Against “We,” “Us,” and “Our” in Policy Discourse

Rhetoric is often insidious, especially in political and policy-related discourse. The words a writer or speaker uses to express his ideas may easily tilt the reader or listener’s evaluation toward unwarranted acceptance or rejection. Politicians and others who make public pronouncements understand this effect, and they choose their words with an eye toward using the terms that make their arguments and proposals most persuasive.
Perhaps the most dangerous examples pertain to the ordinary, oft-used words “we,” “us,” and “our.” The danger arises because these words relate to groups of people, perhaps to groups as small as those with only two individuals,

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