A Civic War July 28, 2008Posted by bookauthor in Uncategorized.
My column last week tried to tie some of themes of Why We Hate Us to the 35th anniversary of the end of the Watergate hearings in the summer of 1973. It was the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of high school and I watched the hearings every chance I got. I was already a political junkie; that happened in 1968.
In the chapter called “A Civic War,” I discussed in some detail how Watergate was followed by a weakening of political parties, a rise in political consulting and marketing, and perpetual series of feckless pseudo-reforms. In this piece, I talk more about the civic distrust fostered by Watergate, distrust which hasn’t lifted more than three decades later. Admittedly, it was a stretch to hang that on Watergate, but I do think it is interesting how little change there has been in the basic civic mood since the 1970s.