Purity

Words are tricky things, and Barack Obama is a master of using them.  For example, let’s analyze this little gem of a quote: “One of the things I do worry about sometimes among progressives: we start sometimes creating what’s called a ‘circular firing squad’ where you start shooting at your allies because one of them has strayed from purity on the issues.”
In the first few words he manages to call himself a progressive, just by saying “we,” while setting up an attack on progressives, because he is not one.
Secondly, ‘shooting at your allies’ is exactly the point of a primary campaign.  It’s to weed out the candidates whose ideas, or whose character or past voting record, don’t hold up to scrutiny, so that the strongest candidate goes forth to face the opposition.
The ‘circular firing squad’ is an effective image, but it’s not precisely circular.  There are clearly two sides here.  Those who are in favor of health care, and the environment, and financial equality, and criminal justice reform, and on the other side those who take money from the pharmaceutical industry, and the oil industry, and the banks.
That’s where the ‘purity’ charge comes in.  I’ve seen a lot of commenters of Facebook also using this ‘purity’ charge, as if purity was a bad thing.
If you support purity, you want your candidates to be clean, untainted, and that is a good thing.  We want purer air, and purer water, and more transparency in government.  If you are against purity, you are for impurity.  You are saying we should support candidates even if they take a few bribes here and there, even if they are trying to dilute the programs we need to save the environment, to save public education, to save sick people from dying.
You’re goddamned right we want purity, Mr. Obama.  You’re not going to make us feel guilty about that.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Purity

  1. John Roundtree

    If you support purity, you want your candidates to be clean, untainted, and that is a good thing. We want purer air, and purer water, and more transparency in government. If you are against purity, you are for impurity. You are saying we should support candidates even if they take a few bribes here and there,,,By your logic….Obama said “you want your candidates to be clean, untainted, and that is a good thing. We want purer air, and purer water, and more transparency in government”. Then I assert that purity can’t include bribery here and there to be pure… transparency in government” is a given. If you are clean and pure, so why not transparency?

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