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Primary Response: Within the Discussion Board area, write 200–250 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas. 

For this Discussion Board, please complete the following:

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Overtime Americans have lost trust in government. In 1958, in the era of Eisenhower and Kennedy, about 75% of Americans trusted the federal government to do the right thing most of the time. By 2019, that number among Republicans had dropped to 21%. It also dropped among Democrats to 14% (Pew Research Center, 2019).

The 1970’s were a time when trust in government was falling. Vietnam divided the country. In 1974, Richard Nixon became the first American president to resign the office. The Watergate story revealed widespread corruption in his administration.

Watch this video summary of the Watergate scandal. Nixon was facing impeachment and removal from office. He instead chose to step down. Since then public trust in government has continued to drop.  This is especially true for the executive and legislative branches. Watch this video that examines trust in government since 1958.

Think about the impact of Watergate and Vietnam on public trust in institutions such as government.  Choose ONE event that is discussed in the video and answer the following questions: 

  • Why do think this event had the impact it did on public trust in public institutions like the government? 
  • How might trust in public institutions, especially government, be regained?

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