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Vietnam’s Second FrontDomestic Politics, the Republican Party, and the War$
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Andrew L. Johns

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125725

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125725.001.0001

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The Zalmoxis Effect

The Zalmoxis Effect

Vietnam and the 1968 Presidential Election

(p.194) (p.195) CHAPTER 6 The Zalmoxis Effect
Vietnam’s Second Front

Andrew L. Johns

University Press of Kentucky

One of the more obscure gods was Zalmoxis. He could easily have been the god of elections. In the American political system, every fourth year witnesses the spectacle of a presidential election, where candidates make sweeping, grandiose promises for change, peace, and prosperity—and then the rhetoric disappears for three years until it returns again for the next campaign. In 1968, the Zalmoxis effect reared its head as Republican presidential aspirants jockeyed for position, with Vietnam acting as a fulcrum for the primary contests. The war also figured prominently in the fall campaign between Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey, exerting broad influence despite the candidates' best efforts and nearly determining the outcome of the election. This chapter is devoted to examining how the GOP grappled with Vietnam on multiple fronts—internally, against the Johnson administration, and during the race for the White House—during 1968.

Keywords:   Zalmoxis, Richard Nixon, GOP, Hubert Humphrey, multiple fronts

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