Today’s Zinn chapter focused on the Nixon administration and how trust between the people and the government began to diminish even more. The American people were already on edge with the government due to the involvement in the Vietnam War, which proved time and time again that America should not have gotten involved. The watergate scandal furthered distrust in the government and President Nixon. Nixon could no longer lead the country due to the lack of trust, so he was removed from office. I did not know Nixon executed an illegal bombing in Cambodia, and this news did not sit well with me. This type of misuse of power makes me question the democracy within America. Zinn continually exposes how America has failed to represent the people through its form of democracy, and as the examples pile up it makes me feel less and less confident in the American government. I want to look deeper into how much power the president of the United States of America actually has. I was under the assumptions that the checks and balances formed in the American government would prevent the president from doing things like bombing Cambodia without full support of congress.
The United States of America’s constant need to be seen as a world superpower causes problems. Zinn states that Ford wanted America to be seen as a superpower once again, so he made some rash military decisions such as sending the American military to Cambodia quickly over a relatively calm issue. The questions of trust in the government came into full swing when news of the CIA and FBI instituting a variety of things that ultimately kept American citizens in the dark. Zinn describes a variety of things the CIA and FBI did without consent from American citizens and this once again questions the legitimacy of American democracy. Zinn concludes the chapter by analyzing international business and corporate power. It is interesting how Zinn brings the chapter full circle with this segment. The themes of distrust and abuse of power filtered throughout this chapter, and Zinn, once again, brings to light so many of the stains on American history.
I agree with you that the United States need to be a world superpower was very problematic. They had this idea that their authority needed to be everywhere they wanted it to be. Up until the Vietnam War, this had worked but this war made this ideology fall apart. Mainly because the people themselves didn’t agree with it and they saw how the US was able to uphold this belief.
I agree that our constant need to be the best definitely causes problems. If anything it can cause great stress to citizens. Without knowing whether you are being lied to or being told all the truth it is easy to distrust everything you hear even if it is the truth.