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   Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations.  1989.
 
 
NUMBER:1563
AUTHOR:Walter Lippmann (1889–1974)
QUOTATION:In government offices which are sensitive to the vehemence and passion of mass sentiment public men have no sure tenure. They are in effect perpetual office seekers, always on trial for their political lives, always required to court their restless constituents. They are deprived of their independence. Democratic politicians rarely feel they can afford the luxury of telling the whole truth to the people. And since not telling it, though prudent, is uncomfortable, they find it easier if they themselves do not have to hear too often too much of the sour truth. The men under them who report and collect the news come to realize in their turn that it is safer to be wrong before it has become fashionable to be right.
ATTRIBUTION:WALTER LIPPMANN, Essays in the Public Philosophy, p. 26 (1935).
SUBJECTS:Public service
 
 
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