An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history; conviction results from whatever offense or offenses two-thirds of the other body considers to be sufficiently serious to require removal of the accused from office.
In the two centuries that have passed since 1776, millions upon millions of Americans have worked and taken up arms, when necessary, to make [the American] dream a reality. We can be proud of what they have accomplished. Today, we are the world's oldest republic. We are at peace. Our nation and our way of life endure. And we are free.
I know well the coequal role of the Congress in our constitutional process. I love the House of Representatives. I revere the traditions of the Senate despite my too-short internship in that great body. As President, within the limits of basic principles, my motto toward the Congress is communication, conciliation, compromise, and cooperation.
If you have not chosen me by secret ballot, neither have I gained office by any secret promises. I have not campaigned either for the Presidency or the Vice Presidency. I have not subscribed to any partisan platform. I am indebted to no man, and only to one womanmy dear wifeas I begin this very difficult job.
That, in part, is why the Constitution's framers gave justices life tenure ? to enable them to rule wherever the law and the Constitution led them, without obligation or fear of political reprisal. Former Republican president Gerald Ford recently paid tribute to John Paul Stevens, his only appointee to the Supreme Court, who is also far more liberal than Republicans expected. He has served his nation well, ... with dignity, intellect and without partisan political concerns.
As I rejected amnesty, so I reject revenge. I ask all Americans who ever asked for goodness and mercy in their lives, who ever sought forgiveness for their trespasses, to join in rehabilitating all the casualties of the tragic conflict of the past.
The Declaration [of Independence] was not a protest against government, but against the excess of government. It prescribed the proper role of government, to secure the rights of individuals and to effect their safety and happiness. In modern society, no individual can do this alone. So government is not a necessary evil but a necessary good.
Our Nation has a diverse and extremely rich cultural heritage. It is a source of pride and strength to millions of Americans who look to the arts for inspiration, communication and the opportunity for creative self-expression.
Too often critics seem more intent on seeking new ways to alter Congress than to truly learn how it functions. They might well profit from the advice of Thomas Huxley, who said a century ago: Sit down before facts as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notionor you shall learn nothing.
So much of what passes for public life consists of little more than candidates without ideas, hiring consultants without conviction, to stage campaigns without content. The result, increasingly, is elections without voters.
The power and diversity of the Armed Forces, active Guard and Reserve, the resolve of our fellow citizens, the flexibility in our command to navigate international waters that remain troubled are all essential to our security.
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. But there is a higher Power, by whatever name we honor Him, who ordains not only righteousness but love, not only justice but mercy.
I believe that truth is the glue that holds government together, not only our Government but civilization itself. That bond, though strained, is unbroken at home and abroad. In all my public and private acts as your President, I expect to follow my instincts of openness and candor with full confidence that honesty is always the best policy in the end. My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.
To know John Kennedy, as I did, was to understand the true meaning of the word. He understood that courage is not something to be gauged in a poll or located in a focus group. No adviser can spin it. No historian can backdate it. For, in the age old contest between popularity and principle, only those willing to lose for their convictions are deserving of posterity's approval.
The tough decisions that a president has to make in the Oval Office are in no way related to the capability of a person to do well on television. On the other hand, the capability of a person to project favorably on television enhances that person's odds of being elected so he can serve in the Oval Office. So you can't ignore the talents, one, to be very effective on television, and on the other hand, to be very effective as an operating president.
We have too long treated the natural world as an adversary rather than as a life-sustaining gift from the Almighty. If man has the genius to build, which he has, he must also have the ability and the responsibility to preserve.
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.
I once told you that I am not a saint, and I hope never to see the day that I cannot admit having made a mistake. So I will close with another confession. Frequently, along the tortuous road of recent months from this chamber to the Presidents House, I protested that I was my own man. Now I realize that I was wrong. I am your man, for it was your carefully weighed confirmation that changed my occupation. The truth is I am the peoples man, for you acted in their name, and I accepted and began my new and... Read more »
The earth will continue to regenerate its life sources only as long as we and all the peoples of the world do our part to conserve its natural resources. It is a responsibility which every human being shares. Through voluntary action, each of us can join in building a productive land in harmony with nature.
Humor can help you to disagree without being disagreeable. The key in democracy is not necessarily that we agree, but that we participate....Despite all the heavy problems- domestic and international- there is humor. Humor transcends partisanship.
We have come tardily to the tremendous task of cleaning up our environment. We should have moved with similar zeal at least a decade ago. But no purpose is served by post-mortems. With visionary zeal but the greatest realism, we must now address ourselves to the vast problems that confront us.
We must proceed with our own energy development. Exploitation of domestic petroleum and natural gas potentialities, along with nuclear, solar, geothermal, and non-fossil fuels is vital. We will never again permit any foreign nation to have Uncle Sam over a barrel of oil.
Now, therefore, I, Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.
I believe that prayer in public schools should be voluntary. It is difficult for me to see how religious exercises can be a requirement in public schools, given our Constitutional requirement of separation of church and state. I feel that the highly desirable goal of religious education must be principally the responsibility of church and home. I do not believe that public education should show any hostility toward religion, and neither should it inhibit voluntary participation, if it does not interfere with the educational process.
It is good to be back in the Peoples House. But this cannot be a real homecoming. Under the Constitution, I now belong to the executive branch. The Supreme Court has even ruled that I am the executive branchhead, heart, and hand.
I am committed to furthering the self-determination of Indian communities but without terminating the special relationship between the Federal Government and the Indian people. I am strongly opposed to termination. Self-determination means that you can decide the nature of your tribe's relationship with the Federal Government within the framework of the Self-Determination Act, which I signed in January of 1975.
A strong defense is the surest way to peace. Strength makes detente attainable. Weakness invites war, as my generationmy generationknows from four very bitter experiences. Just as Americas will for peace is second to none, so will Americas strength be second to none. We cannot rely on the forbearance of others to protect this Nation. The power and diversity of the Armed Forces, active Guard and Reserve, the resolve of our fellow citizens, the flexibility in our command to navigate international waters that remain troubled are all essential to our security.