For good or ill the people of America have spoken. They have retired Gerald Ford from the presidency. In doing so, they should not forget the service he has rendered to the nation. A good man filled the gap created by Watergate. He inherited all the adverse fallout of that disaster. He kept the country on balance, and his veto of more than sixty pieces of legislation indicates that he did not use the office to advance his own career. He acted out of concern for what he considered to be the best interests of the nation. We bid him adieu with great appreciation for his service.

Jimmy Carter came out of nowhere to confound the political pundits and scramble his way to America’s highest office. We congratulate him. The president-elect is the first Southerner in more than fifty years to gain the White House from outside. His frequent public affirmations of personal faith in Christ provide him with a singular opportunity and also expose him to many pitfalls. As an evangelical who has drawn attention to his experience of regeneration, he will be subjected to scrutiny of his every word and movement.

Mr. Carter has told America that it can trust him and that he will always tell the nation the truth. He has set for himself the highest possible standard. We applaud this intention. One of the best things he can do is to fulfill that promise rigorously. And we think his choice of cabinet members, ambassadors, judges, and White House staff members is the place to start. He has promised to choose persons for office on the basis of merit and integrity. This can only mean people who practice the ethical standards of this nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage.

He has promised to cut the fat out of the bureaucracy while increasing its ...

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