子邮件将此页面发送给其他人

 记住我的信息



=>

书签 全部切换总目录添加到图书馆从图书馆中删除 • B
显示评论下一个新评论下一个新回复了解更多
回复同意/不同意/等等 更多... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
同意不同意谢谢LOL轮唱
这些按钮可将您的公开协议,异议,感谢,LOL或巨魔与所选注释一起注册。 仅对最近使用“记住我的信息”复选框保存姓名和电子邮件的频繁评论者可用,并且在任何八个小时的时间内也只能使用三次。
忽略评论者 关注评论者
搜寻文字 区分大小写  确切的词  包括评论
列表 书签

What a contrast between the quiet passing of a former president here and the embittered execution of one in Iraq. The hanging of Saddam Hussein, hardly undeserved, degenerated into something like a sectarian lynching, aggravating anger at the invaders rather than giving the satisfaction of condign justice. It made one grateful to live under some semblance, however imperfect, of the rule of law.

The obsequies for Gerald Ford have finally ended, and I must say I found them more moving than I expected to, especially the sight of his poor widow, looking so much more frail than I remembered her. Such a terrible loss to endure so late in life! But that is the price of such an enduring love at its inevitable end. One aches to console her, if there were any way.

Ford was not a “great” president, but presidents aren’t supposed to be “great.” Their constitutional duty is modest: to see that the laws are faithfully executed. This Ford tried to do without heroics or hubris or the grandiloquent rhetoric now attached to the office.

C.S. Lewis remarked that politicians are now called “leaders” rather than “rulers,” and that this verbal change reflects a modern change in political philosophy. A “ruler,” in the old days, was expected to be wise and just; a “leader” is expected to be dynamic, magnetic, exciting. Ford never saw it as his role to agitate or inspire; and that, in a way, is why we remember his brief presidency so fondly. What seemed a deficiency at the time — his dullness — now seems a relief from the turmoil of the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon years.

The eulogies spoke of Ford as healing and reconciling. They may have exaggerated his virtues, but you can hardly doubt that they expressed a yearning for surcease from the excesses of the incumbent. It came as no surprise to learn that he had been skeptical of George W. Bush’s chiliastic enthusiasm for democratizing the world through warfare. You can’t even imagine Jerry Ford getting us into the current mess in the Middle East.

During his presidency his conservative critics complained that Ford lacked principle, that he was too ready to compromise; and they had a point. He was, in fact, suspicious of principle, which he tended to see as “extreme.” In 1980 he was warning his fellow Republicans that Ronald Reagan “can’t win” against Jimmy Carter. That was Ford, always playing it safe. But we have now seen what a more adventurous spirit can lead to.

It’s easy to forget how turbulent the Ford years actually were. The Vietnam war was coming to an ignominious end, and racial and abortion politics were starting (or intensifying) party realignment. The turmoil of the Sixties, a distant memory now, hadn’t really ended yet. But we remember Ford as an almost apolitical figure, as Eisenhower once seemed to be — though Ike had come to politics late in life, and Ford had made a career of it.

The current rage for Barack Obama — I think it will be brief — is, like earlier frenzies for Ross Perot and Colin Powell, due to the same yearning for a wise ruler who is above politics. Maybe what people really want is not democracy, but royalty — a symbolic monarch. It may be part of Ford’s appeal that he was never elected to the presidency and never appeared to aspire to it.

Curiously, or ironically, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, who served under both Ford and Bush, have emerged as apostles of executive power, feeling that the presidency was crippled by post-Watergate reforms. Ford himself never chafed at the limits of the office. In that respect he was a throwback to an older, truer conservatism, suspicious of concentrating power in the executive branch and in favor of dispersing it. He was old enough to recall Franklin Roosevelt’s Caesarism, which conservatives adopted when it began to suit them — that is, when Republicans found it easier to win the White House than Capitol Hill.

One word we seldom heard during Ford’s presidency was 历史性。 He was blessedly free from hype, sticking to precedent and routine. In retrospect, even his ordinariness seems almost a rare and precious quality, especially when you compare him with the current crop of Republican presidential hopefuls.

(从重新发布 索伯兰的 经作者或代表的许可)
 
当前评论者
说:

发表评论-对超过两周的文章发表评论,将在质量和语气上进行更严格的判断


 记得 我的信息为什么?
 电子邮件回复我的评论
$
提交的评论已被许可给 Unz评论 并可以由后者自行决定在其他地方重新发布
在翻译模式下禁用评论
通过RSS订阅此评论主题 通过RSS订阅所有约瑟夫·索伯伦评论