We are all Partisans

John C. Rankin

To be a partisan is to have an opinion about what makes for the best public policies. Partisan is a good term if used for stating honest opinions within the checks and balances of political debate. There are four terms used to advance partisan ideas:

  1. Non-partisan – but to be non-partisan means to be without opinion, and to have no opinion is to be non-human. It does not admit its partisanship.
  2. Bi-partisan – but to be bi-partisan is a calculated split between opinions, and by definition contra-human. It always seeks partisan advantage in the end, but not up front.
  3. Post-Partisan – but to be post-partisan is a claim that partisan debate is over, and by definition post-human. It does not admit its partisanship up front, only in the end.
  4. Pre-Partisan seeks to set the table for honest partisan debate, is up front in partisan advocacy, and thus fully human.

To this end, check out prepartisan.org.


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TEI International Leadership School

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House of Lords 17 October 2017

Text of John Rankin’s address on the occasion of the 500th annive5rsary of the Reformation.