I looked up this quote today while commenting on DogWoman’s blog because I couldn’t remember who said it. I was a little surprised to find that it was Gerald Ford, as part of his inauguration speech. Or more accurately, the remarks he gave after being sworn in as president following Nixon’s resignation. Re-reading the speech, I found parts of it unexpectedly moving. I thought you might, too. Here it is (excerpted, and emphases mine).
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“The oath that I have taken is the same oath that was taken by George Washington and by every President under the Constitution. But I assume the Presidency under extraordinary circumstances never before experienced by Americans. This is an hour of history that troubles our minds and hurts our hearts.
…Thomas Jefferson said the people are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty. And down the years, Abraham Lincoln renewed this American article of faith asking, "Is there any better way or equal hope in the world?"
…Even though this is late in an election year, there is no way we can go forward except together and no way anybody can win except by serving the people's urgent needs. We cannot stand still or slip backwards. We must go forward now together.
…To the peoples and the governments of all friendly nations, and I hope that could encompass the whole world, I pledge an uninterrupted and sincere search for peace.
…I believe that truth is the glue that holds government together, not only our Government but civilization itself.
… My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.
Our Constitution works; our great Republic is a government of laws and not of men. Here the people rule…"
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(Who would have dreamed, then, that the crimes of Watergate would look like child’s play compared to Bush/Cheney?)
On November 5th, may our long national nightmare be over, finally, and again.
Full text here.