"When men are brought face to face with their opponents,
forced to listen and learn and mend their ideas, they cease
to be children and savages and begin to live like civilized men.
Then only is freedom a reality, when men may voice their opinions
because they must examine their opinions."
by:
Walter Lippmann
(1889-1974) American writer, journalist, and political commentator
Source:
The Indispensable Opposition, 1939
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US      
 -- gofields, Fort Worth Tx      
Boy! A mega-ton of self-examination is desperately needed in Washington - as if they might have any idea as just what to do with it!
 -- John-Douglas, Nassau     
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    This is true of most men but some who refuse to hear the truth, who refuse to see or even make the effort to see the other side then they are unable to make good decisions based on past historical factors. They have become crusty and unable to bend and have no place in the very decisions that keep the world turning in a positive way and a country growing in a positive way. They should be forced down and out before they do irrefutable harm.
     -- Anonymous, Flowery Branch     
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    less texting,twitter,and cell phone; more face to face -look 'em in the eye and shake hands- we will be more accountable and truthful. anonymous, Kenbridge,VA.
     -- Barrie, Kenbridge     
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    I think that you should look into the beliefs and life of Walter Lippmann before you add "his quotes" to the honorable quotes of the others that you provide. The man was a Fabian Progressive that believed people should be forced to justify their existence. If they could not, he believed they should be killed. That is the mildest of his beliefs.
     -- Anonymous, sacramento     
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    Unfortunately we have arrived at a point where our "opponents" are actually our enemies. The Progressives who advocate Globalism are anything but civilized and I will have no discourse with them.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Phenomenal sentiment and, oh that it were true (that when man is confronted face to face with his opponents opinions, civility would automatically ensue). As Anonymous from sacramento above has shown, Lippmann was a great example of the falsity of the statement in application. Ron Paul gave some great truths during his presidential run, face to face with his constituents but, to no avail - animosities intensified. Forced ideas are the realm of savage immaturity. I'm not quite sure how freedom's reality equates to 'a must examine'.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Open and objective debate without political (greed) and personal (ego) bias is a rare thing indeed, and until it becomes our individual duty we remain ignorant and will follow any fool.
     -- RBESRQ     
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