Sunday, November 4, 2012

NOVEMBER 4, 2012

Pretty close now, just a couple of days, and the American people will, as they always do, elect their leader.

The system's worked pretty well through our history;  there must be something about elected leaders.  There are the winners, of course--Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt (Franklin) and so on.  And there are the so-so ones--John Tyler, say, or Franklin Pierce.  And there's even the unelected one--yes, we had one of those too.

You have to go back to Richard Nixon, a trouble-prone Republcan defeated by John Kennedy in 1960, but a winner in 1968 over Hubert Humphrey.  Nixon's term was troubled.  His Vice President, Spiro Agnew, turned out to be a crook and had to resign.  Nixon chose as his replacemernt the Republican leader in the House, Gerald Ford of Michigan.  The House and Senate confirmed the appointnent, as the law required, but there was no election. 

Things went from bad to worse for Nixon--workers for his reelection campaign breaking into Democratic headquarters and so on.  In the end, Nixon had to resign to avoid impeachment. Vice President Ford, unelected, took over and reassured the country with one memorable line:  "Our long national nightmare is over."

And it was.  Ford, most of us thought, was a pretty good president, though the country turned to a Democrat, Jimmy Carter, in 1976.


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