Richard Barnet

  • the Management of Consent

    SINCE GEORGE WASHINGTON STRUGGLED to keep the fledgling republic neutral in the British-led war to crush the French Revolution, presidents have believed that they could protect the nation only by insulating foreign policy from public passion or by mobilizing public passion. Presidents see what Walter Lippman called “the manufacture of consent” as absolutely essential to the conduct of diplomacy. Thus national security is exempt from the sort of political scrutiny to which domestic policy is normally subject. In the matter of war and peace presidents ask to be trusted, and by and large they are.