37 Wonderful Walter Lippmann Quotes

Walter Lippmann is an American writer, reporter, and political commentator. He was one of the first to introduce the concept of the Cold War. He received two Pulitzer Prizes and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Lippmann has been referred to as the Father of Modern Journalism and is considered to be one of the most influential journalists in the 20th century. Here is a look at some of the best Walter Lippmann quotes to be familiar with.

“A man who has humility will have acquired in the last reaches of his beliefs the saving doubt of his own certainty.”

“A more conscious life is one in which a man is conscious not only of what he sees, but of the prejudices with which he sees it.”

“All achievement should be measured in human happiness.”

“Before you can begin to think about politics at all, you have to abandon the notion that there is a war between good men and bad men.”

“Corrupt, stupid grasping functionaries will make at least as big a muddle of socialism as stupid, selfish and acquisitive employers can make of capitalism.”

“Every fairly intelligent person is aware that the price of respectability is a muffled soul bent on the trivial and the mediocre.”


“Every man whose business it is to think knows that he must for part of the day create about himself a pool of silence.”

“He has honor if he holds himself to an ideal of conduct though it is inconvenient, unprofitable, or dangerous to do so.”

“In a free society the state does not administer the affairs of men. It administers justice among men who conduct their own affairs.”

“In places where men are used to differences they inevitably become tolerant.”

“It is easier to develop great power than it is to know how to use it wisely.”

“It is often very illuminating…to ask yourself how you got at the facts on which you base your opinion. Who actually saw, heard, felt, counted, named the thing, about which you have an opinion?”

“It requires wisdom to understand wisdom: the music is nothing if the audience is deaf.”

“Many a time I have wanted to stop talking and find out what I really believed.”

“Once you touch the biographies of human beings, the notion that political beliefs are logically determined collapses like a pricked balloon.”

“Our conscience is not the vessel of eternal verities. It grows with our social life, and a new social condition means a radical change in conscience.”

“Ours is a problem in which deception has become organized and strong; where truth is poisoned at its source; one in which the skill of the shrewdest brains is devoted to misleading a bewildered people.”

“People that are orthodox when they are young are in danger of being middle-aged all their lives.”

“People who are tremendously concerned about their identification, their individuality, their self-expression, or their sense of humor, always seem to be missing the very things they pursue.”

“Private property was the original source of freedom. It still is its main ballpark.”

“Success makes men rigid and they tend to exalt stability over all the other virtues; tired of the effort of willing they become fanatics about conservatism.”

“Successful … politicians are insecure and intimidated men. They advance politically only as they placate, appease, bribe, seduce, bamboozle or otherwise manage to manipulate the demanding and threatening elements in their constituencies.”

“The common interests very largely elude public opinion entirely, and can be managed only by a specialised class.”

“The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.”

“The genius of a good leader is to leave behind him a situation which common sense, without the grace of genius, can deal with successfully.”

“The news and the truth are not the same thing.”

“The press does not tell us what to think, it tells us what to think about.”

“The self-evident truth which makes men invincible is that inalienably they are inviolable persons.”

“The thinker dies, but his thoughts are beyond the reach of destruction. Men are mortal; but ideas are immortal.”

“There are at least two distinct selves, the public and regal self, the private and human.”

“There can be no liberty for a community which lacks the means by which to detect lies.”

“To create a minimum standard of life below which no human being can fall is the most elementary duty of the democratic state.”

“We say that the truth will make us free. Yes, but that truth is a thousand truths which grow and change.”

“When all men think alike, no one thinks very much.”

“When all think alike, then no one is thinking.”

“Whenever we accept an idea as authority instead of as instrument, an idol is set up. We worship the plough, and not the fruit.”

“While the right to talk may be the beginning of freedom, the necessity of listening is what makes that right important.”

Here is a look at the story of Walter Lippmann whom was one of two propaganda brains behind Woodrow Wilson.