Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Alternative History

President Gerald Ford died last week. He was characterized as a decent man. Other than his being wishy washy on abortion, I would have to agree. (I even had to play him in my 5th grade Presidents' Day pageant.) The one thing I can't seem to forgive him for is losing to Jimmy 'Lust-in-my-heart' Carter. Not only did we have to put up with his incompetence for four years, but we have also had to endure his self-anointed foreign policy junkets. A case could be made that these have damaged our country almost as much as his presidency.

Likely, things would have been better with four more years of Ford. He was not nearly as naive as Carter when it came to foreign policy. But, we also have to face facts. Ford was a Rockefeller Republican: he liked big government and was socially liberal.

Let's suppose a different course. What if Ronald Reagan had received the Republican nomination? I think it is safe, considering how close the Ford-Carter election was, to believe that Reagan would have won. I can't imagine Reagan pulling the rug out from under the Shah. 30 years without rogue Iran, now there is a thought. The rebuilding of the military would have started four years sooner. I doubt the Sandinista would have been allowed to taken over Nicaragua. It also would have been far less likely that the Soviets would have invaded Afghanistan. Communism would have fallen sooner. On the domestic front, just imagine not having to deal with Carter appointed federal judges. This would have been excellent news for the pro-life cause. Dismantling the Great Society earlier would also have been good. The best thing would have been Jimmy Carter going back to Plains, Georgia to farm peanuts.

Another question that would need to be answered is: Would Reagan's agenda have gone as far as it did if it had not been preceded by the failure of the Carter presidency?
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