Gerald Ford gets the last laugh

The USS Gerald R. Ford, the lead ship in a new class of ten supercarriers, also called Ford Class, was conducted this week, presided over by President Donald Trump.  I was waiting for someone, perhaps an old political sailor, to point out both the justice and the irony of that.  I'm referring to the relentless pounding in the liberal media of both presidents for exaggerated physical attributes.  With Trump, it's that unique reddish-blonde mane and his supposedly tiny hands, which, of course, is a snarky jab at the then proportionately presumed small size of his manhood.

With Ford, a favored target of media derision after he pardoned Nixon, it was his supposed mental slowness, as was fallaciously evidenced by his slow, measured speaking delivery.  More frequently, the left derisively mocked him for being a stumbling klutz, whose constant clumsiness led to frequent trips and falls and whose sporting ineptitude came from his occasional driving of golf balls into the gallery, once actually hitting a woman in the head, or on another occasion driving a ball into his tennis partner's head.  Ford's most egregious tormenter for all these inflated bumblings was a comedian, Chevy Chase, whose Saturday Night Live skits featured pratfall scenes and comedic monologues in which the Ford character appeared mentally deficient, much as Trump is portrayed there today.

Actually, Gerald Ford always had the last laugh on his detractors during his presidency, laughing along with all the goofy portrayals for the simple reason that Ford was a good sport.  Unusual among our presidents, Ford was a skilled athlete, an Eagle Scout, football captain, and an all-city selection from his Grand Rapids high school football team.  Then he became an all-star and championship football player at the University of Michigan, helping them as a linebacker and center through two undefeated seasons and to two national championships.  Ford received offers from both the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers but turned them down to become the boxing coach and assistant football coach at Yale while he attended law school to add to his undergraduate degree in economics.

When that first Ford Task Force ventures forth from Norfolk Naval Base to begin its far-reaching patrols of the world, it will demonstrate the continuing military supremacy of the Navy, in which Ford served as a lieutenant commander on a carrier in WWII.  And the name Gerald R. Ford will be embarking on a 50-year global journey during which it will be viewed with awe, respect, and sometimes fear, in far-flung ports and across all the world's oceans.

So our sitting president, who is regularly mocked on SNL by a very unfunny actor, should take heart.  It just may come to pass that the lead ship of the next class of carriers, being built in the 2040s to replace the aging carriers of the Ford Class, will be christened the USS Donald R. Trump.