Short Cuts America: il blog di Arnaldo Testi

Politica e storia degli Stati Uniti

Dopo Watergate: l’incubo è finito, il sistema funziona (Gerald Ford, 9 agosto 1974)


U.S. Chief Justice Warren Burger administers the oath of office to Gerald Ford in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., August 9, 1974.

Subito dopo le dimissioni di Richard Nixon, il 9 agosto 1974 il vice-presidente Gerald Ford assume la carica di Presidente e, a conclusione del giuramento cerimoniale, si rivolge ai presenti e ai concittadini con un discorso piuttosto breve (feci in tempo a sentirlo tutto per radio durante una corsa in taxi, a New York). Ne traduco qui sotto solo alcune righe, a seguire c’è il testo completo in inglese. 

Circa un mese dopo, l’8 settembre 1974, con un proclama presidenziale, Ford concede a Nixon “full, free, and absolute pardon” – “per tutti i reati contro gli Stati Uniti che egli … abbia commesso o possa aver commesso o in cui possa aver avuto parte nel periodo dal 20 gennaio 1969 al 9 agosto 1974” (cioè per tutta la durata della sua permanenza alla Casa bianca). La motivazione della grazia? Per riportare tranquillità al paese, per evitare processi politici lunghi e divisivi, per evitare “ulteriori punizioni e umiliazioni a un uomo che ha già pagato con la pena senza precedenti di lasciare la più alta carica elettiva degli Stati Uniti”.

Signor Chief Justice, cari amici, concittadini:

Il giuramento che ho appena fatto è lo stesso giuramento di George Washington e di ogni Presidente secondo la Costituzione. Ma assumo la Presidenza in circostanze straordinarie prima d’ora mai vissute dagli americani. Questo è un momento della storia che turba le menti e fa male al cuore.

Perciò penso che il mio primo dovere sia di fare un patto senza precedenti con i miei concittadini. Non un discorso inaugurale, non una fireside chat, non un comizio elettorale – solo una franca chiacchierata fra amici. […] 

My fellow Americans, il nostro lungo incubo nazionale è finito.

La nostra Costituzione funziona; la nostra grande repubblica è un governo di leggi e non di uomini. Qui il popolo è sovrano. Ma c’è un Potere superiore, qualunque sia il nome con cui lo onoriamo, che prescrive non solo rettitudine ma anche amore, non solo giustizia ma misericordia.

Mentre cerchiamo di curare le ferite del Watergate, più dolorose e velenose di quelle di una guerra, restituiamo al processo politico la sua golden rule, e con amore fraterno liberiamo i cuori da odio e sospetti.

All’inizio vi ho chiesto di pregare per me. Prima di finire, chiedo di nuovo le vostre preghiere, per Richard Nixon e la sua famiglia. Possa il nostro ex Presidente, che ha portato pace a milioni, trovarla anche per sé. 

Mr. Chief Justice, my dear friends, my fellow Americans:

The oath that I have taken is the same oath that was taken by George Washington and by every President under the Constitution. But I assume the Presidency under extraordinary circumstances never before experienced by Americans. This is an hour of history that troubles our minds and hurts our hearts.

Therefore, I feel it is my first duty to make an unprecedented compact with my countrymen. Not an inaugural address, not a fireside chat, not a campaign speech–just a little straight talk among friends. And I intend it to be the first of many.

I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your President by your ballots, and so I ask you to confirm me as your President with your prayers. And I hope that such prayers will also be the first of many.

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 woman–my dear wife–as I begin this very difficult job.

I have not sought this enormous responsibility, but I will not shirk it. Those who nominated and confirmed me as Vice President were my friends and are my friends. They were of both parties, elected by all the people and acting under the Constitution in their name. It is only fitting then that I should pledge to them and to you that I will be the President of all the people.

Thomas Jefferson said the people are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty. And down the years, Abraham Lincoln renewed this American article of faith asking, “Is there any better way or equal hope in the world?”

I intend, on Monday next, to request of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate the privilege of appearing before the Congress to share with my former colleagues and with you, the American people, my views on the priority business of the Nation and to solicit your views and their views. And may I say to the Speaker and the others, if I could meet with you right after these remarks, I would appreciate it.

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.

To the peoples and the governments of all friendly nations, and I hope that could encompass the whole world, I pledge an uninterrupted and sincere search for peace. America will remain strong and united, but its strength will remain dedicated to the safety and sanity of the entire family of man, as well as to our own precious freedom.

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.

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.

As we bind up the internal wounds of Watergate, more painful and more poisonous than those of foreign wars, let us restore the golden rule to our political process, and let brotherly love purge our hearts of suspicion and of hate.

In the beginning, I asked you to pray for me. Before closing, I ask again your prayers, for Richard Nixon and for his family. May our former President, who brought peace to millions, find it for himself. May God bless and comfort his wonderful wife and daughters, whose love and loyalty will forever be a shining legacy to all who bear the lonely burdens of the White House.

I can only guess at those burdens, although I have witnessed at close hand the tragedies that befell three Presidents and the lesser trials of others.

With all the strength and all the good sense I have gained from life, with all the confidence my family, my friends, and my dedicated staff impart to me, and with the good will of countless Americans I have encountered in recent visits to 40 States, I now solemnly reaffirm my promise I made to you last December 6: to uphold the Constitution, to do what is right as God gives me to see the right, and to do the very best I can f or America.God helping me, I will not let you down.


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1 risposta

  1. All of your content is just amazing 🙂

    "Mi piace"


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