Pollster Lou Harris remarked recently that Americans have more confidence in their garbage collectors than they have in their incumbent President. Senators, Congressmen, Governors and mayors. Another pollster, Pat Caddell. finds 68% of Americans believe their leaders have consistently lied to them during the past decade.

That sour disillusionment, bred by Watergate, Viet Nam, the CIA-FBI revelations and other shocks to the civic faith, affects attitudes toward every level of American government. Sometimes in cases of outright corruption and flagrant mismanagement the mistrust is richly justified. But sometimes the post-Watergate malaise...

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