Friday, June 20, 2014

Huntington. CrisisOfDemocracyThe1975. Report on the governability of Democracies to theTrilateralCommission. Chapter3.

I am indebted to Kevin Middlebrook and Kenneth Juster for their efficient help in the collection of material and data for this paper.

1)       The Viability and Governability of American Democracy
The 1960s witnessed a dramatic renewal of the democratic spirit in America. The predominant trends of that decade involved the challenging of the authority of established political, social, and economic institutions, increased popular participation in and control over those institutions, a reaction against the concentration of power in the executive branch of the federal government and in favor of the reassertion of the power of Congress and of state and local government, renewed commitment to the idea of equality on the part of intellectuals and other elites, the emergence of "public interest" lobbying groups, increased concern for the rights of and provision of opportunities for minorities and women to participate in the polity and economy, and a pervasive criticism of those who possessed or were even thought to possess excessive power or wealth. [In addition to these democratic trends, and often interspersed with them there were also, of course, some markedly antidemocratic trends in the 1960s: elitist discrimination against middle-class groups (rationalized in the name of egalitarianism); the suppression of free speech (particularly on university campuses); and the resort by extremist minorities to physical coercion and violence. These activities formed, in a sense, the dark outriders of the democratic surge, swept up in the same sense of movement, but serving different goals with very different means.] The spirit of protest, the spirit of equality, the impulse to expose and correct inequities were abroad in the land. The themes of the 1960s were those of the Jacksonian Democracy and the muckraking Progressives; they embodied ideas and beliefs which were deep in the American tradition but which usually do not command the passionate intensity of commitment that they did in the 1960s. That decade bore testimony to the vitality of the democratic idea. It was a decade of democratic surge and of the reassertion of democratic egalitarianism.
This democratic surge manifested itself in an almost endless variety-of ways. Consider, for instance, simply a few examples of this surge in terms of the two democratic norms of participation and equality. Voting participation, which had increased during the 1940s and 1950s, declined during the 1960s, reaching lows of 55.6 percent in the 1972 presidential election and of 38 percent in the 1974 midterm election. Almost all other forms of political participation, however, saw a significant increase during the 1950s and continuing into the 1960s. An index of campaign activity (representing the mean number of campaign acts performed each year) rose from a low of .58 in the 1952 election to a peak of .83 in the 1960 election; thereafter, it declined somewhat and leveled off, registering .69 in 1962, .77 in 1964, .73 in 1968, returning to its previous high of .83 in 1970, and then dropping to .73 in 1972. (1) The overall picture is one of a sharp increase in campaign activity in the 1950s following which it remained on a high plateau in the 1960s. The Goldwater, McCarthy, Wallace, and McGovern candidacies mobilized unprecented numbers of volunteer campaign workers. In addition, the Republicans in 1962 and the Democrats subsequently launched a series of major efforts to raise a substantial portion of their campaign funds from large numbers of small givers. In 1972 Nixon and McGovern each collected $ 13 million to $ 15 million in small amounts from over 500,000 contributors.
The 1960s also saw, of course, a marked upswing in other forms of citizen participation, in the form of marches, demonstrations, protest movements, and "cause" organizations (such as Common Cause, Nader groups, and environmental groups.) The expansion of participation throughout society was reflected in the markedly higher levels of self-consciousness on the part of blacks, Indians, Chicanos, white ethnic groups, students, and women — all of whom became mobilized and organized in new ways to achieve what they considered to be their appropriate share of the action and of the rewards. The results of their efforts were testimony to the ability of the American political system to respond to the pressures of newly active groups, to assimilate those groups into the political system, and to incorporate members of those groups into the political leadership structure. Blacks and women made impressive gains in their representation in state legislatures and Congress, and in 1974 the voters elected one woman and two Chicano governors. In a similar vein, there was a marked expansion of white-collar unionism and of the readiness and willingness for clerical, technical, and professional employees in public and private bureaucracies to assert themselves and to secure protection for their rights and privileges. Previously passive or unorganized groups in the population now embarked on concerted efforts to establish their claims to opportunities, positions, rewards, and privileges, which they had not considered themselves entitled to before.
In a related and similar fashion, the 1960s also saw a reassertion of the primacy of equality as a goal in social, economic, and political life. The meaning of equality and the means, of achieving it became central subjects of debate in intellectual and policy-oriented circles. What was widely hailed as the major philosophical treatise of the decade (Rawls, A Theory of Justice) defined justice largely in terms of equality. Differences in wealth and power were viewed with increased skepticism. The classic issue of equality of opportunity versus equality of results was reopened for debate. The prevailing preoccupation with equality was well revealed in the titles of books produced by social theorists and sociologists over the course of three or four years. This intellectual concern over equality did not, of course, easily transmit itself into widespread reduction of inequality in society. But the dominant thrust in political and social action was all clearly in that direction.
The causes of this democratic surge of the 1960s could conceivably be: (a) either permanent or transitory; (b) either peculiar to the United States or more generally pervasive throughout the advanced industrialized world. The surge might, for instance, be the result of long-term social, economic, and cultural trends which were producing permanent changes in American society (often subsumed under the heading of the "emergence of post-industrial society") and which would in due course equally affect other advanced industrialized countries. Or it could have been the product of rapid social and cultural change or upheaval in the 1960s which in itself was transitory and whose political consequences would hence eventually fade, that is, it could have been the product of a transitory process of change rather than the product of the lasting results of change (e.g., the rapid expansion of higher education enrollments in the 1960s rather than the resulting high level of enrollment in higher education). In addition, given the similarities which appeared to exist between the political temper and movements of the 1960s and earlier periods in American history, it is possible that the surge could have reflected a peculiarly American dynamic working itself out on a recurring or cyclical basis. On the other hand, it is also possible that the sources for the democratic surge were in a transient yet general crisis of the industrialized world which manifested itself in comparable if different ways in other Trilateral countries. Or, of course, most probable in fact and least satisfying in theory, the surge could be the product of a mixture of factors, permanent and transitory, specific and general.
"In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men," observed James Madison in The Federalist, no. 51, "the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself." To assume that there is no conflict between these two requirements is sheer self-delusion. To assume that it is impossible to reach a rough balance between these two requirements is unrealistic pessimism. The maintenance of that balance is, indeed, what constitutional democracy is all about. Over the centuries, the United States has probably been more successful than any other government in combining governmental authority and limits on that authority in an effective manner appropriate to the environment, domestic and external, in which that government has operated. Views as to what constitutes the precise desirable balance between power and liberty, authority and democracy, government and society obviously differ. In fact, the actual balance shifts from one historical period to another. Some fluctuation in the balance is not only acceptable but may be essential to the effective functioning of constitutional democracy. At the same time, excessive swings may produce either too much government or too little authority. The democratic surge of the 1960s raised once again in dramatic fashion the issue of whether the pendulum had swung too far in one direction.
The consequences of that surge will be felt for years to come. The analysis here focuses on the immediate - and somewhat contradictory - effects of the democratic surge on government. The basic point is this: The vitality of democracy in the United States in the 1960s produced a substantial increase in governmental activity and a substantial decrease in governmental authority. By the early 1970s Americans were progressively demanding and receiving more benefits from their government and yet having less confidence in their government than they had a decade earlier. And paradoxically, also, this working out of the democratic impulse was associated with the shift in the relative balance in the political system between the decline of the more political, interest-aggregating, "input" institutions of government (most notably, political parties and the presidency), on the one hand, and the growth in the bureaucratic, regulating and implementing, "output" institutions of government, on the other. The vitality of democracy in the 1960s raised questions about the governability of democracy in the 1970s. The expansion of governmental activities produced doubts about the economic solvency of government; the decrease in governmental authority produced doubts about the political solvency of government. The impulse of democracy is to make government less powerful and more active, to increase its functions, and to decrease its authority. The questions to be discussed are: How deep are these trends? How can these seemingly contradictory courses be reconciled within the framework of the existing political system? If a balance is to be restored between governmental activity and governmental authority, what are the consequences of this restoration for the democratic surge and movement of the 1960s? Does an increase in the vitality of democracy necessarily have to mean a decrease in the governability of democracy?

2)      The Expansion of Governmental Activity
The structure of governmental activity in the United States – in terms of both its size and its content – went through two major changes during the quarter-century after World War II. The first change, the Defense Shift, was a response to the external Soviet threat of the 1940s; the second change, the Welfare Shift, was a response to the internal democratic surge of the 1960s. The former was primarily the product of elite leadership; the latter was primarily the result of popular expectations and group demands.
The 1948 is an appropriate starting point for the analysis of these changes in the structure of governmental activity. [In this analysis, governmental activity will be measured primarily in terms of governmental expenditures. This indicator, of course, does not do justice to many types of governmental activity, such as regulatory action or the establishment of minimum standards (e.g., for automotive safety or pollution levels or school desegregation), which have major impact on the economy and society and yet do not cost very much. In addition, the analysis here will focus primarily not on absolute levels of governmental expenditures, which obviously expanded greatly both due to inflation and in real terms, but rather to the relations among expenditures, revenues, and the GNP and among different types of expenditures.] By that time governmental activity had adjusted from its wartime levels and forms; demobilization had been completed; the nation was setting forth on a new peacetime course. In that year, total governmental expenditures (federal, state, and local) amounted to 20 percent of GNP; national defense expenditures were 4 percent of GNP; and governmental purchases of goods and services were 12 percent of GNP. During the next five years these figures changed drastically. The changes were almost entirely due to the onslaught of the Cold War and the perception eventually shared by the top executives of the government – Truman, Acheson, Forrestal, Marshall, Harriman, and Lovett – that a major effort was required to counter the Soviet threat to the security of the West. The key turning points in the development of that perception included Soviet pressure on Greece and Turkey, The Czech coup, the Berlin blockade, the communist conquest of China [theLossOfChina], the Soviet atomic explosion, the North Korean attack on South Korea. In late 1949, a plan for major rearmament to meet this threat was drawn up within the executive branch. The top executive leaders, however, felt that neither Congress nor public opinion was ready to accept such a large-scale military buildup. These political obstacles were removed by the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950. (3)
The result was a major expansion in the U.S. military forces and a drastic reshaping of the structure of governmental expenditures and activity. By 1953 national defense expenditures had gone up from their 1948 level of $10.7 billion to $48.7 billion. Instead of 4 percent of GNP, they now constituted over 13 percent of GNP. Nondefense expenditures remained stable at 15 percent of GNP, thus making overall governmental expenditures 28 percent of GNP (as against 20 percent in 1948) and government purchases of goods and services 22 percent of GNP (as against 12 percent in 1948). The governmental share of the output of the American economy, in short, increased by about 80 percent during these five years, virtually all of it in the national defense sector.

