Who is this “we” you’re talking about?

The Royal We?

Nah. But it’s an irritation to me that so many pundits, opinionators and experts use that “we” flagrantly, especially when they righteously complain about how crazy everything is.

“We are becoming complacent!”

“The American people are suicidal!” (Because that “we” is the two-bit stand-in for…all of us out here.)

Sometimes I respond to such remarks with “I, for one, am not complacent.” Or “I am not numb.” “I haven’t descended into thinking this is normal.” “I am not ignorant.”

I am not necessarily part of your We.

Let me say to everyone I read who can’t seem to express an opinion without sweeping the whole world up into that opinion, I do understand. It feels safer to say, “We are becoming complacent!” when you really mean, “I fear YOU are becoming complacent!”

People who express thoughts and opinions that are not necessarily popular are especially prone to using the Grandiose We. They can’t seem to announce their objections to, say, an editorial without grabbing up a crowd of thousands — anonymous, of course — who all agree. “I think this is an offensive point of view and, what’s more, the thousand people I personally know all feel the same way.”

Look, please don’t do that. Have enough self-esteem and confidence in your opinion to stand alone when expressing it. Say, “This is what I think.” I’ll respect you much more for writing that than for insisting — demanding? — your immediate world is a movement which supports you.

If you stand for yourself, others may join you. Don’t publicly insist they already do. I’d think this would piss them off, but I don’t know them. I do know me. Pisses me off.

This entry was posted in How I Learned The Facts of Life, Politics, The Facts of Life and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.