Saturday, January 06, 2007

Priorities in Politics

It's been another milestone week in our nations history.

Our country lost another great man in the passing of our 38th President, Gerald Ford. Even if you weren't familiar with the man or his term in office, you couldn't help but be touched by the outpouring of sentiments and accolades given in tribute to him by people from every walk of life. Known as the "accidental" president, the only one to date that was not elected for either the vice presidency, or the head office, the other act he will most be remembered for is the "pardoning" of our 37th President, Richard Nixon and the whole Watergate scandal. I was too young when that all happened to know what it was about, and now, it almost seems a small paragraph in the whole torrid page of what was happening in the chapter of those years of history. As an adult, I can only imagine the discord that act meant to some, yet what a courageous step. Mr. Ford had the fortitude to look ahead, and by doing so, helped our country to heal.

The media at that time was really just beginning to start reporting the "sensational" side of politics...I guess Watergate helped that along! Before that, the office, I believe, was more revered, and in some ways perhaps, too "secretive". But there are just some things I don't want to know about that go on behind the closed doors of the Oval office, and things that the public really doesn't need to know about. For instance, Gerald Ford was made fun of during his term for being "clumsy", tripping down the steps of Air Force One. Who really cared? Did it make him a worse president? Did Dan Quayle's misspelling of a word REALLY need to be the top news story for umpteen weeks? How about President Bush trying to open the wrong door at a function during a Presidential visit? Or even VP Cheney's shooting accident? Report them if you must, but quit dwelling on it! Even this week with our first female Speaker of the House being sworn in, too much emphasis was given on what Nancy Pelosi was wearing and how many thousands of dollars she spent on her suit and shoes. Are we missing the point?

Sometimes, it takes something like the death of a President for us to notice these things and remember the good and wonderful things that a person did, and is capable of. As our new sessions in government begin both locally and nationally, let's hope that 2007 is a "good year" for the history books, one that we may remember for working together, and making a difference that matters. Let's overlook the "small" things and focus on leaving a legacy we can all be proud of.

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