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Blog Post 11/3/20

Zinn’s Chapter titled “The Seventies: Under Control” talked a lot about the role President Nixon played in the US involvement in Cambodia. I was interested while reading for a number of reasons. The first thing that I found intriguing was how unwarranted the presence of US troops in Cambodia really was. The capture of US troops in some ways, could warrant retaliation. However, the fact that the US troops that were captured were not tortured, beaten, starved, or even really treated poorly, changes thing vastly. Once again I was given the impression that the United States does not always make the right decisions, especially regarding foreign affairs and our military involvement in them. The chapter goes on to talk about several other controversial events that unfolded during the 70s in America.

Similar to the current situation in American politics, there was great outrage in America after Nixons behavior in Cambodia. His successor, was not liked by the public either. In fact, some would say that Ford was even worse than Nixon. There are so many connections between this era in American politics, and the era we are currently living in right now. There will be outrage regardless of who wins this years election, and the trust that Americans have in their government officials is low. in the 70s, Americans had little trust in the federal government because they had a lack of understanding as to why the US once again was involved in a foreign affair that led to bloodshed and fear for American troops and citizens.

There are great parallels between the 70s and today, what brings me hope about that is the fact that we got through that era in America. Which has me believing that we will once again. Even though it feels like we just might not.

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  1. Alexandra Oloughlin Alexandra Oloughlin

    I think that you made some really interesting points connecting the political tension in the seventies to the political tension that is currently impacting our nation. The American people were super distrustful of the government as a whole, and that contributed to a general sense of outrage. Yet one thing was that the nation was not as polarized or divided about who should be in power. Do you think if there was an election instead of Ford just stepping into power that things would have been worse or better?

  2. Charley Blount Charley Blount

    What is so troubling about today’s situation is the partisan divide we have seen in dissonance to political norms. After Nixon resigned, both parties coalesced around President Ford. I have very little faith in our current congress, and much of the electorate for that matter, to unite behind our elected president in 2020, whoever that may be.

  3. Zachary Andrews Zachary Andrews

    A scene from Frost/Nixon that jumped out at me was during the interview when Nixon expressed his opinion of wanting to continue to fight because he believed that the United States could win the war; however, the American people were not alligned in his beliefs. I wonder, if Nixon had pulled out of Vietnam completely and still continued with the Watergate Scandal, do you think the American people would have viewed him differently? Would more Americans like him in this scenario compared to what happened in real life?

  4. Delaney Demaret Delaney Demaret

    US foreign involvement in Cambodia deserves a way larger portion in primary school curriculums. Uninvolvement in the Cambodian genocide after the US bombing campaign was a massive failure to take foreign responsibility for destabilization practices.

  5. Annie Waters Annie Waters

    I thought a really important takeaway from this chapter was that in response to America’s distrust in the government during the Nixon and Ford presidencies, the federal government launched investigations into the CIA and FBI and released just enough information to regain the country’s trust in the government’s transparency; meanwhile, the government hesitated to condemn illegal corporate funding, and the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of privacy in presidential affairs in the case of national secrets, indicating that the government was still very much interested in upholding some of the practices it was most distrusted for. Considering the parallels between the political climate of the 70’s and that of today, I think it’s important to continue scrutinizing the actions of the government no matter how ambiguous or transparent they seem to be.

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