Table 1. Governmental spending in relation to GNP

All Govt. Expenditures
Defense Expenditures
Nondefense Expenditures
Purchase of Goods and Services

Source: Economic Report of the President, 1975 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1975)

With the advent of the Eisenhower administration and the end of the Korean War, these proportions shifted somewhat and then settled into a relatively fixed pattern of relationships, which remained markedly stable for over a decade. From 1954 to 1966, governmental expenditures were usually about 27 percent or 28 percent of GNP; governmental purchases of goods and services varied between 19 percent and 22 percent; and defense expenditures, with the exception of a brief dip in 1964 and 1965, were almost constantly stable at 9 percent to 10 percent of GNP. The basic pattern for this period was in effect:

Percent of GNP
Governmental expenditures
Defense expenditures
Nondefense expenditures
Governmental purchases of goods and services

In the mid-1960s, however, the stability of this pattern was seriously disrupted. The Vietnam war caused a minor disruption, reversing the downward trend in the defense proportion of GNP visible in 1964 and 1965 and temporarily restoring defense to 9 percent of GNP. The more significant and lasting change was the tremendous expansion of the nondefense activities of government. Between 1965 and 1974, total governmental expenditures rose from 27 percent to 33 percent of GNP; governmental purchases of goods and services, on the other hand, which had also increased simultaneously with total expenditures between 1948 and 1953, changed only modestly from 20 percent in 1965 to 22 percent in 1974. This difference meant, of course, that a substantial proportion of the increase in governmental spending was in the form of transfer payments; for example, welfare and social security benefits, rather than additional governmental contributions to the Gross National Product. Nondefense expenditures, which had been 20 percent of GNP in 1965, were 25 percent of GNP in 1971 and an estimated 27 percent of GNP in 1974. Defense spending went down to 7 percent of GNP in 1971 and 6 percent in 1974. Back in 1948, defense spending had been less than 20 percent of total governmental spending. At the peak of the defense build-up in 1953 it amounted to 46 percent of the total, and during the long period of stable relationships in the 1950s and 1960s, defense accounted for about 33 percent of total governmental spending. Under the impact of the Welfare Shift of the late 1960s, however, the defense proportion of total governmental spending again dropped down to less than one-fifth of total governmental spending, that is, to the relationship which had prevailed in 1948 before the military implications of the Cold War had become evident.
The extent of the Welfare Shift in the scope and substance of governmental activity can also be seen by comparing the changes in governmental expenditures during the two decades of the 1950s and 1960s. Between 1950 and 1960, total governmental expenditures rose by $81.0 billion, of which $29.1 billion or roughly 36 percent was for defense and international relations. Between 1960 and 1971, governmental expenditures increased by $218.1 billion, of which, however, only $33.4 billion or roughly 15 percent were accounted for by defense and international relations, while expenditures for domestic programs grew by $184.7 billion. This growth in domestic spending is also reflected in a change in the relative shares of federal, state, and local governments in total governmental expenditures. In 1960 the federal government share of total government spending, 59.7 percent, was virtually identical with what it had been ten years earlier, 60.3 percent. By 1971, the relative growth in state and local spending had dropped the federal share of governmental expenditures down to 53.8 percent of total governmental expenditures. (4)

Table 2. Governmental Revenues and Expenditures for Major Functions (billions of dollars)

Total Revenues
Total Expenditures
Defense and International
OASI and Other Insurance
Interest on General Debt
Public Welfare
Health and Hospitals
Natural Resources

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1974 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1974), p. 246.

The major increases in government spending during the 1960s occurred in education, social security and related insurance benefits, public welfare, interest on the public debt, health, and hospitals. In 1960, government at all levels in the United States spent about 125 percent more for defense than it did for education; in 1972 it spent less than 15 percent more. In 1960, defense spending was about four-and-a-half times that for social security; in 1972 it was less than twice as much. In 1960 ten times as much was spent on defense as on welfare; in 1972 the ratio was less than four to one. Even in terms of federal government spending alone, the same trends were visible. In FY 1960, total foreign affairs spending accounted for 53.7 percent of the federal budget, while expenditures for cash income maintenance accounted for 22.3 percent. In FY 1974, according to Brookings Institution estimates, with foreign affairs taking 33 percent and cash income maintenance 31 percent of the federal budget. (5) Across the board, the tendency was for massive increases in governmental expenditures to provide cash and benefits for particular individuals and groups within society rather than in expenditures designed to serve national purposes vis-à-vis the external environment.
The Welfare Shift, like the Defense Shift before it, underlined the close connection between the structure of governmental activity and the trend of public opinion. During the 1940s and early 1950s, the American public willingly approved massive programs for defense and international affairs. When queried on whether the military budget or the size of the armed forces should be increased, decreased, or remain about the same, the largest proportions of the public almost consistently supported a greater military effort. In March 1950, for instance, before the Korean War and the NSC 68 rearmament effort, 64 percent of the public thought defense  spending should be increased, 7 percent thought it should be decreased and 24 percent thought it should remain about the same. These figures were typical results of the early years of the Cold War. During the middle and later 1950s, after defense spending had in fact expanded greatly, support for still further expansion eased somewhat. But even then, only a small minority of the public supported a decrease, with the largest group approving the existing level of defense effort. Popular support for other government programs, including all domestic programs and foreign aid, almost always was substantially less than support for defense spending. (6)
During the mid-1960s, at the peak of the democratic surge and of the Vietnam War, public opinion on these issues changed drastically. When asked in 1960, for instance, how they felt about current defense spending, 18 percent of the public said the United States was spending too much on defense, 21 percent said too little, and 45 percent said the existing level was about right. Nine years later, in July 1969, the proportion of the public saying too much was being spent on defense had zoomed up from 18 percent to 52 percent; the proportion thinking that too little was being spent on defense had dropped from 21 percent to 8 percent and the proportion approving the current level had declined from 45 percent to 31 percent. This new pattern of opinion on defense remained relatively stable during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Simultaneously, public opinion became more favorable to governmental spending for domestic programs. When polled in 1974, for instance, on whether spending should be increased, decreased, or remain about the same for some twenty-three governmental programs, the composite scores (where 50 represents maintaining the existing level) for domestic programs were all in favor of an increase, ranging from a score of 51 for welfare programs for low income families up to scores of 84 and 86 for helping the elderly and developing greater self-sufficiency in energy. All five foreign affairs programs rated much lower than any domestic program, with their scores ranging from 39 for total defense spending down to 20 for military aid for allies. For every foreign affairs program, the weight of opinion was thus in favor of reduced rather than higher spending. The overall average score for domestic program was 70, and for foreign policy and defense programs it was only 29. (7) During the 1960s, a dramatic and large-scale change thus took place in public opinion with respect to governmental activity.
So far, our analysis has focused on the relations between governmental expenditures and GNP and between different types of expenditures. The growth in expenditures, however, also raises important issues concerning the relation between expenditures and revenues. After the Defense Shift, during the 1950s and early 1960s, governmental expenditures normally exceeded governmental revenue, but with one exception (1959, when the deficit was $15 billion), the gap between the two was not large in any single year. In the late 1960s, on the other hand, after the fiscal implications of the Welfare Shift had been felt, the overall governmental deficit took on new proportions. In 1968 it was $17 billion and in 1971 $27 billion. The cumulative deficit for the five years from 1968 through 1971 was $43 billion. The federal government was, of course, the principal source of the overall governmental deficit. In nine of the ten fiscal years after 1965 the federal budget showed a deficit; the total deficit for those ten years came to an estimated $111.8 billion, of which $74.6 billion came in the five years for FY 1971 through FY 1975. (8)
The excess of expenditures over revenues was obviously one major source of the inflation which plagued the United States, along with most other industrial countries, in the early 1970s. Inflation was, in effect, one way of paying for the new forms of government activity produced by the Welfare Shift. The extent of the fiscal gap, its apparent destabilizing effects were sufficiently ominous for the existing system to generate a new variety of Marxist analysis of the inevitable collapse of capitalism. “The fiscal crisis of the capitalist state,” in James O’Connor’s words, “is the inevitable consequence of the structural gap between state expenditures and revenues.” As Daniel Bell suggests, in effect, the argument represents a neo-neo-Marxism: The original Marxism said the capitalist crisis would result from anarchical competition; neo-Marxism said it would be the result of war and war expenditures, the garrison state; now, the most recent revision, taking into consideration the Welfare Shift, identifies the expansion of social expenditures as the source of the fiscal crisis of capitalism. (9) What the Marxists mistakenly attribute to capitalist economics, however, is, in fact, a product of democratic politics.
The Defense Shift involved a major expansion of the national effort devoted to a military purposes followed by slight reduction and stabilization of the relation of that activity to total national product. The Welfare Shift has produced a comparable expansion and redirection of governmental activity. The key question is: To what extent will this expansion be limited in scope and time, as was the defense expansion, or to what extent will it be an open-ended, continuing phenomenon? Has nondefense governmental spending peaked at about 27 percent of GNP? Or will it increase further or, conceivably, decrease? The beneficiaries of governmental largesse coupled with governmental employees constitute a substantial portion of the public. Their interests clearly run counter to those groups in the public which receive relatively little in cash benefits from the government but must contribute taxes to provide governmental payments to other groups in society. On the one hand, history suggests that the recipients of subsidies, particularly producer groups, have more specific interests, are more self-conscious and organized, and are better able to secure access to the political decision points than the more amorphous, less well-organized, and more diffuse taxpaying and consumer interests. On the other hand, there is also some evidence that the conditions favorable to large-scale governmental programs, which existed in the 1960s, may now be changing significantly. The political basis of the Welfare Shift was the expansion in political participation and the intensified commitment to democratic and egalitarian norms which existed in the 1960s. Levels of political participation in campaign have leveled off, and other forms of political participation would appear to have declined. Some polls suggest that the public has become more conservative in its attitudes towards government generally and more hostile towards the expansion of governmental activity. In 1972, for instance, for the first time, as many liberals as conservatives agreed with the proposition that government is too big. At the same time, liberals continued to be heavily in favor of new government programs, such as national health insurance, which conservatives opposed. If, however, the general skepticism about what government can accomplish remains a significant component of public opinion, the pattern of governmental activity which the Welfare Shift produced by the early 1970s could well remain relatively stable for the immediate future.

