- June 10, 2020
America in the 1970s and 1980s
Americain the 1970s and 1980s
Americain the 1970s and 1980s
CredibilityGap was a strategy applied by the President Johnson’s skeptics toquestion the truthfulness of Johnson’s policies and statementsregarding the Vietnam War. The discussion about Credibility Gap roseduring the 1968 Tot Offensive where the media was able to illustratehow the government deceived its public. Tot Offensive helped inshowing to the public the gap that existed between administration’sspeeches and reality. Watergate, on the other hand, was a scandalinvolving President Nixon‘s administration. The scandal reads thatNixon’s associates, in 1972, broke into Democratic NationalCommittee (DNC) headquarters in Watergate to acquire opposition’sdocuments and to plant microphones in their offices. Iran-contra wasa scandal during President Ronald Reagan’s administration wherebyU.S secretly supplied fund to contra rebels in Nicaragua (Ayers,2011).The funds were profits gained by selling of arms to Iran. The papercompares the above mentioned scandals and assesses how each event hasinspired America’s perception of its government, society, andgovernment-society interactions in the past and in today’s societyand politics.
Inmy view, the above events compare in many ways. First, all scandalsinvolves Presidents and their administration. Credibility gap camedue to President Johnson’s poor administration policies. Watergatesaw involvement of President Nixon while Iran-Contra involvedPresident Reagan. They all represent Presidents’ self-interests bysometimes misleading the public for a political gain orjustification. Another similarity among the three scandals is thatthey all illustrated how powerful media can be in exposingadministration irregularities.
Ialso believe that the Credibility gap, Watergate, and Iran-Contraplayed a great role in changing the public’s perspective regardingits government. People realized that administrations needed to bekept in check to allow transparency and the truth. People understoodthat there are political speeches and the truth, whereby they neededto investigate these speeches to prevent governments from misleadingthem. In other terms, the scandals made people and societies becomemore vigilant towards government activities. The media also gavepeople powers to question the policies of their leaders (Ayers,2011).Today, this is evident as people through media are able to expresstheir feelings towards a leader or an admistration. For example, thejust concluded U.S elections saw people analyze President electDonald Trump and Hilary Clinton by mainly relying on the mediareports.
Today’spolitics and society perceptions towards governments have changed.Checks and balances have increased mainly due to changes in the mediasector. Media has resulted to a free and powerful institution, mainlyin the American political system. It has today encouraged the publicto not just agree with the political speeches, but with the reality.
Ayers,E. L. (2011). Americanpassages: A history of the United States.Boston, MA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.