Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks is mad, mad, I tell you, that the wicked Democratic establishment and corporate media keeps pointing out that the hard left’s purity tests are a problem. Purity tests? What purity tests?!
I am told by the establishment Democrats and their friends in the establishment press that progressives have a purity test. What exactly is this test? No one knows. Who has been subjected to it? No one knows. Are there any specifics to it whatsoever? No one knows. But it is said! Because facts are of little import for the corporate media who know all of their beloved, cherished politician friends in DC.
The assumption going in is always that whatever an establishment politician says is golden and true. Whatever a progressive activist says is tarnished and lacks credibility.
The lack of self-awareness is so profound it should be funny. But it’s not. The fact that being a part of the establishment automatically bars you from being a progressive is, itself, exactly the kind of nonsensical purity test Uygur is pretending doesn’t exist. Elizabeth Warren, one of the most progressive people in all of Congress, will be disappointed to learn she’s just another establishment shill.
The rest of the rant goes on to blast the Democrats for not abandoning Super PAC money in the face of the multi-billion dollar funding machine run by the Kochs, the Mercers and Sheldon Adelson, to name a few. Because unilateral disarmament always works in mortal combat. Like most ideologues, Uygur is more than happy to shoot spitballs from the back of the classroom. It’s easy to be morally pure when you don’t actually have to govern or run for re-election every 2 years.
Do you know who the most popular politician in the country is right now? Bernie Sanders. He has a 61% approval rating. Hillary Clinton, the standard bearer for establishment Democrats, has a 35% approval rating. Tell me again why I have to listen to establishment Democrats.
Blablabla. Uygur and The Young Turks can fuck right off. They were some of the loudest ringleaders of the freak show that Bernie’s movement turned into when he lost control of it. Instead of a respectful debate, TYT and their mob became some of the most abusive people on the internet. Everyone that did not support Bernie and hate Hillary with all of their heart and soul were labeled unclean neo-liberals. And after Bernie lost the primaries, they continued to scream about how evil and wicked Hillary was. Sure, Russia played its part in fueling the rage but they had plenty of useful idiots in the hard left media amplifying their message.
And lest you think Bernie is completely innocent, he’s still hard at work applying his own purity tests to the Democratic Party he so obviously despises. In case you missed it, there’s been a big hullabaloo over Bernie endorsing an anti-choice candidate named Heath Mello in Nebraska:
Sanders pushed back against the criticism. “The truth is that in some conservative states there will be candidates that are popular candidates who may not agree with me on every issue. I understand it. That’s what politics is about,” Sanders told NPR.
That’s a very curious thing to say since Hillary Clinton agreed with more than 90% of his platform. But that didn’t stop Bernie from savagely attacking her at every opportunity, condemning her as a Wall Street sell-out. The Turks, taking their cue from their rock star idol, followed suit and Hillary became the enemy of all that was liberal. So did anyone that endorsed her like Elizabeth Warren (To be fair, the Turks chalked it up to a “tactical error” but that didn’t stop the rest of the movement from foaming at the mouth).
But back here in the real world, Hillary Clinton has a list of progressive accomplishments a mile long and Warren created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which has done more for economic justice in a few years than Bernie has in his three decades in Congress. Yet Uygur and his rabid followers hold Bernie up as a paragon of liberal values, casting shade at Democrats and making it even harder to swallow the hypocrisy when Bernie showed his true colors (again).
The reason people, specifically women, got bent out of shape over his endorsement of Mello is that Bernie considers his quest for economic justice to be the only quest worth pursuing. Sure, you ladies and your woman parts are important but you’re going to have to wait your turn. Same for you blacks and Latinos. We’ll get to you later but first we have to fix things for the working class. Well, the white working class, at least. Once we fix that, everything else will fall into place. Think of it as the trickle down theory for liberals.
But that’s not how the left thinks. Black people and Latinos would like economic justice but the police terrorizing their neighborhoods is a much more pressing matter. Oh, and it actually is an economic issue as unjustly imprisoned minorities have difficultly getting jobs once they get out. Women would like to be paid the same as men but having autonomy over their reproductive cycle is impossible to separate from their economic struggles. The LGBT community would like to be able to hold hands in public without being fired from their job or bullied in their school. None of these things are problems for Sanders and his many white and male followers so they consider it a secondary issue. The stench of privilege is only rivaled by the stench of hypocrisy from these people who have set themselves up as the arbiters of what is progressive. There’s nothing wrong with Bernie’s goals but attaining them by throwing the rest of the Democratic coalition under the bus is not the way to go. It’s nice that Bernie is willing to compromise on other people’s revolutions, but perhaps if he’d been more willing to compromise on his own, we wouldn’t have the vastly greater of two evils setting the world on fire.
In the meantime, Cenk Uygur can keep whipping his followers into an anti-Democrat frenzy with the purity tests he insists don’t exist. The Democratic Party can be moved to the left without shitting on it but that’s a lot of hard work and blinding people with rage is much, much easier.
The saddest part of all of this is that we all want the same goals but while us pragmatic progressives understand that it’s a long road with a lot of setbacks, Uygur wants all of those goals reached right now and if you’re not willing to burn the country to the ground to get it, you’re not a real progressive, you’re just part of the establishment and their status quo.
But don’t accuse him of having purity tests. That’s just ridiculous.
I’m a stay at home dad, father to a special needs son and a special daughter, a donor baby daddy, a militantly pragmatic liberal, the president of the PTA, a hardcore geek and nerd and I’m going to change the world. Or at least my corner of it.