In the chapter, “The Seventies: Under Control?” Zinn portrays a corrupt and dishonest government of which the American people needed time to regain trust. Zinn discusses the Watergate scandal, which involved president Nixon in the 70’s and led to him resigning. The scandal involved Nixon and other members of his administration, and the American society began to not trust Nixon. Zinn writes, “Watergate had made both the FBI and the CIA look bad – breaking the laws they were sworn to uphold, cooperating with Nixon in his burglary jobs and illegal wire-tapping” (554). Citizens of America were supposed to have faith in the government and the fact that the FBI and CIA are honest and doing good, but during this time, most felt the exact opposite. In response to the people losing trust in their system, Nixon resigned, Ford succeeded power and bad acts by the FBI and CIA were exposed. Zinn tells us, “even with these strenuous efforts, there were still many signs in the American public of suspicion, even hostility, to the leaders of government, military, big business” (556). The American people still needed more which might have been seeing changes to the system being done.
What stuck out to me most was that the government system did not really seem to do much in order for the citizens to trust them again; rather, Nixon resigned, which in a way is him just stepping back and not owning up to anything, and FBI and CIA acts were exposed, which just confirmed the American citizens suspicions. Not to mention, under Ford, 83% of Americans agreed that the people running this country are dishonest (550). This chapter allowed for me to see the distrust the people had in the government and the bigger problems within the system itself.