American Exceptionalism and the Legacy of Vietnam: US by Trevor McCrisken

By Trevor McCrisken

Trevor McCrisken examines the impression of the assumption in American exceptionalism at the heritage of U.S. international coverage because the Vietnam battle. He analyzes makes an attempt by means of every one U.S. management either rhetorically and by means of pursuing international coverage supposedly grounded in conventional American ideas. He argues that exceptionalism always supplied the framework for international coverage discourse yet that the behavior of overseas affairs used to be constrained through the Vietnam syndrome.

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Announcing the new policy The End of American Exceptionalism? ’41 Johnson had perhaps been more deeply affected by the Tet offensive than any other individual in Washington. His personal standing among the American public plummeted. The ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ campaign of late 1967 had brought approval of the president’s conduct of the war back up to 40 per cent. But after Tet this approval crashed to an all-time low of 26 per cent. Johnson’s overall approval rating also fell from 48 per cent to another new low of 36 per cent.

53 In addition to there being no agreement among Americans over whether the conduct of the war signalled an end to American exceptionalism, there is further evidence to suggest that the idea of the US as a special nation with a special destiny would survive the defeat in Vietnam. As with previous times of domestic disagreement over foreign policy content and direction, advocates on both sides of the Vietnam issue utilized the rhetoric of exceptionalism in their arguments. We have already seen how Lyndon Johnson used such language and ideas.

But even then, America was the hope of millions in the world. Today we have become the strongest and richest nation in the world. And the wheel of destiny has turned so that any hope the world has for the survival of peace and freedom will be determined by whether the American people have the moral stamina and the courage to meet the challenge of free world leadership. 54 The war’s opponents also based many of their arguments on the idea that the US is a special nation with a special destiny. Senator J.

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