Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.
Woodrow Wilson (18561924)
A great nation is not led by a man who simply repeats the talk of the street-corners or the opinions of the newspapers. A nation is led by a man who hears more than those things; or who, rather, hearing those things, understands them better, unites them, puts them into a common meaning; speaks, not the rumors of the street, but a new principle for a new age; a man in whose ears the voices of the nation do not sound like the accidental and discordant notes that come from the voice of a mob, but concurrent and concordant like the united voices of a chorus, whose many meanings, spoken by melodious tongues, unite in his understanding in a single meaning and reveal to him a single vision, so that he can speak what no man else knows, the common meaning of the common voice. Such is the man who leads a great, free, democratic nation.
WOODROW WILSON, president of Princeton, address, Abraham Lincoln: A Man of the People, Chicago, Illinois, February 12, 1909.The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, ed. Arthur S. Link, vol. 19, p. 42 (1975).