So, while the rest of the punditry is tripping all over itself trying to genuflect before this guy, allow me a little equal time. Rose colored glasses have never been my style.
Ford was one of the leading members of the Warren Commission, which concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone and endorsed the "Magic Bullet Theory." Riiiiiiiiiight.
While in Congress he opposed federal aid for education as well as health care, attempted to restrict minimum wage, voted down measures that provided loans and subsidies for farmers, and in general voted down any federal attempt to intervene with state politics (including, notoriously, fighting certain aspects of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.) He was instrumental in supporting the early foundations of what would later become the IMF. One of his most controversial activities was his unsuccessful attempt in 1970 to instigate impeachment proceedings against Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas
A few years later, Ford was rewarded for his loyalty by being handed the vice presidency in the most corrupt administration in US history (at least it was, until 2001). Why, because he was such a dynamic leader? Or because Dick knew the hammer was coming and he needed a compliant, obedient lapdog who would promise to keep him out of prison and protect his US government perks after being forced from office?
Within one month of assuming the presidency upon Nixon's retreat, Ford fulfills his end of the deal and hands Dick Caligula an unconditional pardon. I keep seeing these pundits and political hacks regurgitating the talking point that Ford pardoned Nixon "For the good of the country." Since when is letting a criminal thug who attempted to subvert the US Constitution to amass power get off scott free with generous taxpayer-funded perks "good for the country?" Aren't these the same group of jerk-offs who cheered as Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about a consensual affair during at a frivolous civil lawsuit?
Although only in office for 29 months, his administration continues to haunt us. It was in his administration that current death and deception merchants like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and... George H.W. Bush as head of the CIA became national fixtures.
The new CIA director was prompted to authorize an alternative unit outside the CIA to challenge the agency's intelligence on Soviet intentions. Bush was more compliant in the political winds than his predecessor. Consisting of a host of conservatives, the unit was called Team B. A young aide from the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Paul Wolfowitz, was selected to represent Rumsfeld's interest and served as coauthor of Team B's report. The report was single-minded in its conclusion about the Soviet buildup and cleansed of contrary intelligence. It was fundamentally a political tool in the struggle for control of the Republican Party, intended to destroy détente and aimed particularly at Kissinger. Both Ford and Kissinger took pains to dismiss Team B and its effort. (Later, Team B's report was revealed to be wildly off the mark about the scope and capability of the Soviet military.)
During a debate with Jimmy Carter in 76 campaigns, Ford bewilderingly argued that Poland wasn’t really under Soviet control.
When Carter defeated Ford, he was handed the worse US economy since The Great Depression.
Dry your eyes people, unless you weep for James Brown. If there is a Hell, Gerald R. Ford is now enjoying a little catchup time with his buddy Tricky Dick Nixon.