Post-WWII Events That Caused Loss of Faith in American Way
When the United States finally joined the Allied Powers and helped in delivering victory against the Axis Powers, Americans felt untouchable and unstoppable, especially after the American Forces successfully used the revolutionary atomic bombs against Japan. However, several events after the war led many of them to lose faith in America and its government. According to Jett et al., one of these events was the control of East Germany by the Soviets from 1949 till 1991. After the war, most Americans expected that the United States and its allies would facilitate the freedom and economic development of various countries devastated by these events. When it became apparent that the Soviet Union was unwilling to grant the people of East Germany their freedom and the western countries could not do anything about it, American citizens realized that their country was not untouchable and unstoppable as they had thought.
The space race was another major event that made Americans realize that other powerful nations could counter the US power. On April 12, 1961, the Soviet Union outsmarted America when it sent a Russian cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, to space. It was another major reminder to Americans that the superiority of their country as a technological and military powerhouse could easily be challenged. Although the government doubled its effort to put a man on the moon, it was evident that the Soviets had a similar or even superior capability of doing the same.
The disillusionment was further heightened by the assassination of prominent personalities in the country. One such event was the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. The event reminded many Americans who had hoped for a united country race, and discrimination was still a major problem. During the war, all Americans felt a sense of unity as they fought a common enemy threatening the existence of the country. However, the country slid back to racial segregation soon after defeating the enemy. The death of King was a demonstration that a section of the society was keen on inhibiting any attempt, peaceful or otherwise, of promoting a society that was free from any form of discrimination.
The American loss in the Vietnam War and the disgraceful withdrawal of its troops from the country in 1975 was another major event that reminded people that the idea of being untouchable and unstoppable was just an illusion. When the United States went to Vietnam in 1955, the leadership of the country expected a quick victory in such a small and military inferior country, especially after having been so successful against more powerful countries such as Germany and Japan. However, it took the US almost twenty years in the country, but still, it was unable to subdue the enemy. Many Americans felt that their country lacked military might to fight more powerful opponents. I do not have faith in the current government because I believe the president has failed to understand the primary challenges that minorities face.