The Thought for the Day – Gerald Ford

(Government) will continue to be about as good as concerned and conscientious citizens make it. – Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford was the 38th president of the United States, assuming office after the resignation of Richard Nixon. Ford certainly was not the first to be both vice president and president, but he was the first who wasn’t elected to either position. He died in 2006.

We’ve always thought Ford was a good and decent man. Considering the circumstances, he probably did not have much of a chance of getting elected to a full term. History, I think, looks favorably at his presidency, the centerpiece of which was, of course, his pardoning of former President Nixon.

Ford hits the nail squarely on the head with today’s Thought: our government will always be as good as we care to make it. Right now, our federal government, even by the most charitable standards, is a partisan, fractured and bickering mess. Nothing of substance is getting done.

Whom to blame? It’s common to blame the media, or incumbents or lobbyists, but let’s be honest, were any of those at our kitchen table or voting booth when we filled out our ballot? No, of course they weren’t. We filled out our own ballot. We elected everyone there. We have nobody to blame but ourselves.

The good news is if we caused this mess, we can also solve it. The government we want is never farther away than the next election.

The biggest battle we are facing is human nature. It is human nature to stick with what is familiar even if it’s not serving us well. Nothing illustrates this better than the 2014 elections where America reelected 96 percent of incumbents to a Congress that had an eleven percent approval rating.

Eleven percent! Loan sharks have higher ratings than that. America’s message was clear: we are not happy with our government. We are unwilling to do anything about it.

(Government) will continue to be about as good as concerned and conscientious citizens make it…

Unwilling, but not unable. If we are not happy with our government, it’s in our hands to change it. If we don’t, we only have ourselves to blame. To find the solution, all concerned and conscientious citizens need to do is look in the mirror. The government we want is as close as the next election.

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