3)      The Decline in Governmental Authority
a)      The Democratic Challenge to Authority
The essence of the democratic surge of the 1960s was a general challenge to existing system of authority, public and private. In one form or another, this challenge manifested itself in the family, the university, business, public and private associations, politics, the governmental bureaucracy, and the military services. People no longer felt the same compulsion to obey those whom they had previously considered superior to themselves in age, rank, status, expertise, character, or talents. Within most organizations, discipline eased and differences in status became blurred. Each group claimed its right to participate equally – and perhaps more than equally – in the decisions which affected itself. More precisely, in American society, authority had been commonly based on: organizational position, economic wealth, specialized expertise, legal competence, or electoral representativeness. Authority based on hierarchy, expertise, and wealth all, obviously, ran counter to the democratic and egalitarian temper of the times, and during the 1960s, all three came under heavy attack. In the university, students who lacked expertise, came to participate in the decision-making process on many important issues. In the government, organizational hierarchy weakened, and organizational subordinates more readily acted to ignore, to criticize, or to defeat the wishes of their organizational superiors. In politics generally, the authority of wealth was challenged and successful efforts made to introduce reforms to expose and to limit its influence. Authority derived from legal and electoral sources did not necessarily run counter to the spirit of the times, but when it did, it too was challenged and restricted. The commandments of judges and the actions of legislatures were legitimate to the extent that they promoted, as they often did, egalitarian and participatory goals. “Civil disobedience,” after all, was the claim to be morally right in disobeying a law which was morally wrong. It implied that the moral value of law-abiding behavior in a society depended upon what was in the laws, not on the procedural due process by which they were enacted. Finally, electoral legitimacy was, obviously, more congruent with the democratic surge, but even so, it too at time was questioned, as the value of “categorical” representativeness was elevated to challenge the principle of electoral representativeness.
The questioning of authority pervaded society. In politics, it manifested itself in a decline in public confidence and trust in political leaders and institutions, a reduction in the power and effectiveness of political institutions such as the political parties and presidency, a new importance for the “adversary” media and “critical” intelligentsia in public affairs, and a weakening of the coherence, purpose, and self-confidence of political leadership.

b)      Decline in Public Confidence and Trust
In a democracy, the authority of governmental leaders and institutions presumably depends in part on the extent to which the public has confidence and trust in those institutions and leaders. During the 1960s that confidence and trust declined remarkably in the United States. That decline can, in turn, be related back to a somewhat earlier tendency towards ideological and policy polarization which, in turn, had its roots in the expansion of political participation in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The democratic surge involved a more political active citizenry, which developed increased ideological consistency on public issues, and which then lost its confidence in public institutions and leaders when governmental policies failed to correspond to what they desired. The sequence and direction of these shifts in public opinion dramatically illustrates how the vitality of democracy in the 1960 (as manifested in increased political participation) produced problems for the governability of democracy in the 1970s (as manifested in the decreased public confidence in government.)
During the 1960s public opinion on major issues of public policy tended to become more polarized and ideologically structured, that is, people tended to hold more consistent liberal or conservative attitudes on public policy issues. Between 1956 and 1960, for instance, an index of ideological consistency for the average American voter hovered about .15; in 1964 it more than doubled to .40 and remained at similar levels through 1972. (10) Thus, the image of American voters as independently and pragmatically making up their minds in ad hoc fashion on the merits of different issues became rather far removed from actuality.
This pattern of developing polarization and ideological consistency had its roots in two factors. First, those who are more active in politics are also more likely to have consistent and systematic view on policy issues. The increase in political participation in the early 1960s was thus followed by heightened polarization of political opinion in the mid-1960s. The increase in polarization, in turn, often involved higher levels of group consciousness (as among blacks) which then stimulated more political participation (as in the white backlash).
Second, the polarization was clearly related to the nature of the issues which became the central items on the political agenda of the mid-1960s. The three major clusters of issues which then came to the fore were: social issues, such as use of drugs, civil liberties, busing, government aid to minority groups, and urban riots; military issues, involving primarily, of course, the war in Vietnam but also the draft, military spending, military aid programs, and the role of the military-industrial complex more generally. All three sets of issues, but particularly the social and racial issues, tended to generate high correlations between the stands which people took on individual issues and their overall political ideology. On more strictly economic issues, on the other hand, ideology was a much less significant factor. Thus, to predict positions of individuals on the legalization of marijuana or school integration or the size of the defense budget, one would want to ask them whether they considered themselves liberals, moderates, or conservatives. To predict their stand on federally financed health insurance, one should ask them whether they were Democrats, Independents, or Republicans. (11)
The polarization over issues in the mid-1960s in part, at least, explains the major decline in trust and confidence in government of the later 1960s. Increasingly, substantial portions of the American public took more extreme positions on policy issues; those who took more extreme positions on policy issues, in turn, tended to become more distrustful of government. (12) Polarization over issues generated distrust about government, as those who had strong positions on issues became dissatisfied with the ambivalent, compromising policies of government. Political leaders, in effect, alienated more and more people by attempting to please them through the time-honored traditional politics of compromise.
At the end of the 1950s, for instance, about three-quarters of the American people thought that their government was run primarily for the benefit of the people and only 17 percent thought that it primarily responded to what “big interests” wanted. These proportions steadily changed during the 1960s, stabilizing at very different levels in the early 1970s. By the latter half of 1972, only 38 percent of the population thought that government was “run for the benefit of all the people” and a majority of 53 percent thought that it was “run by a few big interests looking out for themselves.” (See Table 3.) In 1959, when asked what they were most proud of about their country, 85 percent of Americans (as compared to 46 percent of Britons, 30 percent of Mexicans, 7 percent of Germans, and 3 percent of Italians, in the same comparative survey) mentioned their “political institutions.” By 1973, however, 66 percent of a national sample of Americans said that they were dissatisfied by the way in which their country was governed. (13) In similar fashion, in 1958, 71 percent of the population felt that they could trust the government in Washington to do what was right “all” or “most” of the time, while only 23 percent said that they could trust it only “some” or “none” of the time. By late 1972, however, the percentage which would trust the national government to do what was right all or most of the time had declined to 52 percent, while that which thought it would do what was right only some or none of the time had doubled to 45 percent. (See Table 4.) Again, the pattern of change shows a high level of confidence in the 1950s, a sharp decline of confidence during the 1960s, and a leveling off at much reduced levels of confidence in the early 1970s.
The precipitous decline in public confidence in their leaders in the latter part of the 1960s and the leveling off or partial restoration of confidence in the early 1970s can also be seen in other data which permit a comparison between attitudes towards government and other major institutions in society. Between 1966 and 1971 the proportion of the population having a “great deal of confidence” in the leaders of each of the major governmental institutions was cut in half. (See Table 5.) By 1973, however, public confidence in the leadership of the Congress, the Supreme Court, and the military had begun to be renewed from the lows of two years earlier. Confidence in the leadership of the executive branch, on the other hand, was – not surprisingly – at its lowest point. These changes of attitudes toward governmental leadership did not occur in a vacuum but were part of a general weakening of confidence in institutional leadership. The leadership of the major nongovernmental institutions in society who had enjoyed higher levels of public confidence in the mid-1960s – such as large corporations, higher educational institutions and medicine – also suffered a somewhat similar pattern of substantial decline and partial recovery. Significantly, only the leadership of the press and television news enjoyed more confidence in 1973 than they had in 1966, and only in the case of television was the increase a substantial and dramatic one. In 1973, the institutional leaders in which the public had the greatest degree of confidence were, in declining order of confidence: medicine, higher education, television news, and the military.

Table 3. Government Run by Few Big Interests or for Benefit of All

For benefit of all
Few big interests
Other, depends
Don’t know

(1) 1958: Do you think that the high-up people in government give everyone a fair break whether they are big shots or just ordinary people, or do you think some of them pay more attention to what the big interests want?
(2) Other years: Would you say the government is pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves or that it is run for the benefit of all the people?
Source: University of Michigan, Center for Political Studies, election surveys.

Table 4. Trust in the National Government

Just about always
Most of the time
Some of the time
Almost never
Don’t know

Question: How much (of the time – 1958, 1964) do you think we can trust the government in Washington to do what is right – just about always, most of the time, or only some of the time (or almost never – 1966)?
Source: University of Michigan, Center for Political Studies, election surveys.

Table 5. Proportion of Public Expressing “Great Deal of Confidence” in Leadership of Institutions




Change 1966-73
Federal executive
Supreme Court
Social Institutions
Major companies
Organized labor
Higher education
Organized religion
Television news

Question: As far as people running these institutions are concerned, would you say you have a great deal of confidence, only some confidence, or hardly any confidence in them?
Source: Louis Harris and Associates, Confidence and Concern: Citizens View American Government, Committe Print, U.S. Senate, Committee on Government Operations, Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations, 93rd Congress, 1st Session, December 3, 1973.

