Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Blessing of Ex-Presidents

Saddam Hussein and Gerald Ford are dead. One man was a dictator whose removal from power had to be facilitated by a foreign invasion. The other came to power after the relatively peaceful resignation of his predecessor. One ruled his country for many years, then spent his short life after ruling his country first in a hole, then in a prison. The other ruled his country briefly, then lived out his long life in his own home in the land he had once led.

It is sometimes easy to forget just how lucky we are to live in a country where leaders become former leaders without blood-shed and live peacefully within our own boarders (as opposed to living in exile or in prison) for years afterward, often continuing to contribute to society in positive ways. Assassinations are rare. Our most controversial election in recent memory resulted in some protests, some legal action, and a Supreme Court decision – hardly a chaotic transfer of power. It’s not like Clinton declared himself President for Life when the identity of his successor was in question.

So today, as we remember Gerald Ford, we should also remember to be thankful for the blessing of ex-Presidents.

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