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Sunday, December 31, 2006

 

Iraq Policy and Public Opinion

- By Thomas E. Brewton

With mounting stridency, news media demand to know why President Bush fails to bow to public opinion expressed in the recent Congressional elections and pull our troops out of Iraq.

The underlying assumption is that public opinion, expressed in elections or opinion polls, in all cases represents truth and wisdom. As I wrote in The Limitations of Public Opinion, such is seldom the case when complex policy matters are the subject of those opinions.

he stock market, for example, gives us a daily, broad spectrum opinion poll reflecting the outlook for business. Obviously, however, very few people have the knowledge and resources to become rich and to keep their wealth over time simply through knowing what composite market opinion is at any given time.......................
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