The late 1960s and early 1970s also saw a significant decline from the levels of the mid-1960s in the sense of political efficacy on the part of large numbers of people. In 1966, for instance, 37 percent of the people believed that what they thought “doesn’t count much anymore”; in 1973 a substantial majority of 61 percent of the people believed this. Similarly, in 1960 42 percent of the American public scored “high” on a political efficacy index developed by the Michigan Survey Research Center and only 28 percent of the population scored “low.” By 1968, however, this distribution had changed dramatically, with 38 percent of the people scoring “high” and 44 percent of the population scoring “low.” (14) This decline in political efficacy coincided with and undoubtedly was closely related to the simultaneous decline in the confidence and trust which people had in government. As of the early 1970s, however, the full impact of this change in political efficacy upon the overall level of political participation had only partially begun to manifest itself.
In terms of traditional theory about the requisites for a viable democratic polity, these trends of the 1960s thus end up as a predominantly negative but still mixed report. On the one side, there is the increasing distrust and loss of confidence in government, the tendencies towards the polarization of opinion, and the declining sense of political efficacy. On the other, there is the early rise in political participation over previous levels. As we have suggested, these various trends may well all be interrelated. The increases in participation first occurred in the 1950s; these were followed by the polarization over racial, social, and military issues in the mid-1960s; this, in turn, was followed by the decrease in confidence and trust in government and individual political efficacy in the late 1960s. There is reason to believe that this sequence was not entirely accidental. (15) Those who are active in politics are likely to have more systematic and consistent view on political issues, and those who have such views are, as we have shown above, likely to become alienated if government action does not reflect their views. This logic would also suggest that those who are most active politically should be most dissatisfied with the political system. In the past, exactly the reverse has been the case: the active political participants have had highly positive attitudes towards government and policies. Now, however, this relationship seems to be weakening, and those who have low trust in government are no more likely to be politically apathetic than those with high trust in government. (16)
The decline in the average citizen’s sense of political efficacy could also produce a decline in levels of political participation. In fact, the presidential election of 1972 did see a substantial decline in the level of reported interest in the election and a leveling off of citizen campaign activity as compared to the levels in the 1968 election. (17) There is, thus, some reason to think that there may be a cyclical process of interaction in which:
(1) Increased political participation leads to increased policy polarization within society;
(2) Increased policy polarization leads to increasing distrust and a sense of decreasing political efficacy among individuals;
(3) A sense of decreasing political efficacy leads to decreased political participation.
In addition, change in the principal issues on the political agenda could lead to decreasing ideological polarization. The fire has subsided with respect to many of the heated issues of the 1960s, and, at the moment, they have been displaced on the public agenda by overwhelming preoccupation with economic issues, first inflation and then recession and unemployment. The positions of people on economic issues, however, are not as directly related to their basic ideological inclinations as their positions on other issues. In addition, inflation and unemployment are like crime; no one is in favor of them, and significant differences can only appear if there are significantly different alternative programs for dealing with them. Such programs, however, have been slow in materializing; hence, the salience of economic issues may give rise to generalized feelings of lack of confidence in the political system but not to dissatisfaction rooted in the failure of government to follow a particular set of policies. Such generalized alienation could, in turn, reinforce tendencies towards political passivity engendered by the already observable decline in the sense of political efficacy. This suggests that the democratic surge of the 1960s could well generate its own countervailing forces, that an upsurge of political participation produces conditions which favor a downswing in political participation.

c)      The Decay of the Party System
The decline in the role of political parties in the United States in the 1960s can be seen in a variety of ways.
(a) Party identification has dropped sharply, and the proportion of the public which considers itself Independent in politics has correspondingly increased. In 1972 more people identified themselves as Independent than identified themselves as Republican, and among those under thirty, there were more Independents than Republicans and Democrats combined. Younger voters always tend to be less partisan than older voters. But the proportion of Independents among this age group has gone up sharply. In 1950, for instance, 28 percent of the twenty-one to twenty-nine-year-old group identified themselves as Independent; in 1971, 43 percent of this age group did. (18) Thus, unless there is a reversal of this trend and a marked upswing in partisanship, substantially lower levels of party identification among the American electorate are bound to resist for at least another generation.
(b) Party voting has declined, and ticket-splitting has become a major phenomenon. In 1950 about 80 percent of the voters cast straight party ballots; in 1970 only 50 percent did. (19) Voters are thus more inclined to vote for the candidate than to vote for the party, and this, in turn, means that candidates have to campaign primarily as individuals and sell themselves to the voters in terms of their own personality and talents, rather than joining with the other candidates of their party in a collaborative partisan effort. Hence they must also raise their own money and create their own organization. The phenomenon represented at the extreme by CREEP and its isolation from the Republican National Committee in the 1972 election is being duplicated in greater or lesser measure in other electoral contests.
(c) Partisan consistency in voting is also decreasing, that is, voters are more likely to vote Republican in one election and Democratic in the next. At the national level, there is a growing tendency for public opinion to swing generally back and forth across the board, with relatively little regard to the usual differences among categorical voting groups. Four out of the six presidential elections since 1952 have been landslides. This phenomenon is a product of the weakening of party ties and the decline of regionalism in politics. In 1920 Harding received about the same percentage of the popular vote that Nixon did in 1972, but Harding lost eleven states while Nixon lost only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. (20) In a similar vein, the fact that the voters cast 60 percent of their votes for Nixon in 1972 did not prevent them from reelecting a Democratic Congress that year and then giving the Democrats an even more overwhelming majority in Congress two years later.
As the above figures suggest, the significance of party as a guide to electoral behavior has declined substantially. In part, but only in part, candidate appeal took its place. Even more important was the rise of issues as a significant factor affecting voting behavior. Previously, if one wanted to predict how individuals would vote in a congressional or presidential election, the most important fact to know about them was their party identification. This is no longer the case. In 1956 and 1960, party identification was three or four times as important as the view of voters on issues in predicting how they would vote. In the 1964 and subsequent elections, this relationship reversed itself. Issue politics has replaced party politics as the primary influence on mass political behavior. (21) This is true, also, not only with respect to the public and electoral behavior but also with respect to members of Congress and legislative behavior. Party is no longer as significant a guide as it once was to how members of Congress will vote. In the House of Representatives, for instance, during Truman’s second term (1949-52), 54.5 percent of the roll call voters were party unity votes, in which a majority of one party opposes a majority of the other party. This proportion has declined steadily to the point where in Nixon’s first term (1969-72), only 31 percent of the roll call voters were party unity votes. (22)
The decline in the salience of party for the mass public is also, in some measure, reflected in the attitudes of the public toward the parties as institutions. In 1972, the public was asked which of the four major institutions of the national government (President, Congress, Supreme Court, and political parties) had done the best job and the worst job in the past few years and which was most powerful and least powerful. On both dimensions, the differences among the three formal branches of the national government were, while clearly observable, not all that great. Not one of the others, however, came close to the political parties as the voters’ choice for doing the worst job and being the least powerful. (See Table 6.) While these data could conceivably be interpreted in a variety of ways, when they are viewed in the context of the other evidence on the decline of partisan loyalty, they strongly suggest that the popular attitude towards parties combines both disapproval and contempt. As might be expected, these attitudes are particularly marked among those under twenty-five years of age. In 1973, for instance, 61 percent of college youth and 64 percent of noncollege youth believed that political parties needed to be reformed or to be eliminated; in comparison, 54 percent of the college youth and 45 percent of the noncollege youth believed big business needed to be reformed or eliminated. (23)

Table 6. Attitudes Towards Governmental Institutions, 1972

Best Job
Most Powerful
Worst Job
Least Powerful
Supreme Court
Political Parties

(1) Which of the parts of the government on this list do you think has done the best (worst) job in the past couple of years?
(2) Which part of the government on the list would you say is the most (least) powerful?
Source: University of Michigan, Center for Political Studies, 1972 postelection survey.

Not only has the mass base of the parties declined but so also has the coherence and strength of party organization. The political party has, indeed, become less of an organization, with a life and interest of its own, and more of an arena in which other actors pursue their interests. In some respects, of course, the decline of party organization is an old and familiar phenomenon. The expansion of government welfare functions beginning with the New Dal, the increased pervasiveness of the mass media, particularly television, and the higher levels of affluence and education among the public have all tended over the years to weaken the traditional bases of party organization. During the 1960s, however, this trend seemed to accelerate. In both major parties, party leaders found it difficult to maintain control of the most central and important function of the party: the selection of candidates for public office. In part, the encroachment on party organization was the result of the mobilization of issue constituencies by issue-oriented candidates, of whom Goldwater, McCarthy, Wallace, and McGovern were the principal examples on the national level. In part, however, it was simply a reaction against party politics and party leaders. Endorsements by party leaders or by party conventions carried little positive weight and were often a liability. The “outsider” in politics, or the candidate who could make himself or herself appear to be an outsider, had the inside road to political office. In New York in 1974, for instance, four of five candidates for statewide office endorsed by the state Democratic convention were defeated by the voters in the Democratic primary; the party leaders, it has been aptly said, did not endorse Hugh Carey for governor because he could not win, and he won because they did not endorse him. The lesson of the 1960s was that American political parties were extraordinarily open and extraordinarily vulnerable organizations, in the sense that they could be easily penetrated, and even captured, by highly motivated and well-organized groups with a cause and a candidate.
The trends in party reform and organization in the 1960s were all designed to open the parties even further and to encourage fuller participation in party affairs. In some measure, these reforms could conceivably mitigate the peculiar paradox in which popular participation in politics was going up, but the premier organization designed to structure and organize that participation, the political party, was declining. At the same time, the longer-term effect of the reforms could be very different from that which was intended. In the democratic surge during the Progressive era at the turn of the century, the direct primary was widely adopted as a means of insuring popular control of the party organization. In fact, however, the primary reinforced the power of the political bosses whose followers in the party machine always voted in the primaries. In similar fashion, the reforms of the 1970s within the Democratic party to insure the representation of all significant groups and viewpoints in party conventions appeared likely to give the party leaders at the national convention new influence over the choice of the presidential nominee.
As we have indicated, the signs of decay in the American party system have their parallels in the party systems of other industrialized democratic countries. In addition, however, the developments of the 1960s in the American party system can also be viewed in terms of the historical dynamics of American politics. According to the standard theory of American politics, a major party realignment occurs, usually in conjunction with a “critical election,” approximately every twenty-eight to thirty-six years: 1800, 1828, 1860, 1898, 1932. (24) In terms of this theory, such a realignment was obviously due about 1968. In fact, many of the signs of party decay which were present in the 1960s have also historically accompanied major party alignments: a decline in party identification, increased electoral volatility, third party movements, the loosening of the bonds between social groups and political parties, and the rise of new policy issues which cut across the older cleavages. The decay of the old New Deal party system was clearly visible, and the emergence of a new party system was eagerly awaited, at least by politicians and political analysis. Yet neither in 1968 nor in 1972 did a new coalition of groups emerge to constitute a new partisan majority and give birth to a new party alignment. Nor did there seem to be any significant evidence that such a realignment was likely in 1976 – by which time it would be eight to sixteen years overdue according to the “normal” pattern of party system evolution.
Alternatively, the signs of party decomposition could be interpreted as presaging not simply a realignment of parties within an ongoing system but rather a more fundamental decay and potential dissolution of the party system. In this respect, it could be argued that the American party system emerged during the Jacksonian years of the mid-nineteenth century, that it went through realignments in the 1850s, 1890s, and 1930s, but that it reached its peak in terms of popular commitment and organizational strength in the last decades of the nineteenth century, and that since then it has been going through a slow, but now accelerating, process of disintegration. To support this proposition, it could be argued that political parties are a political form peculiarly suited to the needs of industrial society and that the movement of the United States into a post-industrial phase hence means the end of the political party system as we have known it. If this be the case, a variety of critical issues must be faced. Is democratic government possible without political parties? If political participation is not organized by means of parties, how will it be organized? If parties decline, will not popular participation also drop significantly? In less developed countries, the principal alternative to party government is military government. Do the highly developed countries have a third alternative?

