Date of Award
Professor Jim Ranchino
Initially, this study began as one dealing with an extremely large segment of the socio-political spectrum---change in the American system (social,political, economic) with emphasis on the political. It become quite clear to me early in my research that the study was much too broad. to be of any use, and would at most, only occupy my time. I began sifting through the voluminous collection of works on social change for ideas on how to limit my study, but only become more confused.
During the time I normally set aside for my special studies, I began reading the newspaper. It was there that I found the key to my study of change. I eventually decided to focus my study on Watergate; a term which originally referred to one act or political espionage, but which now has become generic. In connection with a study of Watergate, I attempted to explain its relationship with the American Presidency, the American President (Richard M. Nixon), the real and imagined. dangers it presents to our system, the political viewpoints derived from it, and my interpretation of its meaning and perspective in American history.
I was well aware of the dangers of attempting to deal with Watergate. The most blatant flaw of any Watergatorial study is that it tends to be premature, and the value of any thesis is based, at best, on conjecture. The more subtle danger of this study is one that you, the interpreter, must deal with; i.e. Watergate has so polluted the American mind that that it now causes one to conjure unpleasant thoughts. Watergate tends to be distasteful and repulsive. The familiarity of Watergate has indeed bred contempt; but, it was inevitable.
Starnes, James E., "Watergate: Its Implications, Its Dangers, Its Perpetrators, and Its Role in America's Eternal Bliss" (1973). Honors Theses. 408.