President Nixon’s speech on November 3rd almost certainly rallied a majority of the people behind his policy. But that vote of confidence is strictly limited as to time, as on a similar occasion Lyndon Johnson discovered; and if, as seems likely, the war goes on and “Vietnamization” fails, Mr. Nixon is going to be confronted by even greater pressure for change. That is why the Moratorium after brilliant beginnings must prepare for the long haul. Almost any President, and certainly a new one, can get support for his conduct of a war the first time he goes to the country and makes a patriotic appeal. The reason for this is well-known. On issues of domestic policy, like wages or medical insurance, the average citizen can check what the President says against his own experience. But on global questions the people have few sources of information, they assume that the White House has an excellent intelligence network (even after the Bay of Pigs and Vietnam), and they joi...
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