d)      The Shifting Balance between Government and Opposition
The governability of a democracy depends upon the relation between the authority of its governing institutions and the power of its opposition institutions. In a parliamentary system, the authority of the cabinet depends upon the balance of power between the governing parties and the opposition parties in the legislature. In the United States, the authority of government depends upon the balance of power between a broad coalition of governing institutions and groups, which includes but transcends the legislature and other formal institutions of government, and the power of those institutions and groups which are committed to opposition. During the 1960s the balance of power between government and opposition shifted significantly. The central governing institution in the political system, the presidency, declined in power; institutions playing opposition roles in the system, mostly notably the national media and Congress, significantly increased their power.
 “Who governs?” is obviously one of the most important questions to ask concerning any political system. Even more important, however, may be the question: “Does anybody govern?” To the extent that the United States was governed by anyone during the decades after World War II, it was governed by the president acting with the support and cooperation of key individuals and groups in the Executive Office, the federal bureaucracy, Congress, and the more important business, banks, law firms, foundations, and media, which constitute the private establishment. In the twentieth century, when the American political system has moved systematically with respect to public policy, the direction and the initiative have come from the White House. When the president is unable to exercise authority, when he is unable to command the cooperation of key decision-makers elsewhere in society and government, no one else has been able to supply comparable purpose and initiative. To the extent that the United States has been governed on a national basis, it has been governed by the president. During the 1960s and early 1970s, however, the authority of the president declined significantly, and the governing coalition which had, in effect, helped the president to run the country from the early 1940s down to the early 1960s began to disintegrate.
These developments were, in some measure, a result of the extent to which all forms of leadership, but particularly those associated with or tainted by politics, tended to lose legitimacy in the 1960s and early 1970s. Not only was there a decline in the confidence of the public in political leaders, but there was also a marked decline in the confidence of political leaders in themselves. In part, this was the result of what were perceived to be significant policy failures: the failure “to win” the war in Indochina; the failure of the Great Society’s social programs to achieve their anticipated results; and the intractability of inflation. These perceived failures induced doubts among political leaders of the effectiveness of their rule. In addition, and probably more importantly, political leaders also had doubts about the morality of their rule. They too shared in the democratic, participatory, and egalitarian ethos of the times, and hence had questions about the legitimacy of hierarchy, coercion, discipline, secrecy, and deception – all of which are, in some measure, inescapable attributes of the process of government. [And also, as my colleague Sydney Verba comments at this point, one must not forget that “disorder, distrust of authority, difficulties in reconciling competing claims on the government, conflict among governmental branches, and yelling from the back of the room at city council meetings are in some measure inescapable attributes of democratic government.”]
Probably no development of the 1960s and 1970s has greater import for the future of American politics than the decline in the authority, status, influence, and effectiveness of the presidency. The effects of the weakening of the presidency will be felt throughout the body politic for years to come. The decline of the presidency manifests itself in a variety of ways.
No one of the last four presidents has served a full course of eight years in office. One President has been assassinated, one forced out of office because of opposition to his policies, and another forced out because of opposition to him personally. Short terms in office reduce the effectiveness of the president in dealing with both enemies and allies abroad and bureaucrats and members of Congress at home. The greatest weakness in the presidency in American history was during the period from 1848 to 1860, during which twelve years four presidents occupied the office and none of them was reelected.
At present, for the first time since the Jacksonian revolution, the United States has a president and a vice-president who are not the product of a national electoral process. Both the legitimacy and the power of the presidency are weakened to the extent that the president does not come into office through an involvement in national politics which compels him to mobilize support throughout the country, negotiate alliance with diverse economic, ethnic, and regional groups and defeat his adversaries in intensely fought state and national electoral battles. The current president is a product of Grand Rapids and the House – not of the nation. The United States has almost returned, at least temporarily, to the relations between Congress and president which prevailed during the congressional caucus period in the second decade of the nineteenth century.
Since Theodore Roosevelt, at least, the presidency has been viewed as the most popular branch of government and that which is most likely to provide the leadership for progressive reform. Liberals, progressives, intellectuals have all seen the presidency as the key to change in American politics, economics, and society. The great presidents have been the strong presidents, who stretched the legal authority and political resources of the office to mobilize support for their policies and to put through their legislative program. In the 1960s, however, the tide of opinion dramatically reversed itself: those who previously glorified presidential leadership now warn of the dangers of presidential power.
While much was made in the press and elsewhere during the 1960s about the dangers of the abuses of presidential power, this criticism of presidential power was, in many respects, evidence of the decline of presidential power. Certainly the image which both President Johnson and Nixon had of their power was far different, and probably more accurate, if only because it was self-fulfilling, than the images which the critics of the presidency had of presidential power. Both Johnson and Nixon saw themselves as isolated and beleaguered, surrounded by hostile forces in the bureaucracy and the establishment. Under both of them, a feeling almost of political paranoia pervaded the White House: a sense that the president and his staff were “an island” in a hostile world. On the one hand, these feelings of suspicion and mistrust led members of the president’s staff to engage in reckless, illegal, and self-defeating actions to counter his “enemies”; on the one hand, these feelings also made it all the more difficult for them to engage in the political compromises and to exercise the political leadership necessary to mobilize his supporters.
During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Congress and the courts began to impose a variety of formal restrictions on presidential power, in the form of the War Powers Act, the budgetary reform act, the limits on presidential impoundment of funds, and similar measures.
At the same time, and more importantly, the effectiveness of the president as the principal leader of the nation declined also as a result of the decline in the effectiveness of leadership at other levels in society and government. The absence of strong central leadership in Congress (on the Rayburn-Johnson model, for instance) made it impossible for a president to secure support from Congress in an economical fashion. The diffusion of authority in Congress meant a reduction in the authority of the president. There was no central leadership with whom he could negotiate and come to terms. The same was true with respect to the cabinet. The general decline in the status of cabinet secretaries was often cited as evidence of the growth in the power of the presidency on the grounds that the White House office was assuming powers which previously rested with the cabinet. But in fact the decline in the status of cabinet secretaries made it more difficult for the president to command the support and cooperation of the executive bureaucracy; weak leadership at the departmental level produces weakened leadership at the presidential level.
To become president a candidate has to put together an electoral coalition involving a majority of voters appropriately distributed across the country. He normally does this by: (1) developing an identification with certain issues and positions which bring him the support of key categorical groups – economic, regional, ethnic, racial, and religious; and (2) cultivating the appearance of certain general characteristics – honesty, energy, practicality, decisiveness, sincerity, and experience – which appeal generally across the board to people in all categorical groups. Before the New Deal, when the needs of the national government in terms of policies, programs, and personnel were relatively small, the president normally relied on the members of his electoral coalition to help him govern the country. Political leaders in Congress, in the state houses, and elsewhere across the country showed up in Washington to run the administration, and the groups which comprised the electoral coalition acted to put through Congress the measures in which they were interested.
Since the 1930s, however, the demands on government have grown tremendously and the problems of constituting a governing coalition have multiplied commensurately. Indeed, once he is elected president, the president’s electoral coalition has, in a sense, served its purpose. The day after his election the size of his majority is almost – if not entirely – irrelevant to his ability to govern the country. What counts then is his ability to govern the country. What counts then is his ability to mobilize support from the leaders of the key institutions in society and government. He has to constitute a broad governing coalition of strategically located supporters who can furnish him with the information, talent, expertise, workforce, publicity, arguments, and political support which he needs to develop a program, to embody it in legislation, and to see it effectively implemented. This coalition, as we have indicated, must include key people in Congress, the executive branch, and the private establishment. The governing coalition need have little relation to the electoral coalition. The fact that the president as a candidate put together a successful electoral coalition does not insure that he will have a viable governing coalition.
For twenty years after World War II presidents operated with the cooperation of a series of informal governing coalitions. Truman made a point of brining a substantial number of nonpartisan soldiers, Republican bankers, and Wall Street lawyers into his administration. He went to the existing sources of power in the country to get the help he needed in ruling the country. Eisenhower in part inherited this coalition and was in part almost its creation. He also mobilized a substantial number of midwestern businessmen into his administration and established close and effective working relationships with the Democratic leadership of Congress. During his brief administration, Kennedy attempted to recreate a somewhat similar structure of alliances. Johnson was acutely aware of the need to maintain effective working relations with the Eastern establishment and other key groups in the private sector, but, in effect, in 1965 and 1966 was successful only with respect to Congress. The informal coalition of individuals and groups which had buttressed the power of the three previous presidents began to disintegrate.
Both Johnson and his successor were viewed with a certain degree of suspicion by many of the more liberal and intellectual elements which might normally contribute their support to the administration. The Vietnam war and, to a lesser degree, racial issues divided elite groups as well as the mass public. In addition, the number and variety of groups whose support might be necessary had increased tremendously by the 1960s. Truman had been able to govern the country with the cooperation of a relatively small number of Wall Street lawyers and bankers. By the mid-1960s, the sources of power in society had diversified tremendously, and this was no longer possible.
The most notable new source of national power in 1970, as compared to 1950, was the national media, meaning here the national TV networks, the national news magazines, and the major newspapers with national reach such as the Washington Post and the New York Times. [Suggestive of the new power relationships between government and media were the responses of 490 leading Americans when asked to rate a number of public and private institutions according to “the amount of influence” they had “on decisions or actions affecting the nation as a whole.” Television came in a clear first, well ahead of the president, and newspapers edged out both houses of Congress. The average ratings, on a scale from 1 (lowest influence) to 10 (highest influence), were:
1.      Television: 7.2.
2.      White House: 6.9
Supreme Court: 6.9
3.      Newspapers: 6.4
4.      Labor unions: 6.3
Industry: 6.3
U.S. Senate: 6.3
5.      Government bureaucracy: 6.0
U.S. House of Representatives: 6.0
U.S. News and World Report (April 22, 1974)] There is, for instance, considerable evidence to suggest that the development of television journalism contributed to the undermining of governmental authority. the advent of the half-hour nightly news broadcast in 1963 led to greatly increased popular dependence on television as a source of news. It also greatly expanded the size of the audience for news. At the same time, the themes which were stressed, the focus on controversy and violence, and conceivably, the values and outlook of the journalists, tended to arouse unfavorable attitudes towards established institutions and to promote a decline in confidence in government. “Most newsmen,” as Walter Cronkite put it, “come to feel very little allegiance to the established order. I think they are inclined to side with humanity rather than with authority and institutions.” (25) And, in fact, public opinion survey shows us that, even with controls for education and income, increased reliance on television for news is associated with low political efficacy, social distrust, cynicism, and weak party loyalty. (26) Television news, in short, functions as a “dispatriating” agency – one which portrays the conditions in society as undesirable and as getting worse. In the 1960s, the network organizations, as one analyst put it, became “a highly creditable, never-tiring political opposition, a maverick third party which never need face the sobering experience of governing.” (27)
Less dramatic but somewhat parallel changes also occurred in the political role of newspapers. It is a long-established and familiar political fact that within a city and even within a state, the power of the local press serves as a major check on the power of the local government. In the early twentieth century, the United States developed an effective national government, making and implementing national policies. Only in recent years, however, has there come into existence a national press with the economic independence and communications reach to play a role with respect to the president that a local newspaper plays with respect to a mayor. This marks the emergence of a very significant check on presidential power. In the two most dramatic domestic policy conflicts of the Nixon administration – the Pentagon Papers and Watergate – organs of the national media challenged and defeated the national executive. The press, indeed, played a leading role in bringing about what no other single institution, group, or combination of institutions and groups, had done previously in American history: forcing out of office a president who had been elected less than two years earlier by one of the largest popular majorities in American history. No future president can or will forget that fact.
The 1960s and early 1970s also saw a reassertion of the power of Congress. In part, this represented simply the latest phase in the institutionalized constitutional conflict between Congress and president; in part, also, of course, it reflected the fact that after 1968 president and Congress were controlled by different parties. In addition, however, these years saw the emergences, first in the Senate and then in the House, of a new generation of congressional activists willing to challenge established authority in their own chambers as well as in the presidency.
The new power of the media and the new assertiveness of Congress also had their impact on the relations between the executive branch and the president. During the Johnson and Nixon administrations the White House attitudes toward executive branch agencies often seemed to combine mistrust of them, on the one hand, and the attempt to misuse them, on the other. In part, no doubt, the poisoning of the relationship between White House and executive agencies reflected the fact that not since Franklin Roosevelt has this country had a chief executive with any significant experience as a political executive. The record to date of former legislators and generals in the presidency suggests they do not come to that office well equipped to motivate, energize, guide, and control their theoretical subordinates but actual rivals in the executive branch agencies. The growth in the power of the press and of Congress inevitably strengthens the independence of bureaucratic agencies vis-à-vis the president. Those agencies are secondary contributors to the decline of presidential power but primary beneficiaries of that decline.
The increased power of the national opposition, centered in the press and in Congress, undoubtedly is related to and is perhaps a significant cause of the critical attitudes which the public has towards the federal as compared to state and local government. While data for past periods are not readily available, certainly the impression one gets is that over the years the public has often tended to view state and local government as inefficient, corrupt, inactive, and unresponsive. The federal government, on the other hand, has seemed to command much greater confidence and trust, going all the way from early childhood images of the “goodness” of the president to respect for the FBI, Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies having an impact on the population as models of efficiency and integrity. It would now appear that there has been a drastic reversal of these images. In 1973, a national sample was asked whether it then had more or less confidence in each of the three levels of government than it had five years previously. Confidence in all three levels of government declines more than it rose, but the proportion of the public which reported a decline in confidence in the federal government (57 percent) was far higher than those reporting a decline in confidence in state (26 percent) or local (30 percent) government. Corroborating these judgements, only 11 percent and 14 percent, respectively, thought that local and state government had made their life worse during the past few years, while 28 percent and 27 percent of the population thought that local and state government had improved their life. In contrast, only 23 percent of the population thought that the federal government had improved their lives, while a whopping 37 percent thought it had made their lives worse. As one would expect, substantial majorities also went on record in favor of increasing the power of state government (59 percent) and of local government (61 percent). But only 32 percent wanted to increase the power of the federal government, while 42 percent voted to decrease its power. (28) The shift in the institutional balance between government and opposition at the national level thus corresponds neatly to the shift in popular attitudes towards government at the national level.
The balance between government and opposition depends not only on the relative power of different institutions, but also on their roles in the political system. The presidency has been the principal national governing institution in the United States; its power has declined. The power of the media and of Congress has increased. Can their roles change? By its very nature, the media cannot govern and has strong incentives to assume an oppositional role. The critical question consequently concerns Congress. In the wake of a declining presidency, can Congress organize itself to furnish the leadership to govern the country? During most of this century, the trends in Congress have been in the opposite direction. In recent years the increase in the power of Congress has outstripped an increase in its ability to govern. [There are, it might be noted, some parallels between Congress and the Communist parties in Europe, as described by Michzel Crozier. Both have long been accustomed to playing opposition roles; with the decline in authority and power of other groups, the power of both these institution is increasing; and one crucial question for the future – and governability – of democracy in Italy, France, and the United States is whether these oppositional bodies can adapt themselves to play responsible governing roles. Professor Crozier appears to be somewhat more optimistic about the European communists in this respect than I am about the American Congress at this moment in time.] If the institutional balance is to be redressed between government and opposition, the decline in presidential power has to be reversed and the ability of Congress to govern has to be increased.

