Jerry Ford died.
Goodbye Oatmeal Man.
All this week you will hear about this "Healer" of America's soul. How letting Nixon fade into San Clemente was so important to curing the Nation of the Nixon nightmare.
BulIshi+. That move wasn't any more therapeutic than a band-aid on cancer. Nixon was unpardonable, a cancer on the presidency, Ford avoided dealing with it, so, Nixon and his bitter-enders were able to convince themselves and anyone who would listen that they had been unfairly hounded out of office by hippies and libruls.
VietNam had polarized this country for half a dozen years. Liberals that had resisted and protested the war had been so demonized that the National Guard had opened fire on college students. Dozens of agencies from the Army and the CIA to groups that we still can't identify, infiltrated and derailed peace groups and it was common for "hippies" to get beat up by "Patriots" and harassed by police. Mainstream employers still wouldn't hire longhairs up into the eighties.
We got blamed for "losing the war". Nevermind that the warriors hadn't been able to win the war in seven years, right? History proved the Left, right. The VietNam war was a terrible blunder that cost millions of lives and encompassed enough atrocity for a Nuremburg. Nixon and Kissinger also had culpability in Chile, in Central America, the Philippines and several other theaters.
All the Perps got away. In the interest of "Healing", the Bitter-enders were allowed to fester. They became the Conservatives, then the NeoCons, that so dominate the political landscape now. Big Money, Big Religion, Big Media, the think tanks, all came from reaction to the People intervening in the Establishment's game.
Pardoning Nixon and glossing over his crimes and those of his cronies, deprived US of Justice. We needed the revelations that a trial would have featured. We needed an unequivocal statement that a verdict would have provided. We needed to repudiate the greedy, ugly America that we were starting to become, because that national debate was swept under the rug, it gave rise to the culture war that the Right has been waging and winning ever since.
Jerry Ford "kept the lid on", it's said, but really, he just kicked the can down the road.
(I always wore my WIN button upside-down)