Once again, Zinn shows us the bad intentions behind some of the progressive actions from the government. Zinn claims Lyndon Johnson and the American government only signed the Voting Rights Act, because of the increasingly distraught group of people in America. Zinn does not see this as a decision of good faith, but rather a way to save himself and his country from a larger group of protestors. The Voting Rights Act was small enough that it did not significantly impact white American Society, but it was enough to pacify many of the riled up black members in America. Zinn criticizes the rich and powerful members of America for not stepping up to take on the major issues. Poverty and racism was being avoided by focusing on the less important things at the time like the Voting Rights Act. Many aspects of Zinn’s historical book centered around this idea that throughout history the people in charge will always inevitably look out for themselves first.
The new election is coming up in the United States of America, and I think it is important to connect this chapter to the new candidates. This chapter showed the selfishness and unwillingness to change when needed in leaders, and we can use this information to vote for a better future. When looking at the candidates for each of the public office positions, it is important to think about which candidates will be looking out for the people and not just a small percentage of the population. Zinn showed how this is important when describing how the American government was just looking to pacify the protestors, rather than create change. I believe the most important thing is to look for a candidate that is brave enough to make a big change when necessary. President Lyndon Johnson had a chance to change the course of America for the better, but the people’s interests were not the first thing on his mind. We need to find a candidate that has all the people of America on his mind. Someone that is willing to make the tough decision and revolutionize the country. I really enjoyed reading this chapter and evaluating the leaders described in the chapter.