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‘Purity Tests’: How Corporate Media Describe Progressives Standing Up for Principles

‘Purity Tests’: How Corporate Media Describe Progressives Standing Up for Principles

Alan MacLeod

The Democratic primaries are heating up, and dozens of candidates representing all manner of political positions have entered the ring hoping to be the party’s 2020 presidential nominee. One notable feature of the race is the strong presence of progressive candidates, a sign of the rising influence of the left in the party.


Those who have been involved with the legislative process know that they need a shower after a sausage-making session. The rest of us need to accept and acknowledge this. By the very nature of legislating no one gets out of the door without a vote that can be spun against some of their true positions. Removing politics from bumper stickers, sound bites, and ridiculously short and shallow “debates” would go a long way to elevate the system. Shortening the political seasons would greatly increase the sanity of the electorate, which basically does not have any respites at this time.

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MacLeod sez:
"Hillary Clinton scorned Sanders’ test, claiming, ‘Under his definition, President Obama is not a progressive because he took donations from Wall Street!’”

I had no idea Ms. Clinton did stand-up. That one’s pretty funny, actually.


Corporate dems have their own loyalty test:

Save Obamamcare
Sustain empire and the military budget
No publicly-financed elections
Don’t end super delegates
Defend capitalism
Downplay unions and minimum wage
Don’t attack the wealthy

How come they’re not accused of being purists?


Well, I don’t like how this author describes progressives as leftists. Progressive politics is far more than leftist. Simple minded dichotomy of right vs left politics needs to be abandoned if we are truly to move forward into uncharted territory. Seriously, can the results of scientific research be defined as right or left politically? No, it shows us a way to move forward that has the highest chance of success and has nothing to do with political populism and sometimes means we need to do things no one wants to do. If that sounds like progressivism is a dictatorship that’s because Nature is the dictator- we are are here to listen. Does rump ever play golf in a lightning storm? No, even rump sometimes listens to nature. Remember history- political populism is what brought down Athens in the time of Socrates. There’s a difference between doing what’s best for society vs doing what people would like to do most.

The right has its own purity tests. Report on that. How about the right’s purity schooling or the right’s version of political correctness? How they teach each other to speak “right”?


Obama, please refrain from giving anyone advice on something which you are not an authority on.



“Purity test,” like “conspiracy theorist” and other such phrases, illustrate how powerful a tool language can be to intimidate and control thought. And it’s a lot easier for talking heads to toss out these phrases than make actual reasoned arguments.

I for one am grateful for “purists” like FDR with Social Security and LBJ with Medicare and Medicaid.


The ‘purity test’ meme is just another way of saying that a party made up of Joe Manchins and Rashida Tlaibs can’t have actual principles. How do I know they don’t have concrete principles? Chuck Schumer told me:

“For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.”


THe DNC 3rd way Corporate elite are the original “Purists”. Taking Corporate bribes is the Purity test for them
Bernie would have won and was/is a better Democrat than any of the republican lite crowd. But he was working for the 99% not the corporations and Wall Street and wouldnt ‘bend the knee’ and put a D after his name. So they sabotaged him. THAT is a Purity Test


Yes he did. And how’d that work out for ya Chuckles

by god it dosen’ matter does it? HE still has his job and WE have President Caligula.


Ah, yes . . . Presidunce Caligula, our own King Midas in reverse — everyone and everything he touches turns to shit.


If every business is a ‘corporation’ then a new word is needed to describe businesses with shareholders.

For instance the ‘Denver Post’ which is mentioned in this article is owned by Arden Global Capital which is a privately owned ‘hedge fund’. It has no shareholders and none of the disclosure requirements that apply to companies with shareholders. (Just might be something more insidious than a ‘corporation’, don’t you think?)

How things are named and called can be of great importance (especially in a nation with profound political and historical ignorance) and imprecise labeling just adds to the general dumbing-down which can lead to reform and progress being held back.

The purity tests are actually almost all on the other side. They include, for instance, calls for unity.

Most people on any sort of left position would welcome almost anyone with even a moderate degree of agreement. A prime example is Bernie Sanders. Sanders is quite popular now despite many shortcomings.

  • He often endorses wars of aggression
  • He often, though not always, has supported racist aggression abroad, particularly by Israel
  • He is not really socialist, let alone communist, but an FDR-style Keynesian
  • Many see it as a shortcoming that he is white, though this is not a particularly lefty matter
  • Many see it as a shortcoming that he is male, though again this is not a left|right thing
  • Many see it as a shortcoming that he is old
  • He endorsed Hillary Clinton after she stole the nomination from him
  • He followed and follows the great pretense about Russian hacking despite its being repeatedly discredited

There is a lot in all that that suggests strongly that his role may in many things be that of a sheepdog, as he is roundly accused. Nevertheless, he does have a history of fighting fairly consistently for the domestic rights of workers and other downtrodden people in connection with the FDR heritage that was once known in the United States (though pretty much only there) as liberalism.

For a communist or anarchist or libertarian or person of any such stripe, a vote for Bernie Sanders is a far deeper compromise than it is for a moderate Democrat, though that is likely not true for the authoritarian right wing of the party that calls itself “centrist,” imagining themselves as somehow central by virtue of supposedly being between Democrats and Republicans.

The difference, really, is that for all of our insistence on ideas, people on the left are far, far more accustomed to compromise.


The fact is that currently there is no ‘political correctness’ other than the ‘right’s version’.

It is firstly used to trivialize anything that seek to redress unfairness, injustice and the unequal distribution of wealth, power, and privilege by dismissing it as being only ‘political correctness’ or especially ‘political correctness gone mad’.

Secondly it is used by bullies and cowards to hide behind in an attempt to hide their contempt for the rights, concerns, and feelings of others.

“Barack Obama, the most recent Democratic president, recently decried the ‘purity tests’ of the left, which he called an “obsessive” ideological fanaticism that is setting the party up for failure.”

I would argue that the “obsessive ideological fanaticism” has been put forth by the so-called moderate branch of the DNC, which has led to the Republican-Lite agenda since Bill Clinton and which has also led to a huge failure…or didn’t any of these turkeys such as Obama notice that their hand-picked standard bearer got her ass kicked by one of the least-liked presidential candidates in our history. The people leading the Democrats to failure are precisely these bunch of bought politicians who have sold their souls for power and money. I say Fuck Them All! I will not vote for any more moderates. You folks can either start supporting the popular side of the Liberal base or go to hell. If our country is to go down the drain, I much prefer it have a Republican stamp on it.


The “Purity Test” seemed to work very well for Republicans. Hasn’t the Republican Party been taken over by Teabaggers and the Libertarians?

Based on the results of the 2016 and 2018, I would say taking a “centrist” position is setting oneself up for failure.

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For realz, people need to realize that the right has their own version of politically correct speak.