Trust in Government Essay

Submitted By hank42296
Words: 2118
Pages: 9

Research Essay

Before November 22, 1963, even though the United States had many negative incidents in the past, a majority of the American people still had their faith in the government. There were no protests about war, chaotic outbreaks, or any type of argument that the Government wasn’t doing its job. In fact, over 75 percent of Americans had total confidence for their government (Marshal). The reason Americans felt this way is because Eisenhower was a former General of the U.S. Army, and possessed a worthy image that was appreciated by Democrats and Republicans. He also portrayed the image of bringing peace into the country by ending the Korean War. The elected President of 1960 was a young, clean-cut man whom had a whole new vision for the United Sates called the New Frontier. This vision had not taken full effect because on November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas while campaigning for his next election. He was killed by, according to The Warren Commission, Lee Harvey Oswald. Many other Americans, from then and now, may like to argue otherwise. The moment the United States House Select Committee on Assassins (HSCA) found that Kennedy was likely assassinated as a result of a conspiracy, is when the downfall of American trust in government came to be, with the Vietnam War, Watergate, and the War on Terrorism being events that sparked this distrust.
On November 22, 1963, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was shot and killed at 12:30 in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas. The ten-month question for the Warren Commission was who did it? The Warren Commission eventually came to the theory that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone shooter in the assassination. At first, most Americans believed this was the case, however, as time went on, theories started to arise. One of the first to recognize that the assassination of John F. Kennedy could have been explained by a conspiracy was the United States House Select Committee on Assassins (HSCA). They stated that Oswald did fire three shots at Kennedy, however, the HSCA also believes that there were four shots fired, concluding that there were two gunmen. There were many other possible theories that were proposed as to who could have killed Kennedy as well. Some stating that the CIA or the Mafia killed Kennedy, and others claim The Magic Bullet Theory. As these, and many more theories started to come about, the American public started to believe them. Between the years of 1966 and 2003, polls were taken, and it is said that up to 80 percent of Americans believe the assassination of John F. Kennedy was either plotted out or a cover-up. Even though there are many theories to believe, the HSCA confirmed that the CIA, the Soviet Union, and many other groups were not involved, but individuals of these groups were not ruled out. The way the assassination went down is unknown, but what is known is Kennedy was assassinated, and that changed Americans viewpoints on government forever.
During Kennedy’s Presidency, and when he died, Johnson’s Presidency, the threat that Vietnam could become a communist country was not a bizarre thought. When the French could no longer supply troops to Vietnam, it was all up to the U.S. to keep Vietnam from converting to communism. The United States wanted to intervene because of the “Domino Theory” proposed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. If one country falls to communism, then the surrounding countries will do the same. At first, in 1963, Kennedy sent around 15,000 “advisers” to fight in Vietnam. These “advisers” did not achieve much success. Two years later, in Johnson’s Presidency, he upped the troops from 15,000 to 184,300 troops. Yet again, a vast amount of American troops were dying, so Johnson increased troops again, this time to over 500,000 troops. Even though they were achieving little by little, it would not be enough to end the war any time soon. President Johnson and General…