Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Public Opinion

George F. KennanPublic opinion, or what passes for public opinion, is not invariably a moderating force in the jungle of politics. ... I also suspect that what purports to be public opinion in most countries that consider themselves to have popular government is often not really the consensus of the feelings of the mass of the people at all, but rather the expression of the interests of special highly vocal minorities -- politicians, commentators, and publicity-seekers of all sorts: people who live by their ability to draw attention to themselves and die, like fish out of water, if they are compelled to remain silent.

-- George F. Kennan (16 February 1904 - 17 March 2005) American advisor, diplomat, political scientist, and historian

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