Vietnam - Watergate - Essay Example

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Various events during the Vietnam War and the Watergate crisis led to the creation and spread of cynicism about the American politics and the government that still exists today. This paper…
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Vietnam - Watergate
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Vietnam, Watergate and Cynicism Introduction The early 1970s was a period during which distrust in the National Government grew. Various events during the Vietnam War and the Watergate crisis led to the creation and spread of cynicism about the American politics and the government that still exists today. This paper discusses the events related to the Vietnam War and the Watergate crisis that led to these consequences.
Vietnam War needs
One of the most unpopular events of the Vietnam War was the mass murder of unarmed civilians during the My Lai Massacre by the US army. What particularly led to the cynicism was the fact that a vast majority of the people assassinated were innocent children, infants, women and old people. US attacks in Cambodia were one of the fundamental causes of escalation of the Vietnam War. Likewise, the Gulf of Tonkin was another event that paved the way for greater involvement of the US in the Vietnam War. The event caused distrust between the people and the American government because the consequences of the attacks were contrary to what the government had conveyed to the public. While President Lyndon B. Johnson said that the US did not want to expand the war (Hickman), the Gulf of Tonkin actually produced the opposite effects. The media played a very important role in revealing the truth and the real awfulness of the war to the public. This particularly created distrust between the people and the government because the media was showing the opposite picture than what was being shown by the government. Walter Cronkite had made a good reputation as a reporter among the people since the World War II. In his reports about the Vietnam War, Cronkite concluded that after all the killings and genocides, the US did not win the war and the war ended in stalemate. “Cronkites editorial would later be regarded as a critical indice of public opinion of the Vietnam War” (“The Reporters”).
Watergate Crisis
One of the events of the Watergate War that led to the cynicism were the audio recordings of the US President Richard Nixon’s communications along with the recordings of the White House staff and various officials. They were known as the Nixon White House tapes. The recorders were switched off after the public got to hear the recordings. During the 1970s, a political scandal known as the Watergate scandal attracted a lot of public attention and became the cause of resignation of the US President Nixon. On 1 March 1974, numerous former aides of Nixon were indicted by a grand jury because of the conspiracy of impeding the Watergate investigation. “In 1973, a Senate select committee began an investigation, and it became clear that top members of the Nixon administration were involved in a cover-up of the break-in and several other illegal actions” (“United States v. Nixon”). Nixon was secretly named as the unindicted co-conspirator. During the Watergate scandal, the political commentators particularly led to the creation of cynicism by referring to the resignation of Elliot Richardson and William Ruckelshaus, and Nixon’s dismissal of Archibald Cox as the “Saturday Night Massacre”.
Works Cited:
“The Reporters: Walter Cronkite.” 2003. Web. 20 Dec. 2012.
“United States v. Nixon.” 2012. Web. 20 Dec. 2012. . Read More
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