U.s. Policymakers During The War Of Vietnam Essay examples

985 Words Oct 31st, 2016 4 Pages
Arguably more influential to U.S. policymakers than the fear of monolithic communism was the belief that “loss” of Vietnam would result in severe domestic backlash. This conclusion was drawn as a result of the domestic response to President Truman’s perceived “loss” of China. In the domestic sphere, both politically and publicly, Truman was vilified for being weak on communism and jeopardizing the safety of the United States as well as its allies. The Republican Party exploited these criticisms a great deal, gaining political capital by using the loss of China to strip the Democratic Party of any legitimacy in areas concerning national security. Ultimately, when examining the situation in Vietnam, the Johnson Administration could not help but to fear their reputation and the reputation of the Democratic Party. As President Johnson once said, “ ‘if we let communist aggression succeed in taking over South Vietnam, there would follow in this country an endless national debate that would shatter my presidency, kill my administration, and damage our democracy…”(Zelizer 178). Essentially, Johnson believed that the failure to intervene in Vietnam would lead the same backlash President Truman faced after the Chinese Revolution. History, therefore, placed a great deal of pressure on Johnson to intervene in Vietnam despite the likelihood the war would be unwinnable (Goldwater?). As Zelizer notes, “… most Democrats were skeptical about the commitment to Vietnam, doubting that the war…

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