4)      The Democratic Distemper: Consequences
The vigor of democracy in the United States in the 1960s thus contributed to a democratic distemper, involving the expansion of governmental activity, on the one hand, and the reduction of governmental authority, on the other. This democratic distemper, in turn, had further important consequences for the functioning of the political system. The extent of these consequences was, as of 1974, still unclear, depending, obviously, on the duration and the scope of the democratic surge.
The expansion of governmental activity produced budgetary deficits and a major expansion of total governmental debt from $336 billion in 1960 to $557 billion in 1971. These deficits contributed to inflationary tendencies in the economy. They also bought the fore in the early 1970s the entire question of the incidence of the tax burden and the issues of tax reform. The major expansion of unionism in the public sector combined with the difficulty, if not the impossibility, of measuring productivity or efficiency for many bureaucratic activities made the salary and wage determinations for governmental employees a central focus of political controversy. Unionization produced higher wages and more vigorous collective bargaining to secure higher wages. Strikes by public employees became more and more prevalent: in 1961, only twenty-eight strikes took place involving governmental workers; in 1970, there were 412 such strikes. (29) Governmental officials were thus caught between the need to avoid the disruption of public services from strikes by governmental employees for higher wages and the need to avoid imposing higher taxes to pay for the higher wages which the governmental employees demand. The easiest and obviously most prevalent way of escaping from this dilemma is to increase wages without increasing taxes and thereby to add still further to governmental deficits and to the inflationary spiral which will serve as the justification for demands for still higher wages. To the extent that this process is accompanied by low or negative rates of economic growth, tax revenues will be still further limited and the whole vicious cycle still further exacerbated.
At the same time that the expansion of governmental activity creates problems of financial solvency for government, the decline in governmental authority reduces still further the ability of government to deal effectively with these problems. The imposition of “hard” decisions imposing constraints on any major economic group is difficult in any democracy and particularly difficult in the United States where the separation of powers provides a variety of points of access to governmental decision-making for economic interest groups. During the Korean war, for instance, governmental efforts at wage and prince control failed miserably, as business and farm groups were able to riddle legislation with loopholes in Congress and labor was able to use its leverage with the executive branch to eviscerate wage controls. (30) All this occurred despite the fact that there was a war on and the government was not lacking in authority. The decline in governmental authority in general and of the central leadership in particular during the early 1970s opens new opportunities to special interests to bend governmental behavior to their special purposes.
In the United States, as elsewhere in the industrialized world, domestic problems thus become intractable problems. The public develops expectations which it is impossible for government to meet. The activities – and expenditures – of government expand, but the success of government in achieving its goals seem dubious. In a democracy, however, political leaders in power need to score successes if they are going to stay in power. The natural result is to produce a gravitation to foreign policy, where successes, or seeming successes, are much more easily arranged than they are in domestic policy. Trips abroad, summit meetings, declarations and treaties, rhetorical aggression, all produce the appearance of activity and achievement. The weaker a political leader is at home, the more likely he is to be traveling abroad. Nixon had to see Brezhnev in June 1974, and Tanaka, for similar reasons, desperately wanted to see Ford in September 1974. Despite the best efforts by political leaders to prop each other up at critical moments, there remains, nonetheless, only limited room for substantive agreements among nations among whom there are complex and conflicting interests. Consequently, politicians in search of bolstering their standing at home by achievements abroad either have to make a nonachievement appear to be an achievement (which can be done successfully only a limited number of times), or they have to make an achievement which may have an immediate payoff but which they and, more importantly, their countries are likely to regret in the long run. The dynamics of this search for foreign policy achievements by democratic leaders lacking authority at home gives to dictatorships (whether communist party states or oil sheikhdoms), which are free from such compulsions, a major advantages in the conduct of international relations.
The expansion of expenditures and the decrease in authority are also likely to encourage economic nationalism in democratic societies. Each country will have an interest in minimizing the export of some goods in order do keep prices down in its society. At the same time, other interests are likely to demand protection against the import of foreign goods. In the United States, this has meant embargoes, as on the export of soybeans, on the one hand, and tariffs and quotas on the import of textiles, shoes, and comparable manufactured goods, on the other. A strong government will not necessarily follow more liberal and internationalist economic policies, but a weak government is almost certain to be incapable of doing so. The resulting unilateralism could well weaken still further the alliances among the Trilateral countries and increase their vulnerability to economic and military pressures from the Soviet bloc.
Finally, a government which lacks authority and which is committed to substantial domestic programs will have little ability, short of a cataclysmic crisis, to impose on its people the sacrifices which may be necessary to deal with foreign policy problems and defense. In the early 1970s, as we have seen, spending for all significant programs connected with the latter purposes was far more unpopular than spending for any major domestic purpose. The U.S. government has given up the authority to draft its citizens into the armed forces and is now committed to providing the monetary incentives to attract volunteers with a stationary or declining percentages of the Gross National Product. At the present time, this would appear to pose no immediate deleterious consequences for national security. The question necessarily arises, however, of whether in the future, if a new threat to security should materialize, as it inevitably will at some point, the government will possess the authority to command the resources and the sacrifices necessary to meet that threat.
The implications of these potential consequences of the democratic distemper extend far beyond the United States. For a quarter-century the United States was the hegemonic power in a system of world order. The manifestations of the democratic distemper, however, have already stimulated uncertainty among allies and could well stimulate adventurism among enemies. If American citizens don’t trust their government, why should friendly foreigners? If American citizens challenge the authority of American government, why shouldn’t unfriendly governments? The turning inward of American attention and the decline in the authority of American governing institutions are closely related, as both cause and effect, to the relative downturn in American power and influence in world affairs. A decline in the governability of democracy at home means a decline in the influence of democracy abroad.

