Ada Fisher: Be the bigger person

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 28, 2021

By Ada Fisher

Thirty-eight years ago in President Gerald R. Ford‘s inaugural remarks leading up to a pardon for Richard Nixon, he stated “our long national nightmare is over.”

Nixon’s pardon was for any crimes he may have committed or participated in while in office. In the interest of ending national divisions, Ford privately justified his actions from a portion of the text of Burdick v. United States — a 1915 US Supreme Court decision stating a pardon carries an imputation of guilt and that its acceptance carried a confession of guilt.

Over 70 million voters supported President Donald J. Trump in the 2020 election and hoped for his success. They are not in need of deprogramming, but they need to appreciate their candidate was treated fairly under the law. The rest of the voters need to understand that the loyal opposition has a right to their beliefs and should not be belittled, if they are constitutional, even if folks believe they are wrong. The media as well as internet needs to guarantee fair access to opposing views, less we become the totalitarian government we claim to despise.

Proceeding with a second writ for the impeachment of Donald John Trump seems folly, as he is no longer the president or an office holder. Rehashing Trump’s enlarged peccadilloes magnified under a microscope of Hubble proportion clearly sets the stage for never ending political investigations, costing a lot of money and delaying the need to get on with the business of America.

A stroke of political genius on the part of the Biden administration would be to offer the same type of pardon to Trump as was done for Nixon. Whether it is accepted or not is irrelevant because this would signal a need to move on. Otherwise, Congress and others sink in the quicksand quagmire of their inability to do the people’s work — obfuscated by the blinding light of what was and might be again if the hearts of insurrection are not countered by something more positive. This type of pardon is like a community property divorce, affecting only one’s time in office and not liabilities before or after such.

Appreciating, as did Ford, that such would possibly make Biden a one term president, this would fit into the groundwork for a narrative already laid based on President Biden’s age or proclamation that he would hand the presidency over to Harris if his faculties were diminished. It could further the desire to give the Democrats more “creds” in seeing his vice president, Kamala Harris, set another historic record by ascending to the presidency and becoming the first female as well as woman of color in that position.

This type of magnanimous gesture would also take the focus off of perceived slights — in-your-face attacks and other wounds real and imagined — that prevent the nation from focusing on its problems with the pandemic; borders soon to be flooded with immigrant caravans, testing the new president’s meddle; anti-American suppression of free speech on the internet; ballooning debt which exceeds the nation’s gold repositories or other negotiable assets; a need for a sane environmental position embracing the here and now; and a national focus on clean water and preservation of our animal diversity, e.g., bees, not just humans.

Salisbury’s Ada Fisher is a licensed teacher, retired physician, former school board member and former N.C. Republican national committeewoman.