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Sen. Vandenberg’s Bipartisan Foreign Policy

While Americans were fighting overseas in World War II, many congressional Republicans were increasingly wary of a lengthy American involvement in Europe after the war ended. Among these isolationists, Michigan Republican Senator Arthur Vandenberg was the unofficial spokesman. But seeing Democrats and Republicans growing increasingly polarized about America’s role in the world while recognizing the threat a remilitarized Germany and Japan might pose, Vandenberg was moved to address the Senate in 1945, declaring that no country could “immunize itself” from the rest of the world. Vandenberg offered his cooperation to FDR in post-war planning that eventually encompassed America’s role in both the United Nations and NATO. Years later, Vandenberg summed up his view of bipartisan foreign policy: “In a word, it simply seeks national security ahead of partisan advantage.” Politics, he famously said, “stops at the water’s edge.”

1945-01-01 00:00:00

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