5)      The Democratic Distemper: Causes
The immediate causes of the simultaneous expansion of governmental activity and the decline of governmental authority are to be found in the democratic surge of the 1960s. What, however, was in turn responsible for this sharp increase in political consciousness, political participation, and commitment to egalitarian and democratic values? As we have indicated, the causes of the surge can be usefully analyzed in terms of their scope and timing. Are these causes country-specific or Trilateral-general? Are they transitory, secular, or recurring? In actuality, as we have suggested, the causes of the democratic surge seem to partake of all these characteristics.
The most specific, immediate, and in a sense “rational” causes of the democratic surge could conceivably be the specific policy problems confronting the United States government in the 1960s and 1970s and its inability to deal effectively with those problems. Vietnam, race relations, Watergate, and stagflation: these could quite naturally lead to increased polarization over policy, higher levels of political participation (and protest), and reduced confidence in governmental institutions and leaders. In fact, these issues and the ways in which the government dealt with them did have some impact; the unraveling of Watergate was, for instance, followed by a significant decline in public confidence in the executive branch of government. More generally, however, a far-from-perfect fit exists between the perceived inability of the government to deal effectively with these policy problems and the various attitudinal and behavioral manifestations of the democratic surge. The expansion of political participation was underway long before these problems came to a head in the mid-1960s, and the beginning of the decline in trust and of the increase in attitude consistency go back before large-scale American involvement in Vietnam. Indeed, a closer look at the relationship between attitudes toward the Vietnam war and confidence in government suggests that the connection between the two may not be very significant. Opposition to U.S. involvement in Vietnam, for instance, became widespread among blacks in mid-1966, while among whites opponents of the war did not outnumber supporters until early 1968. In terms of a variety of indices, however, white confidence and trust in government declined much further and more rapidly than black confidence and trust during the middle 1960s. In late 1967, for instance, whites were divided roughly 46 percent in favor of the war and 44 percent against, while blacks were split 29 percent in favor and 57 percent against. Yet in 1968, white opinion was divided 49.2 percent to 40.5 percent on whether the government was run for the benefit of all or a “few big interests,” while blacks thought that it was run for the benefit of all by a margin of 63.1 percent to 28.6 percent. (31) Black confidence in government plummeted only after the Nixon administration came to power in 1969. While the evidence is not as complete as one would desire, it does, nonetheless, suggest that the actual substantive character of governmental policies on the war, as well as perhaps on other matters, was of less significance for the decrease in governmental authority than were the changes generated by other causes in the attitudes of social groups toward government and in intensity with which social groups held to particular political values.
At the opposite extreme in terms of generality, the democratic surge can also be expanded in terms of widespread demographic trends of the 1960s, the younger age cohorts furnished many of the activists in the democratic and egalitarian challenges to established authority. In part, this revolt of the youth was undoubtedly the product of the global baby boom of the post-War War II years which brought to the fore in the 1960s a generational bulge which overwhelmed colleges and universities. This was associated with the rise of distinctive new values which appeared first among college youth and then were diffused among youth generally. Prominent among these new values were what have been described as “changes in relation to the authority of institutions such as the authority of the law, the police, the government, the boss in the work situation.” These changes were “in the direction of what sociologists call ‘deauthorization,’ i.e., a lessening of automatic obedience to, and respect for, established authority...” The new disrespect for authority on the part of youth was part and parcel of broader changes in their attitudes and values with respect to sexual morality, religion as a source of moral guidance, and traditional patriotism and allegiance “to my country right or wrong.” (32)
As a result of this development, major differences over social values and political attitudes emerged between generations. One significant manifestation of the appearance of this generational gap in the United States is the proportion of different age groups agreeing at different times in recent decades with the proposition: “Voting is the only way that people like me can have any way about how the government runs things.” In 1952 overwhelming majorities of all age groups agreed with this statement, with the difference between the youngest age group (twenty-one to twenty-eight), with 79 percent approval, and the oldest age group (sixty-one and over), with 80 percent approval, being only 1 percent. By 1968, the proportion of every age group supporting the statement had declined substantially. Of even greater significance was the major gap of 25 percent which had opened up between the youngest age group (37 percent approval) and the oldest age group (62 percent approval). (33) Whereas young and old related almost identically to political participation in 1952, they had very different attitudes toward it sixteen years later.
The democratic surge can also be explained as the first manifestation in the United States of the political impact of the social, economic, and cultural trends towards the emergence of a post-industrial society. Rising levels of affluence and education lead to changes in political attitudes and political behavior. Many of the political and social values which are more likely to be found among the young than among the elderly are more likely to be found among better-off, white-collar, suburban groups than among the poorer, working-class, blue-collar groups in central and industrial cities. The former groups, however, are growing in numbers and importance relative to the latter, and hence their political attitudes and behavior patterns are likely to play an increasingly dominant role in politics. (34) What is true today in North America is likely to be true tomorrow in Western Europe and Japan.
The single most important status variable affecting political participation and attitudes is education. For several decades the level of education in the United States has been rising rapidly. In 1940, less than 40 percent of the population was educated beyond elementary school; in 1972 75 percent of the population had been either to high school (40 percent) or to college (35 percent). The more educated a person is, the more likely he is to participate in politics, to have a more consistent and more ideological outlook on political issues, and to hold more “enlightened” or “liberal” or “change oriented” views on social, cultural, and foreign policy issues. Consequently the democratic surge could be simply the reflection of a more highly educated people.
This explanation, however, runs into difficulties when it is examined more closely. Verba and Nie, for instance, have shown that the actual rates of campaign activity which prevailed in the 1950s and 1960s ran far ahead of the rates which would have been projected simply as a result of changes in the educational composition for this discrepancy (See Table 7.) In part, the explanation for this discrepancy stems from the tremendous increase in black political participation during these years. Before 1960, blacks participated less than would have been expected in terms of their educational levels. After 1960, they participated far more than would have been expected by those levels, the gap between projected and actual participation rates in these latter years being far greater for the blacks than it was for the whites. The difference in participation between more highly educated and less highly educated blacks, in turn, was much less than it was between more highly educated and less highly educated whites. Black political participation, in short, was the product primarily not of increased individual status but rather of increased group consciousness. (35) That political participation will remain high as long as their group consciousness does. A decline in the saliency of school integration, welfare programs, law enforcement, and other issues of special concern to blacks will at some point presumably be accompanied by a decline in their group consciousness and hence their political participation.

Table 7. Mean Number of Campaign Acts: Actual and Projected


Source: Sidney Verba and Norman H. Nie, Participation in America: Political Democracy and Social Equality (New York: Harper & Row, 1972). p. 252.

In a similar vein, the assumption that increased attitude consistency can be explained primarily by higher levels of education also does not hold up. In fact, during the 1950s and 1960s major and roughly equal increases in attitude consistency occurred among both those who had gone to college and those who had not graduated from high school. In summarizing the data, Nie and Anderson state:

The growth of attitude consistency within the mass public is clearly not the result of increases in the population’s “ideological capacities” brought about by gains in educational attainment. ... those with the lowest educational attainment have experienced the largest increases in consistency on the core domestic issues; and little significant difference appears to be present between the two educational groups in comparison to the dramatic increases in consistency which both groups have experienced.

Instead, they argue, the increase in ideological thinking is primarily the result of the increased salience which citizens perceive politics to have for their own immediate concerns: “The political events of the last decade, and the crisis atmosphere which has attended them, have caused citizens to perceive politics as increasingly central to their lives.” (36) Thus, the causes of increased attitude consistency, like the causes of higher political participation, are to be found in changing political relationships, rather than in changes in individual background characteristics.
All this suggests that a full explanation of the democratic surge can be found neither in transitory events nor in secular social trends common to all industrial societies. The timing and nature of the surge in the United States also need to be explained by the distinctive dynamics of the American political process and, in particular, by the interaction between political ideas and institutional reality in the United States. The roots of the surge are to be found in the basic American value system and the degree of commitment which groups in society feel toward that value system. Unlike Japanese and most European societies, American society is characterized by a broad consensus on democratic, liberal, egalitarian values. For much of the time, the commitment to these values is neither passionate nor intense. During periods of rapid social change, however, these democratic and egalitarian values of the American creed are reaffirmed. The intensity of belief during such creedal passion periods leads to the challenging of established authority and to major efforts to change governmental structure to accord fully with those values. In this respect, the democratic surge of the 1960s share many characteristics with the comparable egalitarian and reform movements of the Jacksonian and Progressive eras. Those “surges” like the contemporary one also occurred during periods of realignment between party and governmental institutions, on the one hand, and social forces, on the other. (37) The slogans, goals, values, and targets of all three movements are strikingly similar. To the extent this analysis is valid, the causes of the democratic surge in the United States would be specific to the United States and limited in duration but potentially recurring at some point in the future.

