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

By Trevor McCrisken

American Exceptionalism and the Legacy of Vietnam examines the impact of the idea in American exceptionalism at the background of U.S. overseas coverage because the Vietnam warfare. Trevor B. McCrisken analyzes makes an attempt by way of every one post-Vietnam U.S. management to restore the preferred trust in exceptionalism either rhetorically and by means of pursuing overseas coverage supposedly grounded in conventional American rules. He argues that exceptionalism continually supplied the framework for overseas coverage discourse yet that the behavior of overseas affairs used to be restricted through the Vietnam syndrome.

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American Exceptionalism and the Legacy of Vietnam: US Foreign Policy since 1974

American Exceptionalism and the Legacy of Vietnam examines the impression of the assumption in American exceptionalism at the background of U. S. international coverage because the Vietnam warfare. Trevor B. McCrisken analyzes makes an attempt through each one post-Vietnam U. S. management to restore the preferred trust in exceptionalism either rhetorically and by means of pursuing international coverage supposedly grounded in conventional American ideas.

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As with the earlier ‘Great Debate’ over the course of American foreign policy, advocates on both sides of the Vietnam issue utilized the language and ideas of traditional American beliefs to further their cause. Although the belief in American exceptionalism was certainly shaken by the events surrounding Vietnam, the continued use of its rhetoric during the war indicated that the belief would survive this latest ‘trauma’ or ‘time of trial’ in American history. That the belief in American exceptionalism would persist beyond the Vietnam experience seemed confirmed further by the reaction to the impending impeachment and subsequent resignation of President Nixon in August 1974.

Nixon took the American public’s view of the moral legitimacy of their nation to an all-time low. Following Nixon’s resignation, President Ford faced a mammoth task in restoring public faith in the moral rightness of the United States and thus in the belief in American exceptionalism. The analysis in this chapter will consider the extent to which Ford utilized the rhetoric of American exceptionalism to ‘heal the wounds’ of Vietnam and Watergate and rebuild American self-confidence. Did such rhetoric resonate with the American people thus indicating that the belief in exceptionalism had survived Vietnam and Watergate?

Truman believed it was no longer enough for the US merely to provide an example for the rest of the world to follow. 7 The Cold War ethos was, then, firmly grounded in the missionary strand of American exceptionalism. Each of Truman’s successors also utilized the language and ideas of American exceptionalism to reinforce the nature of the battle with communism. It was not only in presidential rhetoric that the Cold War was defined and discussed in terms of ideas about American destiny, duty and exceptionalism.

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