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Old 02-22-2018, 08:43 PM
Boycott Boycott is offline
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 16
Are there any Republican politicians in the mould of Gerald Ford left?

Casting my mind down memory lane - via youtube and c-span - it struck me how far gone the GOP have gone.

Gerald Ford was a Republican, a conservative and by all accounts a good man. His character, honesty and simple yet frank tone was well noted. SNL mocked him as a dense accident waiting to happen, but President Ford was in fact quite an athlete in his younger days. He was also a hard-working, hands-on President who was not just interested in the details of legislation but had a vested interest because as a long serving Congressman and House Minority Leader, he knew the process that goes with policy and politics.

He stood before the podium to announce to the nation, "the State of the Union is not good". Not political spin in the form of vague platitudes. Watergate, Vietnam, oil crisis, unemployment, interest rates, inflation, distrust in public officials. There were a lot of problems and he didn't try and deflect from them. But he followed up by delivering a message of hope for better in the means of hard work and good spirit which starts from the top.

He couldn't change the course of the country overnight. Jimmy Carter who I also admire couldn't either. America had reached a point where we needed to take a step back, reflect and work towards to the future. I don't think enough people appreciated it at the time.

President Ford was committed to his faith. But in his duty as a public official, he never wore religion on his sleeve. Compare it with the crazy in-your-face use of Christ in the public domain by Republicans today. Ford was actually in favour of same-sex marriage and to the date is the only President - incumbent or former - to be involved with a gay-rights political organisation.

Gerald Ford’s conservatism was that of limited spending and limited government. He believed that everyone should be treated with fairness, dignity, and equality. “I have always believed in an inclusive policy in welcoming gays and others into the [Republican] party…I think they ought to be treated equally. Period.” he told Detroit New columnist Deb Price in a 2001 interview.
Neither did he attack and/or smear his opponents. He was a believer that while you can be on different political wavelengths, elected officials are there to serve the people and if getting to know your counter-parts helps policy making then do it. Along the way it made him loyal friends and allies. In the divisive, angry and blood sport way of politics of today how can we find a common ground? Have we just gone too far over now?

In his final speech to Congress before handing the reigns to President Carter, Ford in spite of defeat wished his successor the very best because the best for the country is bigger than the best for the party. He received a standing ovation at the conclusion of the speech (with it being a democratic majority in audience). Here are some of the notable quotes from the speech:

This report will be my last--maybe--[laughter]--but for the Union it is only the first of such reports in our third century of independence, the close of which none of us will ever see. We can be confident, however, that 100 years from now a freely elected President will come before a freely elected Congress chosen to renew our great Republic's pledge to the Government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

For my part I pray the third century we are beginning will bring to all Americans, our children and their children's children, a greater measure of individual equality, opportunity, and justice, a greater abundance of spiritual and material blessings, and a higher quality of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

As a people we discovered that our Bicentennial was much more than a celebration of the past; it became a joyous reaffirmation of all that it means to be Americans, a confirmation before all the world of the vitality and durability of our free institutions. I am proud to have been privileged to preside over the affairs of our Federal Government during these eventful years when we proved, as I said in my first words upon assuming office, that "our Constitution works; our great Republic is a Government of laws and not of men. Here the people rule."

The people have spoken; they have chosen a new President and a new Congress to work their will. I congratulate you--particularly the new Members--as sincerely as I did President-elect Carter. In a few days it will be his duty to outline for you his priorities and legislative recommendations. Tonight I will not infringe on that responsibility, but rather wish him the very best in all that is good for our country.

During the period of my own service in this Capitol and in the White House, I can recall many orderly transitions of governmental responsibility--of problems as well as of position, of burdens as well as of power. The genius of the American system is that we do this so naturally and so normally. There are no soldiers marching in the street except in the Inaugural Parade; no public demonstrations except for some of the dancers at the Inaugural Ball; the opposition party doesn't go underground, but goes on functioning vigorously in the Congress and in the country; and our vigilant press goes right on probing and publishing our faults and our follies, confirming the wisdom of the framers of the first amendment.

Because of the transfer of authority in our form of government affects the state of the Union and of the world, I am happy to report to you that the current transition is proceeding very well. I was determined that it should; I wanted the new President to get off on an easier start than I had.

A year ago I reported that the state of the Union was better--in many ways a lot better--but still not good enough. Common sense told me to stick to the steady course we were on, to continue to restrain the inflationary growth of government, to reduce taxes as well as spending, to return local decisions to local officials, to provide for long-range sufficiency in energy and national security needs. I resisted the immense pressures of an election year to open the floodgates of Federal money and the temptation to promise more than I could deliver. I told it as it was to the American people and demonstrated to the world that in our spirited political competition, as in this chamber, Americans can disagree without being disagreeable.

I am proud that today America is at peace. None of our sons are fighting and dying in battle anywhere in the world. And the chance for peace among all nations is improved by our determination to honor our vital commitments in defense of peace and freedom.

I am proud that the United States has strong defenses, strong alliances, and a sound and courageous foreign policy.