6)      Conclusion: Toward a Democratic Balance
Predictively, the implication of this analysis is that in due course the democratic surge and its resulting dual distemper in government will moderate. Prescriptively, the implication is that these developments ought to take place in order to avoid the deleterious consequences of the surge and to restore balance between vitality and governability in the democratic system.
Al Smith once remarked that “the only cure for the evils of democracy is more democracy.” Our analysis suggests that applying that cure at the present time could well be adding fuel to the flames. Instead, some of the problems of governance in the United States today stem from an excess of democracy – an “excess of democracy” in much the same sense in which David Donald used the term to refer to the consequences of the Jacksonian revolution which helped to precipitate the Civil War. Needed, instead, is a greater degree of moderation in democracy.
In practice, this moderation has two major areas of application. First, democracy is only one way of constituting authority, and it is not necessarily a universally applicable one. In many situations the claims of expertise, seniority, experience, and special talents may override the claims of democracy as a way of constituting authority. During the surge of the 1960s, however, the democratic principle was extended to many institutions where it can, in the long run, only frustrate the purposes of those institutions. A university where teaching appointments are subject to approval by students may be a more democratic university but it is not likely to be a better university. In similar fashion, armies in which the commands of officers have been subject to veto by the collective wisdom of their subordinates have almost invariably come to disaster on the battlefield. The arenas where democratic procedures are appropriate are, in short, limited.
Second, the effective operation of a democratic political system usually requires some measure of apathy and noninvolvement on the part of some individuals and groups. In the past, every democratic society has had a marginal population, of greater or lesser size, which has not actively participated in politics. In itself, this marginality on the part of some groups is inherently undemocratic, but it has also been one of the factors which has enabled democracy to function effectively. Marginal social groups, as in the case of the blacks, are now becoming full participants in the political system. Yet the danger of overloading the political system with demands which extend its functions and undermine its authority still remains. Less marginality on the part of some groups thus needs to be replaced by more self-restraint on the part of all groups.
The Greek philosophers argued that the best practical state would combine several different principles of government in its constitution. [Who? Fuckingdumbass.] The Constitution of 1787 was drafted with this insight very much in mind. Over the years, however, the American political system has emerged as a distinctive case of extraordinary democratic institutions joined to an exclusively democratic value system. Democracy is more of a threat to itself in the United States than it is in either Europe or Japan where there still exist residual inheritances of traditional and aristocratic values. The absence of such values in the United States produces a lack of balance in society which, in turn, leads to the swing back and forth between creedal passion and creedal passivity. Political authority is never strong in the United States, and it is peculiarly weak during a creedal passion period of intense commitment to democratic and egalitarian ideals. In the United States, the strength of democracy poses a problem for the governability of democracy in a way which is not the case elsewhere.
The vulnerability of democratic government in the United States thus comes not primarily from external threats, though such threats are real, nor from internal subversion from the left or the right, although both possibilities could exist, but rather from the internal dynamics of democracy itself in a highly educated, mobilized, and participant society. “Democracy never lasts long,” John Adams observed. “It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” [ShipOfFool byPlaton.] That suicide is more likely to be the product of overindulgence than of any other cause. A value which is normally good in itself is not necessarily optimized when it is maximized. We have come to recognize that there are potentially desirable limits to economic growth. There are also potentially desirable limits to the indefinite extension of political democracy. Democracy will have a longer life if it has a more balanced existence.

7)      Notes
1.      Sidney Verba and Norman H. Nie, Participation in America: Political Democracy and Social Equality (New York: Harper & Row, 1972), pp. 251-52. The campaign acts measured included: urging others to vote for a party or a candidate; contributing money; attending a meeting or rally; doing other work for a candidate; belonging to a political organisation; using a campaign button or bumper sticker.
2.      See, for example, S. M. Miller and Pamela A. Roby, the Future of Inequality (New York: Basic Books, 1970); Christopher Jencks, Inequality (New York: Basic Books, 1972); Herbert J. Gans, More Equality (new York: Pantheon, 1973); Lee S. Rainwater, Social Problems, Inequality and Justice (Chicago: Aldine Press, 1974); Edward C. Budd, Inequality and Poverty (New York: W. W. Norton, 1967); Murray Milner, The Illusion of Equality (San Francisco; Jossey-Bass, 1972); David Lane, The End of Equality? (Harmendworth, Middlesex, England and York: Penguin Books, 1971); “On Equality,” Symposium, The Public Interest, Fall 1972; Frank Parkin, Class Inequality and Political Order (London; MacGibbon & Kee, 1971).
3.      See Samuel P. Huntington, The Common Defense (New York: Columbia University Press, 1961), pp. 33-64.
4.      U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1973 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1973), p. 410.
5.      Edward R. Freid, et al., Setting National Priorities: The 1974 Budget (Washington: Brookings Institution, 1973), p.5.
6.      Huntington, Common Defense, pp. 234-48.
7.      William Watts and Lloyd A. Free, State of the Nation: 1974 (Washington: Potomac Associates, 1974); The Gallup Opinion Index, Report No. 112, October 1974, p. 20.
8.      U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract, 1973, p. 410; U.S. Office of Management and Budget, The United States Budget in Brief-Fiscal Year 1975 (Washington: Government Printing office, 1974), p. 47.
9.      Daniel Bell, “The Public Household- On ‘Fiscal Sociology’ and the Liberal Society,” The Public Interest, no. 37, (Fall 1974), p. 41; James O’Connor, The Fiscal Crisis of the State (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1973), p. 221.
10.    Norman H. Nie and Kristi Anderson, “Mass Belief Systems Revisited: Political Change and Attitude Structure,” The Journal of Politics, 36 (August 1974), pp. 558-59.
11.   William Schneider, “Public Opinion: The Beginning of Ideology?” Foreign Policy, no. 17 (Winter 1974-75), pp. 88 ff.
12.   Arthur H. Miller, “Political Issues and Trust in Government: 1964-70,” American Political Science Review, 68 (September 1974), pp. 951 ff.
13.   Gabriel A. Almond and Sidney Verba, The Civic Culture (Boston: Little, Brown, 1965), pp. 64-68; Gallup Survey, New York Times, October 14, 1973, p.45.
14.   University of Michigan, Survey Research Center, Codebook, 1960 Survey, p. 146, and Codebook, 1968 Survey, p.310.
15.   See Norman H. Nie, Sidney Verba, and John R. Petrocik, The Changing American Voter (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, forthcoming, 1976), Chapter 15.
16.   Jack Citrin, “Comment: Political Issues and Trust in Government: 1964-70,” American Political Science Review, 68 (September 1974), pp. 982-84.
17.   Nie, Verba, and Petrocik, Changing American Voter, Chapter 15, pp. 2-10.
18.   Gallup Survey reported in New York Times, October 17, 1971, p. 34; N. D. Glenn, “Sources of the Shift to Political Independence,” Social Science Quarterly, 53 (December 1972), pp. 494-519.
19.   Frederick G. Dutton, Changing Sources of Power: American Politics in the 1970s (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1971), p. 228; Richard W. Boyd, “Electoral Trends in Postwar Politics,” in James David Barber, ed., Choosing the President (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1974), p. 185.
20.   Boyd, ibid., p. 189.
21.   Gerald M. Pomper, “From Confusion to Clarity: Issues and American Voters: 1956-1968,” American Political Science Review, 66 (June 1972), pp. 415 ff.; Miller, ibid., 68 (September 1974), pp. 951 ff.; Norman H. Nie, “Mass Belief Systems Revisited,” Journal of Politics, 36 (August 1974), pp. 540-91; Schneider, Foreign Policy, no. 17, pp. 98 ff.
22.   Samuel H. Beer, “Government and Politics: An Imbalance,” The Center Magazine, 7 (March-April 1974), p. 15.
23.   Daniel Yankelovich, Changing Youth Values in the ‘70’s; A Study of American Youth (New York: JDR 3rd Fund, 1974), p. 37.
24.   Walter Dean Burnham, Critical Elections and the Mainsprings of American Politics (New York: W. W. Norton, 1970); James L. Sundquist, Dynamics of the Party System (Washington: The Brookings Institution, 1973); Samuel Lubell, The Future of American Politics (New York: Harper, 1951)
25.   Quoted in Michael J. Robinson, “American Political Legitimacy in an Era of Electronic Journalism: Reflections on the Evening News,” in Richard Adler, ed., Television as a Social Force: New Approaches to TV Criticism (New York: Praeger-Aspen, 1975), p. 123.
26.   Michael J. Robinson, “Public Affairs Television and the Growth of Political Malaise: The Case of The Selling of the Pentagon,” American Political Science Review, forthcoming, June 1976.
27.   Robinson, “American Political Legitimacy,” pp. 126-27.
28.   Louis Harris and Associates, Confidence and Concern: Citizens View American Government (Committee Print, U.S. Senate, Committee on Government Operations, Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations, 93rd Cong., 1st Sess., December 3, 1973), pp. 42-43, 299.
29.   Tax Foundation, Inc., Unions and Government Employment (New York, 1972), pp. 29, 39-41.
30.   Huntington, Common Defense, pp. 271-75.
31.   See University of Michigan, Survey Research Center, surveys 1958, 1964, 1966, 1968 and 1970, on black and white “Attitudes Toward Government: Political Cynicism,” And John E. Mueller, War, Presidents, and Public Opinion (New York: John Wiley, 1973), pp. 140-48.
32.   Yankelovich, Charging Youth Values, p. 9.
33.   Anne Foner, “Age Stratification and Age Conflict in Political Life,” American Sociological Review, 39 (April 1974), p. 190.
34.   Samuel P. Huntington, “Postindustrial Politics: How Benign Will It Be?” Comparative Politics, 16 (January 1974), pp. 172-82; Louis Harris, The Anguish of Change (New York: W. W. Norton, 1973), pp. 35-52, 272-73.
35.   Verba and Nie, Participation in America, pp. 251-59.
36.   Nie and Anderson, Journal of Politics, 36 (August 1974), pp. 570-71.
37.   Samuel P. Huntington, “Paradigms of American Polticis: Beyond the One, the TWo, and the Many,” Political Science Quarterly, 89 (March 1974), pp. 18-22.

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