The Vietnam War had a large impact on Americans lives, whether they were fighting or not. Many aspects of people’s lives changed, especially the role that media played. Media was used for a variety of things, most commonly entertainment, and was fairly easy to access. When the Vietnam War began, the media was very informative about what was happening over in Vietnam. People could see the horrors and atrocities that came with war, even more so with the Vietnam War being debated as unnecessary and pointless. Television reports could show the war taking place, and even worse, show the death and destruction the came with the war. Photographs were able to show people anything that might not be able to be shown on television. They were able to show villages burning from napalm dropped by American planes, and even assassinations of suspected Vietcong soldiers.
The Vietnam War had many push backs from people back in the U.S. because of the tactics that were used to fight the war. Some people argued that having Vietnam live under communist rule would be better than having napalm dropped and entire villages bombed. Some others thought that perhaps working with Ho Chi Minh could slow down soviet ambitions like with Josip Broz Tito in Yugoslavia. They also agreed that the war was destroying American democracy. Major civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. also gave the idea that the war was taking away from money that could be used to help antipoverty programs at home. Antiwar protests grew even more after the murders of antiwar college students in Kent, Ohio.
Racial tensions were high during the Vietnam War. With claims by Martin Luther King Jr. that African Americans were being sent out just to die as well as the My Lai Massacre caused high tensions between African Americans and Whites along with the Vietnamese and Whites. Foreign policy was changing but wasn’t helping with these issues. The newer foreign policy was to help any country struggling against communism, but that just gave more reasons to stay in Vietnam rather than to get out of the war.
The expansion of presidential power that happened during the Vietnam war was, in my opinion, bad. When then President Richard Nixon creating Vietnamization, it did drastically decrease the amount of American ground troops in Vietnam, but, it still allowed Nixon to put a lot of money into the war by supporting the South Vietnamese soldiers by supplying them with weapons, food, and other necessitates. Nixon also resumed the bombings in hopes that they would help the Vietnamese soldiers win the war as Nixon’s strategy was to win the war as quickly as possible. Nixon’s third tactic was to negotiate with China and the Soviet Union to stop helping the Vietcong by attempting to make them distrust each other even more.