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Blog Post 11/2: The Seventies

Zinn’s chapter, “The Seventies: Under Control?” was very surprising yet interesting as it discussed Watergate, the Nixon administration, and American distrust and dissatisfaction with the government. I thought it was interesting how Nixon was pardoned after he resigned which saved him from possible criminal proceedings. The criminals involved also were not given harsh punishments which definitely raises questions about how internal government conflict has been handled. There was a great amount of national hostility towards the government after the Vietnam War and the world was exposed to government lies and atrocities creating distrust. An interesting statistic was that 84% of the American public (from a survey) agreed that the government and people in power don’t tell the truth. The chapter also emphasized how the entire government system is deeply flawed and there is not much that anyone can really do to change it. Many wanted Nixon to be removed from power, but they believed that his resignation would not change the issues within the system. 

A very shocking part of the chapter was the actions of the U.S on Cambodia because of the Mayaguez ship. They ordered bombings on Cambodian ships and invaded Tang Island for the main purpose of showing the world that America still held the power. They called it a “necessary risk” even though they risked the lives of the American seamen and innocent Cambodian lives. They continued even after hearing that the seamen were expected to be released soon. This shows how the loss of the Vietnam War took a large toll on the American ego, and forced the government to show their power by doing major destruction on Cambodia. This chapter opened up my eyes to the problems within the government system and how that has majorly contributed to national distrust towards the government that still exists today. 

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One Comment

  1. Kayla O'Connell Kayla O'Connell

    I also was surprised to read about Watergate and the illegal acts of our government. It’s always disheartening to see when our government gets away with illegal acts, yet expect citizens to obey the laws. How can our government look to unify America when lies are so prevalent throughout the system? It’ll be interesting to see how the system of our government will change with the years to come.

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