Wednesday Word of the Week, October 5: Purity

5 Oct

Great for soap, lousy for candidates.

This week’s word is PURITY

being undiluted or unmixed with extraneous material

This quality is being used by the Republican base to measure their candidates for President. In this case they are not judged to be necessarily pure

having no faults; sinless

but adherent to all the tenets of the most vocal and virulent members of the party.

Given the rabid nature of these candidates, it should be terrifying to any thinking, compassionate, or reasonable person that any of them are insufficiently pure. Yet somehow, they are. To brew a sufficiently bitter cup of tea, one must

  • Oppose any form of equality for LGBT Americans
  • Refuse to allow women to make any choices about their own bodies and health care
  • Oppose any approach to immigration other than deportation
  • Protect corporate interests at all costs, despite the impact on the average American
  • Reject any increases in taxes or revenue, even when levied against the wealthiest 1% of Americans

Rick Perry? He’s been nice to brown people (plus there’s that whole vaccination scandal, which, while it served a corporate donor, involved forced medication and was therefore socialist). Michele Bachmann? Pretty pure, but mysteriously her favorables fell rapidly when Perry, initially an equally nutty candidate who had the benefit of a penis, showed up. Herman Cain? He talks about taxes a lot and, well, the GOP is a big tent and all, but he’s >gasp< black. Rick Santorum? He sure hates gays enough, but his tax record is a bit weak. Mitt Romney? Does he really stand for anything other than getting elected? He’s too shallow even for the Republicans. Get the picture?

Democrats are faced with a more nuanced problem. We know who our candidate will be, but many of us are disappointed and frustrated with his approach to leadership. That’s all well and good, but we cannot afford to let that frustration turn into apathy. As we pointed out on TSM earlier this week, President Obama has done a great deal already, enough to merit our support. A whole, charmingly-titled website is devoted to reminding us that, flaws aside, our President has done much of what he promised on the campaign trail.

Could he do more? Could he lead more forcefully? Certainly. But we are not Republicans.

Let the Teahadists bloody all their candidates. Let them strive for so much ideological purity that they present such a distasteful disaster that even the rightward center is repulsed. It may be early, but the election season is, sadly, in full swing. Democrats need to show we support the man who will clearly be the best choice come December 2012. Once he’s back in office, we can continue to push him. While he needs our enthusiasm, however, let’s show the Republicans that there is something more important than artificial purity

something difficult that you succeed in doing, especially after working hard over a period of time


(All definitions courtesy of Macmillan Dictionary Online)

4 Responses to “Wednesday Word of the Week, October 5: Purity”

  1. James Queale October 5, 2011 at 7:48 am #

    Well said! It is true, there is nothing pure about any of the Republican candidates. If someone told me I had to think of something nice to say about each one, I would really struggle. I can’t believe that any of them are taken as serious candidates. Most of them should not be running for president but for the mental institution doors. This is why Republicans hate education and cut funds, because if they didn’t, they would never get elected.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt October 5, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

      Jamie, your reflections here are sad, but I feel quite accurate.

      • James Queale October 5, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

        Trust me, I would rather be reflecting on positive things, but these Republicans make it difficult.

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt October 6, 2011 at 6:14 am #

        Amen to that.

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