Walter Lippmann Quotes

You cannot endow even the best machine with initiative; the jolliest steamroller will not plant flowers. Walter Lippmann

The opposition is indispensable. A good statesman, like any other sensible human being, always learns more from his opponents than from his fervent supporters. Walter Lippmann

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. Walter Lippmann

Almost always tradition is nothing but a record and a machine-made imitation of the habits that our ancestors created. Walter Lippmann

Industry is a better horse to ride than genius. Walter Lippmann

Men who are orthodox when they are young are in danger of being middle-aged all their lives. Walter Lippmann

There is nothing so bad but it can masquerade as moral. Walter Lippmann

Culture is the name for what people are interested in, their thoughts, their models, the books they read and the speeches they hear, their table-talk, gossip, controversies, historical sense and scientific training, the values they appreciate, the quality of life they admire. All communities have a culture. It is the climate of their civilization. Walter Lippmann

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

Unless the reformer can invent something which substitutes attractive virtues for attractive vices, he will fail. Walter Lippmann

Let a human being throw the energies of his soul into the making of something, and the instinct of workmanship will take care of his honesty. Walter Lippmann

The decay of decency in the modern age, the rebellion against law and good faith, the treatment of human beings as things, as the mere instruments of power and ambition, is without a doubt the consequence of the decay of the belief in man as something more than an animal animated by highly conditioned reflexes and chemical reactions. For, unless man is something more than that, he has no rights that anyone is bound to respect, and there are no limitations upon his conduct which he is bound to obey. Walter Lippmann

Ages when custom is unsettled are necessarily ages of prophecy. Walter Lippmann

An alliance is like a chain. It is not made stronger by adding weak links to it. A great power like the United States gains no advantage and it loses prestige by offering, indeed peddling, its alliances to all and sundry. An alliance should be hard diplomatic currency, valuable and hard to get, and not inflationary paper from the mimeograph machine in the State Department. Walter Lippmann

The central drama of our age is how the Western nations and the Asian peoples are to find a tolerable basis of co-existence. Walter Lippmann

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. Walter Lippmann

The best servants of the people, like the best valets, must whisper unpleasant truths in the master’s ear. It is the court fool, not the foolish courtier, whom the king can least afford to lose. Walter Lippmann