The 1970s: Losing Faith in the Government

Essay by veryfatHigh School, 10th gradeA+, July 2004

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The 1970s is the time when Americans start losing faith in the federal government. They have good reason to. It seems that the leaders misled his people in the decade of scandals, suspicion, and failure to find a solution to a big problem. If I was living in the 70s, I would have lost faith in my government.

One document that gave Americans a bad impression is the Pentagon Papers released by former Defense Department worker Daniel Ellsberg. This 7000 page report exposed the fact that the government was making plans to enter the Vietnam War even though President Johnson promised that he would not send in troops to Vietnam. The papers also revealed that as long as North Vietnam attacked, there will always be American troops on Vietnamese soil. The Pentagon Papers added fuel in turning an already disturbed US public against the war. It proved to the people that the government was not truthful in its war intentions.

Furthermore, it showed that the US was engaged in under cover activities in North Vietnam as early as 1954. Many Americans felt unbelievable that political leaders could provide so much misleading information and cover up activities. As a result, the credibility gap grew. The Pentagon Papers was one of the biggest deceptions by the government.

One well-known scandal was Richard Nixon's infamous Watergate. The scandal had its origin on Nixon's reelection campaign. On June 17, 1972, five men were caught attempting to break in the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington DC. The burglars planned to take pictures of the Democratic Party's strategy on campaigning and place wiretaps on telephones. James McCord, the leader, worked on the Committee to Reelect the President. Soon, the cover up started. Incriminating documents were destroyed. The White House urged the CIA to convince the...