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Michael W. Jackson HILD 2C: Paper #2 A02-92-6779
Jackson 2 The American society has been affected by many events within the period of thirty-five years, spanning 1965 to 1999. The changes within society have been both on a microscopic and macroscopic level. The focus of this inquiry will deal with the realm of macroscopic change. The three pertinent areas of focus are politics, economy, and foreign affairs. These three regions canvas the American landscape and paint a portrait of an America that is as diverse today as it was some thirty years ago. The conclusion to be drawn, however, is that America has changed but as well has remained the same. The first area of focus, politics, covers a wide range of topics from elections, propaganda, and scandal involving elected officials. The headline of the Los Angeles Times on October 16th, 1965 read: "New Air Defense: Viet Missiles Tricked into Missing." This headline captures the belief of the newspaper that the United States could still win the war in Vietnam. The nature of this article is quite suspicious as it details the abilities of the American war arsenal while at the same time promoting the United States' imminent victory in Vietnam. The armed forces are quoted as stating: "of the 103 planes downed over Vietnam in the past six months, 98 were downed by conventional gun fire and only six by Russian supplied surface-to-air missiles (SAM)." The weapons themselves are described as "RED" missiles and that new air combat maneuvers and countermeasures have succeeded in disabling the threat. The slant of this article is a clear representation of the news media in their attempts to support the war effort while at the same time maintain the threat of communism. The second significant political story of the day is the UC protest against the Vietnam War.
Jackson 3 The march itself gained great attention with respect to its order as well as its sudden diversion from the scheduled parade route to avoid a confrontation with the Oakland Police. The protest itself, however, is not covered in great detail and it is weakened by focuses solely on the possible violence that could have occurred. The topic of corruption is also a cover page feature as the possibility that Judge Morrissey was not a resident of his district in Massachusetts when he was elected to the federal bench. Judge Morrissey has been tied to the Kennedy family and eventhough the judiciary panel approved his appointment questions still persist. The final view into American life comes with an article that focuses on the planting of a tree by President Johnson's secretary of the interior outside his hospital room. This article captures the ailing President as unable to sleep and in pain due to prior surgery. The article also sheds doubt on the ability of Johnson to serve his nation. The Political scene of October 16th, 1980 was filled with environmentalism, Presidential campaigning, and a move to supply medicinal marijuana to ailing cancer patients. The move by President Carter to establish a committee to preserve the Lake Tahoe Basin was a significant political move to foster greater relations with the environmentally concerned in an election year. Carter's plan called for the review of any government project that may harm the area and in turn prevent the further loss of nature on the California side of the lake. With the presidential election looming in the next few months President Carter challenged Ronald Reagan to a debate. The controversy surrounding this debate was the omission of independent candidate, John Anderson. Anderson
Jackson 4 the focus of another front-page article as well argued that President Carter was destroying his campaign through political strong-arming of financial institutions. Anderson stated that he was unable to gain bank loans critical to his campaign as a direct result of a memo distributed to the financial community questioning the legality of the loan in question. The medicinal marijuana issue was addressed by the state of California and needed a supply of pure THC (the main chemical in marijuana) and marijuana cigarettes. The study to find the effectiveness of THC over the current anti-nausea drug was delayed by a shortage of supply that has hindered the relief of pain in cancer patients. On October 16th, 1999 the nation faced the political questions of Election 2000 but chose to focus its attention on the Stock Market's worst week in 10 years. The one significant political issue relied heavily on the topic of dying with dignity. The focus of this article was to investigate the alternatives to hospitalization of patients with less than six months to live. The desired alternative is represented as a Hospice, which in turn will aid the patient at home and allow the patient to die surrounded by loved ones. The proposed benefits far outweigh the means in a society in which old age is a major focus and the politics of health care regulation is at the center of the debate. These three snapshots of the political activity within the nation at three different time periods cover the unique diversity within America. In 1965, during the Vietnam War, America calls for both an end to fighting as well as a prediction of success in a war we would not win. The possible scandal of a federal judge weighs a minor role in the nation yet makes front page news as a possible
Jackson 5 scandal within the government. In 1980 campaign for the Presidency and campaign finance is the focus of a heated debate surrounding the removal of a third party from the presidential race. In 1999, politics has a minor role, as the economy is the focus of a nation. The timeline flows from a nation with divided patriotism, to a new age conservancy, to a desire to aid the aged in the later years. The nation fluctuates greatly over this time period but the consistency in the American people is an interest in possible scandal as well as the focus of presidential elections and finally the morale of the American people in response to national issues. The economy, a driving force in today's information age, has remained a thread in American news, no matter if it is as thin as a strand of hair to the thickness of a piece of rope. The economy in 1965 was captured in the possibility of an economic downturn as three straight days of trade led to a decline of the market which investors feared may spur a recession. The market on October 15th however ended the day on the positive side of the board and assuaged the fears of investors. The second major concern is oil production in the Alaska and the possibility that it will not lower gas prices in the nation. The final address to the economy is by Vice President Hubert Humphrey and his vow to curb inflation to encourage economic growth. In 1980, the cover photo of the Los Angles Times was the story of Richard Scheller who with his 15,000 shares of Genetech became a millionaire overnight. The story focused on the purchase of 15,000 shares for a mere three hundred dollars while Richard worked for Genetech. This is a common story of great
