Public Policy According to Walter Lippmann

Analyzes journalist Walter Lippmann’s 1922 work, Public Opinion.

Walter Lippmann, an influential journalist of the first half of the 21st century, wrote extensively on democracy and the nature of the public. This paper discusses one of his most influential works, Public Opinion, published in 1922, which details his lack of confidence in any democracy based on the trust and direct influence of the public.
In short, Lippmann asserts than the average individual (and the collective public made up of those individuals), is wholly unqualified to make decisions about (or to exert pressure on their leaders concerning), public policy. This, he believes, is because public opinion is largely (if not entirely), based on internal stereotypes, and internalized external propaganda, factors that sway the very foundations on which any opinion is based.