When asked about “Gimme Shelter” Mick Jagger described it as an apocalyptic type of song, and even goes so far as to say that the entire album, “Let it Bleed” was also that way. I think that this is a great indicator of how people were feeling about the events going on in the world at the time, especially after the Tet Offensive. This feeling likely would have not been unique to this generation as people surely felt as though the world was ending during both World Wars, for the first time it seemed people were questioning what it was that the country was fighting for. After the Tet Offensive occured, people really began to question if the war was really worth it and why the United States was sending young men off to die. Now, not only was killing the enemy completely impossible, it also wouldn’t lead to the end of the war, as the war was as much about politics as it was killing. This is what made the Vietnam War so different from any war the United States had fought previously; it wasn’t a war about world peace or protecting the United States. It was a war about politics.
After the Tet Offensive happened American support for the war plummeted and the public demanded change. As a result President Johnson decided not to run for reelection and Nixon was elected as president. This also lead to the implementation of “Vietnamization” where the majority of the military responsibilities were shifted over to the South Vietnamese military over time to cut down on the number of American causalities. It was also thought that eventually this policy would make it so that the Americans could eventually withdraw completely without causing the fall of South Vietnam. The American people were excited a bout this idea, they thought that it would finally lead to the end of the war.