A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Gerald R. Ford; The All American President

Timothy Birdnow

Here's a book sure to be a bestseller! Gerald Ford may have been a boring President, but he assuredly had an interesting - and all-American life. Ford was the antithesis of Barack Obama; American to the core, a doer, and one of the last honest men in public life. No conservative, but still a man of principle.

Dr. Brian Birdnow weaves a fascinating tale of a forgotten and misunderstood figure whose short term of office was pivotal. Ford ushered in the era of Reagan, helped set the table for the Republican revolution of the 1980's.

Gerald R. Ford; The All-American President can be purchased at Amazon or Barnes and Noble in hardcover, and a paperback should be out withing a few months. (The book is a bit too pricey for me in it's hardbound incarnation, but then, given recent expenditures, a dime novel is too!)

Brian (my brother, as you all have doubtlessly already guessed) wrote this biography because there were none about Ford, and as he started looking into the man he found a much more fascinating story than he had ever dreamed. Most people think Ford dull, and Brian confirms the man had the personality of a cigar-store Indian, but what a life he lived! Born Leslie Lynch King Jr., Gerald Rudolf Ford was a football star and coached both football and boxing at Harvard, later going into a law practice and enlisting in the Navy during WWII. After the war Ford went into politics, serving on the Warren Commission investigating the murder of President Kennedy, and was a protege of George Romney, father of the current presidential candidate. He was elected Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, and held that position for eight years.

His friendship with Richard Nixon led to his elevation to the Vice Presidency, then when Nixon resigned the Presidency.

Read more about him at the Ford Presidential Library website.

Ford was famous for being klutzy, although such a fine athlete as he had been could hardly have been a true klutze. Here is one of Ford's famous falls - the one that led to his charicature on national television.

Ford also seemed to have bought into Keynesianism, and he walked around with a button saying WIN, which stood for "Whip Inflation Now"; he apparently thought inflation was caused by consumers, and he encouraged a campaign to whip the public into shape. It is small wonder the economy would tank under Jimmy Carter, who doubled down on Ford's ridiculous economic ideas. Nixon, Ford, Carter were all Keynesians, and they were proven spectacularly wrong by Ronald Reagan. Alas, every generation has to make the same mistakes to relearn valuable lessons, and America has reinstituted Keynesianism under Barack Obama - with similar results. Ford's WIN campaign was mere foolishness, and the late '70's saw the worst economy since the Great Depression (another gift from Keynes), at least until the current recession. We are pushing Carter territory here.

At any rate, Brian uncovered lots of fascinating tales about the schmoe who would be king, and his book will be a fine collection for anyone really interested in politics.

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