Since President Ford has just completed his first year in office, it is time to take an inventory.
In those matters where he acted on his own, President Ford’s record is good. He successfully vetoed several wasteful spending bills. He refused to impose gasoline rationing or price and wage controls, despite intense pressure. He was not stampeded into bailing out New York City with federal funds.
However, in those matters where he followed the advice of his two chief appointees, Vice President Nelson Rockefeller and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, President Ford has given us a steady succession of deficits at home and defeats abroad.
His Administration has fueled galloping inflation by giving us the largest peacetime deficit in history. That should hardly be a surprise, when Rockefeller’s record as Governor of New York was to increase the cost of state government about 400 percent.
For the first time in our 200-year history, the United States lost a war. The fall of Southeast Asia was the direct result of the Paris Agreement, negotiated by Henry Kissinger, which let North Vietnam double its large-standing army in South Vietnam, while re quiring all U.S. land, sea and air forces to pull out. The falling dominoes in Asia and the crumbling alliances around the world are the direct result of letting the Communists crush our allies in Southeast Asia.
While President Ford cannot be blamed for the Paris Agreement, he has retained the architect of this disaster in near-total control of our foreign policy, military policy, and intelligence.
Mistakes of even more far-reaching consequences were made when President Ford permitted Secretary Kissinger to write the script for Ford’s own shuttle diplomacy. His Vladivostok agreement with Brezhnev permits the Soviets to MIRV enough of their missiles to knock out our Minuteman missile force, while denying us the right to build missiles powerful enough to threaten the Soviet missile force.
President Ford’s trip to Helsinki resulted in an agreement which Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn called “the funeral of Eastern Europe.” This is because it legitimatizes the Soviet invasion and occupation of ten satellite nations.
The Helsinki agreement is based on a premise which is directly contrary to the Captive Nations Law passed by Congress in 1959, which commits the United States to support a policy leading toward the in dependence of the nations under Communist tyranny. This law makes it clear that this is not merely an altruistic verbal gesture, but that this policy “is vital to the national security of the United States.”
By his calculated snub of Solzhenitsyn, President Ford made it dramatically clear that he has chosen to rely on Kissinger’s phony detente instead of on American military power to defend us and our allies. Solzhenitsyn stated our problem clearly when he said: “No, it is not any difficulties of perception that the West is suffering, but a desire not to know, an emotional preference for the pleasant over the unpleasant.”