By Editor-in-chief
updated 1/9/2007 11:18:00 AM ET 2007-01-09T16:18:00

Inspired by the life and death of Gerald Ford, a group of online community activists is urging members of Congress to pledge their allegiance to a more bipartisan and civil brand of politics.

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The idea is the brainchild of Maryland engineer Ian Broverman, a member of the issues-based community who was swayed by the site’s debates about Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon. “To those who say nobody’s mind is ever changed in these debates, I’ll prove you wrong – I’ve been convinced here that Ford’s pardon was a huge sacrifice to pull our partisan nation back together. And now, by the most amazing coincidence, we’re all talking about his sacrifices at a time when our country is again dangerously divided,” Broverman wrote in a post to the community.

Broverman drafted a “Ford Pledge,” and is urging people to email it to their representatives in Congress and ask them to read it publicly. He also wants people to email a link to the HOTSOUP discussion to friends and family.  This is the “Ford Pledge:”

"In honor of Gerald Ford, his decency, and the tremendous sacrifices he made to heal this country at a time of division, I pledge to spend 2007 working towards a similar depolarization – by cooperating with peers from opposing camps, by putting my countrymen’s needs before my party’s, and by making sacrifices if necessary. We stand stronger when united, and I pledge to lead my country by good example, just as I have been led by Gerald Ford’s good example. I pledge to spend 2007 working towards that strong unity, and I dedicate that work to Gerald Ford’s memory."

Broverman has already created a buzz. At least one online community blog has picked up the pledge, and even skeptical members of the community are onboard. “As I made very clear, I feel the Nixon pardon was a disaster. I have other major problems with certain portion of Ford’s career,” wrote a HOTSOUP member named “Omniadeo.” “But not with Ford as a decent man. If he works as a symbol of unity, go for it.”

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