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Argument on Public Opinion Essay examples

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The maxim above denotes the basis for human society. Prior to the social institution of public opinion, communal living was non-existent. With its gradual inception over time, some semblance of order and society emerged. But considering Rousseau's famous utterance that man is born free but everywhere he is in "chains", humans are now subjected and do not have absolute freedom in a broad sense. In the United States, public opinion is usually taken into consideration and is not completely taken into account. The history of the country has proven this and the above is now mostly inertial. Only idealists or pseudo-idealists using the premise of institutional change believe that it is possible to alter the status quo. They fail to take into account human nature whose prime directive is self-interest or preservation. Only in certain instances when the stability of the status quo is jeopardized that public opinion is then acknowledged and taken into account. Once the apparatus is stable again, the inertial variable reemerges.
The brief argument in this paper is that public opinion is not in complete control of society because most of the time humans are in "chains". This is not absolute statement. To clarify the notion, man must be told what to do and public opinion is just another mechanism that purports control. Furthermore, an attachment to the argument is the use of a public opinion tool known as the poll. This tool is meant to ensure that the illusionary idea of a "true" democracy is alive and well. In this paper, a brief critical analysis would be conducted on polling. The public opinion of the Vietnam War between 1964 till 1972 would also be used parsimoniously in this paper.
The positive from the democratic system is that e...


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...n idea from the point of view of the uninformed citizen is that he or she believes firmly that a contribution is made but unknowingly he or she is bound in "chains".


Works Cited

Berinsky, Adam J. Silent Voices: Public Opinion and Political Participation in America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004.

Delli Carpini, Michael X., and Scott Keeter. "The Public's Knowledge of Politics." Edited by J. David Kennamer. In Public Opinion, the Press, and Public Policy, 19-40. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1992.

Doob, Leonard W. Public Opinion and Propaganda. Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1966.

Erikson, Robert S., and Kent L. Tedin. American Public Opinion: Its Origins, Content, and Impact. New York, NY: Pearson/Longman, 2007.

Wheeler, Michael. Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics: The Manipulation of Public Opinion in America. New York: Liveright, 1976.



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