Politics
3.4k readers

Every Time A Major Politician Used The Passive Voice To Deflect Blame

Updated May 3, 2018 3.4k views15 items

The topic of how politicians trick people is often debated and dissected by analysts, journalists, and political scientists. Politicians that use passive voice often come under fire. From accepting bribes to illegal arms deals, high profile scandals are par for the course in Washington. It would be a strategically stupid move for a political hopeful to fully take blame for any major mistakes or corruption. At the same time, however, it would be uncouth to deprive the public of an apology in the wake of a scandal. Left caught between a rock and a hard place, many fast talking politicians fall on the passive voice. 
 

How does the passive voice work? Grammatically, the passive voice is a sentence in which a noun is acted upon rather than acting. This construction often allows politicians to acknowledge a wrongdoing without explicitly assigning blame for that wrongdoing. "Mistakes were made" is commonly used in politics, for example, as a sly way to avoid saying, "I made mistakes." Throughout history, there have been many times politicians used passive voice to deflect blame. For some historical and grammatical education, browse this list below to learn all about the history of deceptive language in politics. 

 

...more