It’s pretty safe to say that Americans have learned nothing from Watergate.
Specifically, they have failed to remember that if it walks like a scandal, looks like a scandal, and quacks like a scandal, then guess what? That’s right: it’s not a duck.
As a generally ahistorical people, it shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that American institutional memory doesn’t go back forty or forty-five years (although if you question the validity of preserving and displaying monuments to figures on the losing side of a rebellion 150 years ended, be prepared for shrill cries protesting about cultural heritage). Hell, many Americans when surveyed can scarcely name the three branches of government (in this, they share something with the gibbering buffoon who they in their infinite wisdom “elected” in November, 2016). Arguably, the current crop of American voters have more real, real-time information available to them than any similar group in history. Yet that access to information is not always accompanied by a proportionate intake of facts or outpouring of rational, intelligent reflection on those facts. So the fact remains that if you are under the age of about sixty, and if you are not a keen reader, historian, or student of journalism, the events surrounding the Watergate break-in and the fallout which ensued are likely not well known to you. Let me suggest, for a moment, why they should be, and why the best place to start learning those facts is the book by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, All the President’s Men.