AMERICAN NOTES: Confidence

Watergate has taken its toll of the national innocence, but just how severely has been difficult to document. Now, in a study of public opinion released this week by the Senate Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations, it is reported that 55% of the 1.596 Americans questioned feel "alienated and disenchanted"; only 29% felt such a malaise in 1966. Heading the list of institutions that have fallen into disfavor is the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. Its credibility was rated 41% in 1966; today that figure has plummeted to 19%. As late as May 1972, only 5% of the populace...

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