My political awareness started in the early '60s with the Kennedy-Nixon campaign. I didn't understand all the issues, but it was an awakening to learn more. Then came Vietnam and I paid a lot of attention to what was happening.
My first vote was in the Nixon-McGovern election. I lived in Massachusetts, which was the only state to not vote for Nixon. He pulled a lot of government contracts as retribution. Later, we were made aware of Watergate and Nixon's "dirty tricks" and his "enemies list" and his subsequent resignation in disgrace.
Since then, Republicans have used "dirty tricks" and "swift boating" as the basis of their platform to get elected. There was not a dirty trick that they wouldn't use.