From 1975 to 1979, America felt like it was failing. It had lost the Vietnam War. The economy was falling apart. By 1979, people wondered if the nation had experienced four failed presidents in a row.
Worse, in Cambodia, there were the Killing Fields, in which the murderous Pol Pot and his forces killed an entire one-fourth of that nation's population.
Had this bloodbath occurred because America was no longer containing communism? Was the Soviet Union ascendant?
The Russians had their own problems--but America couldn't see them. As it felt that it couldn't win, it turned inward. However, even as it did so, it experienced gas lines, soaring inflation--and a series of Culture Wars that tore the nation apart.