March 02, 2019
The Royal He

I haven’t been paying close enough attention to see if Trump is one of them, but many successful politicians say things like, “Bob Dole doesn’t run negative campaigns.” This peculiar use of the Royal He is also common among serial killers. The Boston Strangler and Ted Bundy habitually used the third person when describing their murders to police. They saw themselves as witnesses to their crimes, as uninvolved observers. Spectators rather than actors, and how can you blame the audience for the play?


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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at March 02, 2019 06:18 PM
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Keen observation.
A form of this phenomenon may be observed when the "leadership" cult, so ever present in military, business and medical arenas, extols the virtue of, well, leadership, specifically their leadership, in producing, improving, and achieving some nebulous thing. Most importantly Leadership IS them. They employ the term reverently self-referential.

Posted by: Rich on March 3, 2019 8:47 AM

Heck, I come from the era when we were told, quite bitterly, "You won't have Dick Nixon to kick around any more."

Who said that? Right, Dick Nixon

That was in the 1960s. Or was it the 1950s? Anyway, then he came back. And we kicked him around some more. However, to his credit, he did use the first person singular when he told us, "I am not a crook."

Yours crankily,
The New York Crank

Posted by: The New York Crank on March 4, 2019 8:19 PM
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