I keep seeing and hearing that Gerald Ford healed a “divided nation” or that the country was a “nation in turmoil” when he pardoned Richard Nixon. Funny, I remember the nation being pretty united on wanting Nixon brought to justice. In fact, Ford’s poll number fell like 20 percent overnight after issuing Nixon's pardon. So I’m not sure what divisions he healed. Rather he’s seems to have simply made the whole process of justice just go away. Sure the nation moved on more quickly than it would have otherwise but what else could it do? Well, there was one thing it could, and did, do. It did not re-elect them man who issued the pardon.
I’m not trying to diminish Ford’s legacy by cherry-picking things with which I disagreed with him, but I’m also not going to re-write history in honor of his passing.
Update: Even odder is the notion that it was in the national interest to dispense with the messiness of a Richard Nixon trail for very real crimes, but there was plenty of time and resources for a trial over a presidential blow-job.