On this day, 45 years ago, the nation was stunned by President Lyndon B. Johnson’s announcement that he was withdrawing from the Presidential race of 1968 to devote attention to an attempt to end US involvement in the Vietnam War.
Sadly, the action led to no such thing, as Richard Nixon was elected, and continued the war until 1973, gaining nothing permanently, as Vietnam would be unified under Communist North Vietnam in 1975.
Meanwhile, the number of American troops killed more than doubled to 58,000, with many more wounded, some permanently, and massive damage done by US bombing of South Vietnam, North Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, and we are still paying for the cost of that war with aging veterans of the war who need medical and psychological care that is never ending.
It seems clear that had Vice President Hubert Humphrey been elected to succeed Johnson, US involvement in the war would have ended sooner than the beginning of the second term of Nixon.
And the Great Society of LBJ would have been continued and expanded on a massive scale with Humphrey, the premier liberal of his time, in the Presidency.
And had Robert Kennedy not been assassinated, and somehow became the Democratic nominee, instead of Humphrey, there would also have been a quicker end of the war, and an expansion of the Great Society.
America went from a nation at its peak in the 1960s, to a deterioration of the middle class after 1973, due to the investment in war spending that continued, leading to three major wars in the 1990s and 2000s, and eating up funding that could have been used for more social and economic change and reform.
The conservative counter revolution did great damage, and we are paying heavily now in our national debt which multiplied under Republicans Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, mostly in foreign policy and defense spending, while the top two percent became ever more massively wealthy due to major tax cuts on them, which did not promote stimulation of the economy!
Barack Obama is trying to reverse the course that has been endemic since 1968, but is being challenged and obstructed at every turn, but even with that, already he has become the major Presidential reformer in domestic affairs since the retirement of Lyndon B. Johnson!
Tragically the progressives kennedy and johnson enslaved hundeds of thosands of young American men through the draft for a war these idiots refused to effectivly prosecute as witnessed by myself and thosands like me.
” Richard Nixon was elected, and continued the war until 1973, gaining nothing permanently, as Vietnam would be unified under Communist North Vietnam in 1975.” What do you mean gaining nothing permanently? Nixon continued the war until it was won by forcing the Vietcong communist to the negotiating table. He wasn’t going to abandon millions of people to their tragic fate under communism. Everything the US and South Vietnam wanted was gained with the Paris Peace Accords of 1973. It was the treacherous Democratic controlled 95th Congress and the gutless President Ford that abandoned the South Vietnamese in 1975 in violation of the US obligations under the Peace Accords. As a result , millions of South Vietnamese and Cambodians were slaughtered by the vicious communist regimes. And that genocide belongs to the Democrats and President Ford!
Dave, I fully understand how you feel, but Nixon only prolonged the agony of the draft, and more men were killed under Nixon than under LBJ.
Juan, The Paris Peace Accords were not seen by anyone as serious then, just a way to get out of the war, and actually we abandoned many prisoners of war who were left behind, and Henry Kissinger lied about it for years after.
In defense of Gerald Ford, he became President at a time when the Presidency had been weakened by Watergate, and he was unwilling to challenge Congress in April 1975, but no way would an intervention have overcome the North Vietnamese within the month of April, and American public opinion was totally against re-introduction of troops after losing 58,000 Americans, more than half of them under Nixon.
Ron: Millions were abandoned to the tyranny of communism. If American public opinion was so against the war and Nixon prolonged it unnecessarily then how is it that he won in an historical landslide in 1972? If the Accords were not serious, then why did the communist finally agreed to them? If the communist were winning why sign such a disastrous agreement? And lets suppose public opinion was against saving the millions of innocent lives, so what? What are leaders for? Especially in foreign affairs. But I guess if you have leftist treacherous “better red than dead” leaders of the likes of Jane Fonda, John Kerry and many others, then of course the country ends up doing the wrong thing and millions are slaughtered by the ideological leftist Marxist of the South East Asian hell.But who cares, right? The Marxist are always the good guys.
Juan, I have NEVER said that Marxists are the good guys, so to say that is preposterous. To believe that any peace agreement with North Vietnam was serious, you would have to be a moron.
And to call John Kerry as the same as a stupid, young Jane Fonda besmirches Kerry’s name, and he has done a lot for his nation, the same as Chuck Hagel has. The Bush assassination of Kerry’s character was despicable, and Bush himself was as close to a draft dodger as anyone, while Kerry served honorably, but became disillusioned by the war.
And Nixon won because of a weak opposition party and a great propaganda machine in 1972, and of course, gaining information about the opposition party in an illegal manner, which even members of his own party found reprehensible, causing them to move to impeach him in the House Judiciary Committee!
Vietnam – another war we should never have been involved in.
Ron: I didn’t say you believed that Marxist are always the good guys, I meant that the Fonda type American left did, and still does! For them America is always wrong. For them murderous leftist whether they are terrorist or dictators, they are always the equivalent to freedom fighters. What we call terrorist murderers are to them the equivalent to George Washington, be that Ho Chi Ming, Che Guevara, or Yasser AraFART! Yesterday or today whether they are communist genocidal maniacs or fundamentalist Jihadist terrorist, for the left they are the moral equivalent if not better that the United States, or Israel for that matter.
I suggest you visit Commondreams.org. You’ll find the debaters there highly enjoyable. 😉
@Ron: You want me to get a stroke!? LOL!
You should not, Juan, smear a website that has so much diversity of progressive opinion, as some of the links or articles I disagree with, but certainly not all. You must keep an open mind, as even I can see some conservatives as sometimes correct.
Ron: It was a joke…
So you are a wise guy, heh, LOL and I do NOT mean WISE! LOL
The reason I suggested that site for you, Juan, is because the people participating in the forums there remind me of you. (i.e., scared of the little black helicopters) 😉