Among the many contrasts between the 1960s and the 1970s, perhaps the most politically fateful has been a massive shift in attitudes toward our national institutions— the presidency, Congress, the courts, business, the military, the unions, the media, and the universities. In the 1960s, a majority of Americans placed almost unqualified confidence in these institutions. By the 1970s, for the majority that confidence had dissipated. In its place has sprung up a cynical, quasi-sophisticated public view of political and business leaders as dominated by a selfishness so widespread and corrupt as to pit our central institutions against their own constituencies.
The decade of the 1960s witnessed its own attack upon American institution...
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