Abandoned Faith in the American Government
Starting with the Cuban missile crisis and then on to the Vietnam War, the nation was at
its apex with the government in the mid 1960’s and their anti-government resentment only grew
through time. From Watergate to the Pentagon Papers to the secret military strike on foreign
nations, scandals like these greatly tarnished the views that the public had on the national
government. Between 1965 and 1980, the antigovernment sentiment of the American people
grew out of the deceptions of the Johnson administration, Nixon’s abuse of presidential powers,
and the inability of the administrations to resolve domestic and foreign crisis, especially the
Vietnam War, which led to their changing political, economical, and social views of the national
Many Americans lost faith in their government due to their corrupt, dishonest, and
exploitative ways. Politically, the government engaged in many deceitful acts that led them to
mislead the nation by hiding activities that turned out to be controversial.
Beginning with the
Vietnam War in 1964, was the dawn of the nation’s changing perception of the government. The
Vietnam War was an extremely costly war and the longest war in American history.
sent in 2.6 million soldiers and spent more than $150 billion on the war, money that could have
gone into domestic programs at home.
What led many Americans to change their opinion of the government to that of one that is
filled with corruption and lies is the dishonesty they felt due to Vietnam. President Johnson,
during the 1964 election told the nation that “We are not going to send American boys nine or
ten thousands of miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for
This assured Americans that electing Johnson would make it possible to bring
Roark, James L., Michael Johnson, Patricia Cohen, Sarah Stage, Alan Lawson, and Susan Hartmann .
. 4th ed. Boston, Mass.: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2009. Print, 944.