Why Does V.O Key, Jr. Argue That the Voice of the People Is but an Echo?

Political scientist V.O. Key, Jr. argued that, "the voice of the people is but an echo" in reference to the disproportionate weight given to the opinions of society's elite in the electoral process. He recognized that the public can only form opinions based on what is presented to them by a media structure that is heavily influenced by the elite.

Key made the famous statement in his 1966 publication, "The Responsible Electorate." He extended the analogy by referring to an echo chamber. The quotation continues with, "the output of an echo chamber bears an inevitable and invariable relation to the input." His words continue to resonate with political scientists and researchers into the contemporary era.