One group of individuals Zinn talks about is woman. (By 1969, women were 40% of the entire labor force of the United States, but a sustainable number of these were secretaries, cleaning women, elementary school teachers, sales women, waitresses and nurses. One out of every three working women had a husband earning less than $5000 a year.” (506) Women were making a push into the labor force and even though it did not seem like much little by little they making the leap from the role of housewife. Zinn included them in this chapter because they were making a big social change to how things were done. They use to be expected to stay and be only mothers and housewives, now they were starting to get jobs and help provide for the family.
Another group of people coming out were the homosexuals, they were admitting who they are and not hiding it anymore. The need to hide their homosexuality was not considered as socially unacceptable as it use to be, however was still deemed disgusting by many and many still looked at it as a sickness/disease. “Homosexuality was no longer concealed. “Gay” men and “gay” women- lesbians-organized to combat discrimination against them, to give themselves a sense of community, to overcome shame and isolation.” (537) Zinn included them in this chapter because they were another group coming out and trying to change old way of homosexuality having to be hidden.
”The elimination of Mr. Richard Nixon leaves intact all the mechanisms and all the false values which permitted the Watergate scandal”(545)
Nothing was being changed they weren’t fixing anything. Nixon would be pardoned but the foreign policies stayed and the power president to do what he wanted would stay. The system was being kept the same. By removing Nixon faith was suppose to be brought back to the government and everybody was suppose to trust the government and believe they did what did because it was best for you. Ford’s goal was to get the people back to the point where they weren’t questioning what the government was doing and just had full trust in its government. Ford kept Nixon’s policy of aid to the Saigon regime, which led to the Fall of Saigon. After that crushing defeat, the faith in the government was only worsened.
The U.S need to get its reputation back up. It seemed like military force is the only way to do this. American cargo ship, The Mayaguez, was sailing by Cambodia. The ship was stopped and the crew was brought back to mainland. In an effort to show to show that the U.S was still powerful Ford demanded their release, however the messages wasn’t received. The crew was released 3 days later. Ford with this knowledge still issued a marine attack of Tang Island. In the attack 41 American solders were lost . With everyone questioning Ford decision, the answer soon came out. ”It was necessary to show the world that giant America, defeated by tiny Vietnam, was still powerful and resolute”(552). The determination to get U.S reputation back as powerful was there, even if it meant AMerican solders would have to go down.
Mary E. Lease, The Money Question (1892)
“Money rules… The parties lie to us and the political speakers mislead us. We were told two years ago to work and raise a big crop, that was all we needed. We went to work and plowed and planted ; the rains fell, the sun shone, nature smiled, and we raised the big crop that they told us to; and what came of it? Eight-cent corn, ten-cent oats, two-cent beef, and no price at all for butter and eggs-thats what came of it.”
One of the most active and passionate woman during the populist movement was Mary E. Lease. Mary urged farmers to “raise less corn and more hell!” Farmers were told to raise big crops by the parties only to learn that they were deceived into working a lot harder. After all the farmers hard work what came out of it was eight-cent corn, ten-cent oats, two-cent beef and nothing for butter and eggs. The farmers were told by the politicians that them that they suffered from overproduction but 10,000 little children starved to death and 100,000 shop girls in New York are forced to sell their virtue for the bread. The farmers were making barely enough money to survive. The Santa Fe Railroad and loan companies were just robbing the common people to make the rich richer. Mary E. Lease wanted to motivate them to fight for what belongs to them, go all out and do not give in. The people will refuse to work and pay their debts until the government pays its debt to them. Her speeches helped the farmers stop working like slaves and they also warned the government, letting them know that they were done being abused by the rich and their “masters” and they were done being controlled by the government. The country was done being run by wall street and it was going back to the peoples control. The time of people being abused is over.