Episode 987 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will take a look at one of the reason why Americans are distrustful of their own government. Some say it all started during the Vietnam War. That War left us with dark legacies almost too numerous to count. They include the hellacious Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) syndrome, diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange and abnormally high suicide rates for Vietnam Veterans to name a few.
One of the heaviest hits on America, the beacon of freedom to the world, coming from our involvement in the Vietnam War was the loss of trust in the government. The other “Vietnam hangovers” can be treated with various hygienic devices and procedures but loss of trust in a government is a horse of a different color (Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, 2:3).
Columnist George Will wrote an editorial in The National Review titled: Diminished Trust in Government Can Be Traced to the Vietnam War. In it he cites Mark Bowden’s book, Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam. Will highlighted several points from the book that backs up his contention that the War led to American skepticism toward its national leaders. For instance, just before the Tet Offensive began overall Vietnam commander, General William C. Westmoreland, informed his bosses back in the States he was going to unleash a new secret weapon on the North Vietnamese military that could lead to their dissolution. The secret weapon was a highly sentimental Tet song created by South Vietnamese Psyops people. The belief was that when broadcast to the NVA troops they would desert and go home to be with their families.
Discover in episode 987 more factors George Will dug up to back up his assertion “the war’s legacy lives in Americans’ diminished trust in government. Since 1968, trust has not risen to pre-Vietnam levels.”