The failure of public opinion

“The unhappy truth is that the prevailing public opinion has been destructively wrong at the critical junctures. The people have imposed a veto upon the judgments of informed and responsible officials. They have compelled the governments, which usually knew what would have been wiser, or was necessary, or was more expedient, to be too late with too little, or too long with too much, too pacifist in peace and too bellicose in war, too neutralist or appeasing in negotiation or too intransigent. Mass opinion has acquired mounting power in this century. It has shown itself to be a dangerous master of decisions when the stakes are life and death.”
Walter Lippmann, The Public Philosophy, 1955
Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist Walter Lippmann, 1889-1974

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *