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Opinion We have to stop saying ‘political’ when we mean ‘partisan’

Merriam-Webster defines political as “feeling, showing, or deriving from strong and sometimes blind adherence to a particular party, faction, cause, or person’s. David Gergen: Merrick Garland is a political appointee of President Biden and is deeply enmeshed in politics. He says we need less partisanship in our government and policy decisions, but it will be almost impossible to make them less political. Gergen says this collapsing of the distinction between electoral, ideological, personal and particularly partisan vs. political is widespread and damaging. We need a civil society outside of the two parties, Gergen writes, and we need a nonpolitical society outside the two major parties, he says.

David Gergen: Describing Republicans as trying to make it harder for Black people to vote is a political act, but it's not a partisan one. He says GOP officials are taking advantage of this misunderstanding, casting nonpartisan institutions as being partisan. Gergen says we should try to take some of the partisanship out of American politics, but we can’t make politics not political. Being political, meaning getting involved in government, is generally good. We want more institutions and people in our society involved in public affairs.