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By Richard A. Melanson

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Thomas R. Hughes identified a "working dissent" composed of two distinct policy cultures"security" and "equity"-that "disguised a real division in the American body politic over what constituted the American national interest" ("The Crack Up," Foreign Policy 40 [1980]: 52, 53). Jerel A. " Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, St. Louis, March 29-April 2, 1988). And after trying to determine if there had ever been a bipartisan foreign policy consensus in Congress during the cold war, Eugene R.

S. ground forces were still being increased. As Kissinger put it, Richard Nixon inherited this cauldron. Of all choices he was probably the least suited for the act of grace that might have achieved reconciliation with the responsible members of the [domestic] opposition. Seeing himself in any case the target of a liberal conspiracy to destroy him, he could never bring himself to regard the upheaval caused by the Vietnam war as anything other than a continuation of the long-lived assault on his political existence .

Nixon scheduled this speech between two massive antiwar demonstrations in Washington and plainly intended to rob these protests of their anticipated impact. Even more than in the Air Force address he wanted to draw the battle lines clearly between the "folks" and the "elitists," the "mute masses" and the "noisy minority," and to underscore the importance he attached to the speech, Nixon wrote it himself. S. " He then focused on those who urged "an immediate precipitate withdrawal ... " To follow this "vocal minority," he warned, would bring an end to America as a "free society" and would ultimately lead to the suffocation of millions around the world by the "forces of totalitarianism" as America turned inward.

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