April 4, 2023

Of Course, It’s Political

I am tired of hearing Trump and his minions complain that the various investigations of the former president—and now at least one actual indictment—are “political.” Yes, in fact, they are, but being political does not make them illegitimate. The primary meaning of “political” is, according to Merriam-Webster, “of or relating to government, a government, or the conduct of government.” In this sense, the judicial system is definitely and intrinsically political.

Of course, “political” can also refer to party politics. This is clearly the meaning in Trump’s mind and those of his supporters when they complain of political persecution. The term is imprecise and technically ambivalent. What they should be saying—not because it’s true but because it is what they want the public to believe—is that the investigations of Trump’s behavior is partisan. This word means “feeling, showing, or deriving from strong and sometimes blind adherence to a particular party, faction, cause, or person.”

One suspects that Donald Trump, who exhibits little concern for truth, is equally indifferent to the subtleties of the English language. 

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