Our alliances with major partners, the great industrial democracies of Western Europe, Japan, and Canada, have never been more solid. Consultations on mutual security, defense, and East-West relations have grown closer. Collaboration has branched out into new' fields such as energy, economic policy, and relations with the Third World. We have used many avenues for cooperation, including summit meetings held among major allied countries. The friendship of the democracies is deeper, warmer, and more effective than at any time in 30 years.

We are maintaining stability in the strategic nuclear balance and pushing back the specter of nuclear war. A decisive step forward was taken in the Vladivostok Accord which I negotiated with General Secretary Brezhnev-joint recognition that an equal ceiling should be placed on the number of strategic weapons on each side. With resolve and wisdom on the part of both nations, a good agreement is well within reach this year.

The framework for peace in the Middle East has been built. Hopes for future progress in the Middle East were stirred by the historic agreements we reached and the trust and confidence that we formed. Thanks to American leadership, the prospects for peace in the Middle East are brighter than they have been in three decades. The Arab states and Israel continue to look to us to lead them from confrontation and war to a new era of accommodation and peace. We have no alternative but to persevere, and I am sure we will. The opportunities for a final settlement are great, and the price of failure is a return to the bloodshed and hatred that for too long have brought tragedy to all of the peoples of this area and repeatedly edged the world to the brink of war.

Our relationship with the People's Republic of China is proving its importance and its durability. We are finding more and more common ground between our two countries on basic questions of international affairs.

In my two trips to Asia as President, we have reaffirmed America's continuing vital interest in the peace and security of Asia and the Pacific Basin, established a new partnership with Japan, confirmed our dedication to the security of Korea, and reinforced our ties with the free nations of Southeast Asia.

An historic dialog has begun between industrial nations and developing nations. Most proposals on the table are the initiatives of the United States, including those on food, energy, technology, trade, investment, and commodities. We are well launched on this process of shaping positive and reliable economic relations between rich nations and poor nations over the long term.

In my eyes, the last conservative President.

Last edited by Boycott; 02-22-2018 at 08:44 PM.
Old 02-22-2018, 09:17 PM
Lamoral Lamoral is online now
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Maybe Arnold Schwarzenegger? He'll never be President, but he comes across as an example of a Republican politician who is fairly honest, moderate, and has a generally upbeat message and does not pander to bigots. He seems to be the type to want to bring people together rather than divide them; and he was also an athlete when he was younger.
Old 02-22-2018, 09:26 PM
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GIGObuster GIGObuster is offline
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Originally Posted by Jacquernagy View Post
Maybe Arnold Schwarzenegger? He'll never be President, but he comes across as an example of a Republican politician who is fairly honest, moderate, and has a generally upbeat message and does not pander to bigots. He seems to be the type to want to bring people together rather than divide them; and he was also an athlete when he was younger.
And the most surprising thing to me: he was smarter than many of the Republicans in congress now.
I, personally, want a plan. I don't want to be like the last horse and buggy salesman who was holding out as cars took over the roads. I don't want to be the last investor in Blockbuster as Netflix emerged.
That's exactly what is going to happen to fossil fuels.

He also pushed California's track record in creating jobs in the renewable energy sector as a backlash to those in his own party who argue that acting on climate change will cost the economy dearly:

Renewable energy is great for the economy, and you don't have to take my word for it. California has some of the most revolutionary environmental laws in the United States, we get 40% of our power from renewables, and we are 40% more energy efficient than the rest of the country. We were an early-adopter of a clean energy future.

Our economy has not suffered. In fact, our economy in California is growing faster than the U.S. economy. We lead the nation in manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, entertainment, high tech, biotech, and, of course, green tech.
Old 02-22-2018, 09:34 PM
Boycott Boycott is offline
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 16
I'd also like to add that in the wake of Pearl Harbor, a fresh-faced Gerald Ford postponed his law studies to join the US Navy. He was one of many who voluntarily signed up to defend their country.

Compare with the present occupant of the White House who never served and those in the Congress who didn't either, yet use the military as political capital.

Last edited by Boycott; 02-22-2018 at 09:37 PM.
Old 11-07-2018, 10:06 AM
EarlGrayHot EarlGrayHot is offline
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 24
I don't think joining up is the only way to serve-there are other ways that are perfectly legit. However, a man like Trump who castigated John McCain for being captured and spending years as a POW was low even for him. Ford was pretty classy even if he did pardon Nixon, a move I did not support along with many others. We could use some more of that today.
Old 11-07-2018, 11:50 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Back in 2016, there was one Republican candidate who I considered respectable: George Pataki.

He was utterly ignored by Republican voters. Respectability is apparently no longer wanted in the Republican party. To get ahead now, you've got to show that you can be more extreme than the other guys. The end result of this philosophy is our current President.
Old 11-07-2018, 01:28 PM
Velocity Velocity is offline
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 12,538
One Republican who might fit the OP's criteria is Ben Sasse, senator from Nebraska. He is the author of a recent book called Them: Why We Hate Each Other, discussing how tribalistic America has become, how societal loneliness feeds problems, and how it threatens the nation.

In terms of personality, education, style and viewpoints, Sasse is basically the embodiment of the Never-Trump conservative.


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