The supposed gaffe; “Oct. 6, 1976
At his second debate, President Gerald Ford (R) asserted: “There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, and there never will be under a Ford administration.” Asked to clarify, Ford said he doesn’t believe the Poles and others consider themselves “dominated” by the Soviet Union. Jimmy Carter (D) fired back, “I’d like to see Mr. Ford convince Polish-Americans and Czech-Americans and Hungarian-Americans that those countries don’t live under the supervision and control of the Soviet Union.”
Apparently Jimmy Carter and most of those who voted for him didn’t understand nor realize how right President Ford was. In June 1976, four months before the debate, Polish workers staged their first open rebellion against the Soviet Union. Workers struck factories in Warsaw’s three districts, Plok, Random and Ursus. When the riots in June were put down the polish workers formed the Komitet Obrony Robotników (KOR)or The Workers Defense Committee. in September 1976….40 years ago.
By the end of the ’80’s…with the help of the first Polish Pope (John-Paul II 1978) Poland was indeed officially free of Soviet dominance.
These acts of defiance and heroism, for more than a decade, showed the resolve of the Polish people that they did not think of themselves as being DOMINATED BY THE SOVIET UNION. Due to Russian suppression of the press, Jimmy Carter, many Americans and most of the free world, knew little or nothing about these movements on the night of October 4, 1976. We would come to know about these protests in small bits and pieces. We came to know it as, Solidarność : Solidarity.
President Ford knew…and what is now considered to be a gaffe in American Politics may have been nothing more than an accidental revealing of American intelligence information.
President Ford was the smartest guy on stage that night…the only gaffe was electing Jimmy Carter. His four years has proven that.
Let us not make that same gaffe again with hillary!