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

take, claim, seize, etc. the moral ˈhigh ground

claim that your side of an argument is morally better than your opponents’ side; argue in a way that makes your side seem morally better: Don’t you try to take the moral high ground with me! You’re just as bad as I am!
See also: ground, high, moral
References in periodicals archive ?
But if Councillor Robin Stirling is one of Jim's hopes of seizing the moral high ground from the DUP then he's sunk.
Seizing the moral high ground in matters of top people's pay is rare, but Cardiff Council leader Rodney Berman said, "The allowance I receive comprises two elements - the basic allowance which every councillor receives, together with the more signifi-cant element I receive as leader of the council, which is the special responsibility allowance (SRA).
This could then be presented as seizing the moral high ground, although the Reds might have to move sharply, as who's to say Uefa might not make a similarly sensational move?
Rather than advocating loyalty to Islam over nationalism, Kurdish Islamic parties are seizing the moral high ground against Kurdistan's ruling secular parties, whom they accuse of corruption and economic mismanagement.
Hauling water for teachers' unions, cynically manipulating the soccer mom vote, trashing the speechless Bob Dole as "wrong in the past, wrong for our future," all while abandoning the kids at risk - well, that's what seizing the moral high ground on education was really all about.