Life is political. And politics is a good thing. Those who mistake the partisan for the political mistake the trees for the forest. And if we believe that politics is partisanship we risk killing off any possibility of a civic society.
Politics is about civil society. It is about resolving problems and conflicts through civil means. It is about community life. Politics is the people of a society. It is how those people live together, work together, coordinate their dreams and ideals. It is conflicts, values, interests, the common good and vision.
Partisanship is one way of conducting political life. It is dividing the political into smaller, more manageable, parts. It is about cutting off 49% of the people from the governing class. It is about mobilization of the people to advance the interests and values of the partisans.
I am not opposed to party politics – if for no other reason than they are pretty much what we’ve got. But I am opposed to people confusing the two. Politics is the category, and partisanship is the subcategory. Politics is life. Partisanship is a technology. Let’s not confuse the subcategory for the category, and the technology for life.