Yipes! I had waited until today to blog about the anniversary of Nixon's resignation, but now I see that he announced it on August 8th, not the 9th! The resignation became effective the next day.
I remember watching Gerald Ford's speech on television when he took office on August 9th. I was nine years old. I even remember one line from the speech: You haven't elected me as your president with your ballots, but I hope that you will confirm me as your president with your prayers.
I heard someone opine once that children's political views are strongly influenced by the earliest political events that they remember. Kids who cut their teeth on the hostage crisis in Iran tended to see America as being under seige, etc. My earliest political memories were the 1972 election and then Watergate. I remember seeing what looked like a sea of desks on TV (this is my child's-eye impression of things). Guys in suits were sitting at the desks and talking into microphones, explaining themselves. And the reason for all of the hullabaloo was because the president was a crook. Maybe that did influence me to view governments as having high levels of dishonesty.
In one way, this has led me to be more tolerant of some things about politicians. For instance, I've never really cared whether a candidate is a skirt-chaser or uses foul language or consults astrologers because the whole idea of looking at politicians as role models seems ludicrous to me. A politician is someone I am hiring to do a job. My only interest is in choosing the person who I think will run the country the way I want to see it run.
On the other hand, when it comes to actual policy matters, I tend to be very suspicious about what our leaders are doing or planning to do. I think there are only a few sensitive intelligence matters that would really need to be top-secret and classified. Outside of that, I don't think anything that's done with my tax money needs to be kept secret from me! That's the best way to ensure that we don't have any more Watergates.