Jackson 6 earnings during the eighties in which many Americans gained great wealth before the recession of the nineties. The second significant issue is the decontrol of oil and its significant effects upon the pocketbooks of American society. The market was up on this Thursday as the oil sector and blue chips fueled the economy. In 1999, Greenspan moved to curb inflation producing the worst week for the market in ten years. The Dow fell 266.90 points as the nation moved to work within a system of corrections. The economy as well was the focus of the nation as the public in this new age of Internet investing moves to protect their holdings. The economy is the pulse of the American form of Democracy and the pulse has fluctuated significantly throughout the history of decline and advance. The stock market trends in the 1960's and even in the 1980's however do not greatly concern the public. When John Q. Public began to invest in the new economy the nation now had a battalion of nurses checking the pulse of the economy in hopes of attaining the profit necessary to finance the American Dream. The common thread running through this period is clear the economy is a main factor of the American society and it remains in a cycle of boom and bust characterized by the 1980 Noble prize winner, Lawrence Klein. International relations, are diversions into the global community and through this exploration of other nations the hope to spread democracy while stopping Communism fueled the flames of Americans. In 1965, the hope of US foreign policy was to aid nations in distress to prevent the spread of communism. This was captured succinctly in Vietnam. The fear of American politicians and
Jackson 7 military strategists was that if Communism was allowed to go unchecked the governments and people of the world would fall to a system which inhibits the freedoms of all people, a democratic system. The second branch of this desire to promote world democracy was the aid of American funds to purchase military fighters for Jordan. This was an attempt to maintain peace in a region scared by conflict and communism. In 1980, the United States was still searching for communism in all forms to eradicate off the face of the earth. In 1980 the United States was involved in a move to end the rule of Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines and to end martial law in the region since Marcos' seize of power. The nation as well was dealing with strong opposition from China as the United States recognized Taiwan ambassadors separate form China. The nation as well dealt with the war between Iran and Iraq as the battleground of the Cold War between the super powers. In 1999, the focus of democracy was the battlefield of East Timor and the people of the region who desired to have a democratic election. The horror unfolded as a move to hold democratic elections proceeded to extreme bloodshed, as a military dictator desired to maintain power. The nation changed greatly in this time period from its actual involvement in the preservation of democracy and freedom. The nation faced its first defeat in Vietnam and as a result the American people desired to end the spread of Communism, however not through direct involvement of Americans. This trend proceeded into relations with the Chinese and Ferdinand Marcos. Americans
Jackson 8 desired to end the tyranny of this dictatorship but as well favored a more subtle approach to end communism. In 1999, the American people stay far away from direct involvement in world conflict on behalf of communism but still remain strongly opposed to the end of democracy in any region. The United States sends troops but only through auspices of the United Nations. The common thread involved in all foreign relations with the United States is a desire to preserve freedom and democracy around the world. The nation may have reduced its level of engagement but in turn the desire of Americans to send troops to corners of the globe has greatly diminished and been replaced by a desire to aid with weapons and propaganda. The review of the Los Angles Times from these three time periods characterizes the changing face of America in response to the nation's concerns and dreams. The differences themselves are significant but on a macroscopic level the periods in general are quite similar in the aspects to which attention was diverted. The concerns of this nation have remained quite static during the Cold War and Post Cold War periods. The American people still fight for democracy in the world against the evils of communism, the economy plays a key role in the nation's morale, and the politics of the nation maintain the reality that we as a society are not perfect but are trying to make the purest democracy possible. The most significant change within the articles from the three time periods (1965,1980,1999) is that the style of the report and the terms used signify a more involved America and as well an America that desires the truth.
Jackson 9 Articles: "US secret technique credited" The Los Angeles Times. October 16th, 1965. "UC Protesters in Orderly March Avoid Showdown with Policemen" The Los Angeles Times. October 16th, 1965 "FBI plans new check on Morrissey Residency in 1934 election race" The Los Angeles. October 16th,1965 "Tree planting keeps Johnson from his nap" The Los Angeles Times. October 16th, 1965. "Jordan to buy French jets;U.S. will pay part of bill" The Los Angeles Times. October 16th, 1965 "Alaskan Oil: Future held brighter but not radiant" The Los Angeles Times. October 16th 1965 "Humphrey vows to curb inflation" The Los Angeles Times. October 16th, 1965. "Carter establishes watchdog panel for the Tahoe basin" The Los Angeles Times. October 16th, 1980 "Anderson unable to attain bank loans, blames Carter" The Los Angeles Times. October 16th,1980 "$300 in stock turns buyer into millionaire" The Los Angeles Times. October 16th, 1980 "U.S. to supply marijuana in cancer cases" The Los Angeles Times. October 16th, 1980. "China protests to U.S. envoy on Taiwan issue" The Los Angeles Times. October 16th, 1980 "Iranian regime survives-but can it prevail" The Los Angeles Times. October 16th, 1980 "Philippines' Marcos appears fit, still in firm control" The Los Angeles Times. October 16th, 1980. "Oil Decontrol takes its toll" The Los Angeles Times. October 16th 1980. "Greenspan, gust of inflation pummel stocks, spiking fears" The Los Angeles Times, October 16th, 1999.
Jackson 10 "Trying to permit dying with comfort and dignity" The Los Angeles Times. October 16th, 1999. "Bringing aid and security to E.Timor a delicate balance" The Los Angeles Times. October 16th, 1999. "Stocks: Worst week in ten years" The Los Angeles Times. October 16th, 1999.
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