President Gerald Ford at work in the Oval Office, Aug. 12, 1976

President Gerald Ford at work in the Oval Office, Aug. 12, 1976

President Gerald Ford stated in Rockford, Illinois, March 11, 1976: “People say … why don’t you expand that program, why don’t you spend more federal money? … I don’t think they have understood one of the fundamentals. … I look them in the eye and I say, ‘Do you realize that a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have?'”

Gerald Rudolph Ford was the 38th U.S. president. Born on July 14, 1913, he was named Leslie Lynch King, Jr. till he was renamed by his stepfather. Gerald Ford attended the University of Michigan on a football scholarship, graduated from Yale Law School and served in the Navy during World War II. He was the House Minority Leader until chosen to be vice president when Spiro Agnew resigned.

Gerald Ford then became president when Richard Nixon resigned. He was the only president not elected.

When he assumed the presidency on Aug. 9, 1974, Gerald Ford stated: “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.”

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On Sept. 8, 1974, President Gerald Ford stated: “The Constitution is the supreme law of our land and it governs our actions as citizens. Only the laws of God, which govern our consciences, are superior to it. As we are a Nation under God, so I am sworn to uphold our laws with the help of God.”

In a proclamation of prayer, Dec. 5, 1974, President Ford quoted President Eisenhower: “Without God there could be no American form of government. … Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first-the most basic-expression of Americanism.”

At a Southern Methodist University Convocation, Sept. 13, 1975, President Ford stated: “I see a century … which equips young men and women … to make their own decisions rather than permit their future to be programmed by massive government structures that an imaginative writer foresaw for 1984 – a nightmarish fantasy of what our third century could be. It is my deepest conviction that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”

President Gerald Ford continued: “Men and women must prevail over the endless agencies and bureaus that would reduce human beings to computerized abstractions and program people into numbers and statistics. Today’s mounting danger is from mass government … we must not let them prevail. … Never forget that in America our sovereign is the citizen. … The state is a servant … It must never become an anonymous monstrosity that masters everyone.”

What was President Ford’s most repeated warning? Click here to find out.

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