seize the moral high ground

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seize the moral high ground

To claim, purport, or make it appear that one's arguments, beliefs, ideas, etc., are morally superior to those espoused by others. The senator always tries to seize the moral high ground during a debate so as to shift public opinion in his favor.
See also: ground, high, moral, seize
References in periodicals archive ?
They have seized the moral high ground, while kicking Berlusconi off a cliff at the edge.
Conservatives seized the moral high ground over public spending early in the downturn, by admitting cuts are needed while Labour was still claiming it could increase cash for services.
In their zeal to expose the peddlers of "vile smears" the newspapers repeated the smears, albeit obliquely, the way newspapers do when they are convinced they have seized the moral high ground but are not quite sure how best to exploit it.
As I'd anticipated, he wasn't the man who'd staked pounds 16 and thereby seized the moral high ground from his fellow winners.
At last week's 9/11 commission hearings, Clarke effectively portrayed Rice as slow-footed and almost clueless in the race to head off a terrorist attack, and he seized the moral high ground when he apologized to the families who lost loved ones, report Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas, Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff and White House Correspondent Tamara Lipper in the April 5 Newsweek cover story (on newsstands Monday, March 29).
Compare and contrast that with Cardinal Thomas Winning's pronouncements which have seized the moral high ground on the same issue.
Bob Dornan: Driven as only a combat pilot who's never seen combat could be, Dornan has seized the moral high ground in an attempt to level it.