Cognition & Reality

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Lincoln And Propaganda

Filed under: Propaganda — drtone @ 12:48 pm

Although he was not explicitly speaking about political propaganda, for which there was not yet a word, Abraham Lincoln expressed perfectly, in one of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, the importance of molding public opinion:

Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed. Consequently he who molds public sentiment, goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or pronounces decisions. He makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to be executed.

Lincoln was speaking about the influence of his opponent, the famously persuasive Stephen A. Douglas. Nevertheless, he cites a principle that spans history, at least in modern times.

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