Walter Lippman's The Indispensable Opposition

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The freedoms of men and women are guaranteed under law, yet somehow we tell eachother that our speech is incorrect and should be looked down upon. How can the liberties of other people be less valuable than than your own? Americans tend to simply push an opposing opinion out of their way, deeming it invaluable and useless, but when someone does that same thing to them, they are up in arms about their right to free speech. Walter Lippman uses powerful pathos and strong diction in his article The Indispensable Opposition to develop his argument that individuals must respect and listen to other’s opinions in order for society to grow as a whole. People’s emotions are always hard to decipher and angle so that their opinion is altered, or even changed. Lippman’s use of pathos shows how many opinions are disregarded because they are not in agreement with one’s own thoughts. He mentions that “we miss the whole point when we imagine that we tolerate the freedom of our political opponents as we tolerate a howling baby next door.” This is…show more content…
His words push hard at the thoughts and emotions of the reader by giving a positive or negative connotation, depending on the topic at hand. By Lippman’s use of words such as “substantial, beneficial, and indispensable”, he illustrates that the consequences that are positive and helpful are not what we depend “the defense of freedom of opinion” on but rather we base it on “a somewhat eccentric, a rather vaguely benevolent, attachment to an abstraction.” His diction in these phrases demonstrate very different connotation. Walter illustrates the defense of freedom of opinion as something positive and helpful, but the attachment to abstraction as something negative and damaging. The use of such powerful diction can change how the reader is going to feel towards certain topics and ideas that the author presents based on the way he presents
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