Tag Archives: Doug Ford

A Whiff of Nihilism

anti-establishmentOver the next couple of years we can expect a lot of discussion in the media with respect to what the federal Conservative party needs to do in order to get back into power.  Much like the Republican party in the US, conservative parties in Canada are losing the war of identity politics; women 18-49, new immigrants, aboriginals, Atlantic Canadians, urban professionals all have an almost instinctual aversion to voting conservative.  Most of this irrational but it’s a reality that has to be addressed.

So, it can go two ways (or a combination thereof) – the conservative parties moderate their stances and soften their edges and/or they more effectively and compassionately communicate a conservative vision and try to convince a broader swath of the public to identify as conservative.  The media will push for moderation.  That’s the easy way.  Selling conservatism in a liberal culture is much harder.

The National Post got the ball rolling on Saturday asking a group of conservatives their thoughts on how to “fix” the Conservative party’s fortunes.  One of the persons asked was Doug Ford.  Rob and Doug Ford really conflict us; their political instincts are good, but they never really convince that there’s a heck of a lot of depth of thought behind what they’re standing for.  Yet they do have popularity and it crosses demographic boundaries.

We’re real. We tell it like it is. We’re not the typical politicians. We don’t BS people. When someone’s in trouble and the sharks are circling around the leader, blood in the water, some guys run away, like Jason Kenney seemed to do at the end, and other guys, like the Ford brothers, jump in there, even though we knew it was going to be a tough election.

Now, sounding like you’re Rex and Spot Moondog  and the Ford Brothers tag team jumping into anything, well that isn’t exactly the type of communication skills we’re suggesting the conservative party needs.  But Doug goes on;

Donald Trump is borrowing from us. Rob blazed a new trail for politicians like that. People are tired in North America of the BS-ing politician. You tell it the way it is, you hold back nothing and the vast majority of the conservative-minded people are sharing the same ideas. Politicians are just too scared to say what we say.

We disagree – Donald Trump isn’t borrowing anything from Rob and Doug Ford.  But what is happening is they are singing from the same quasi-nihilist hymn sheet; the establishment is corrupt, past ways of doing things are not working, let’s go in, burn the place down, reduce it to rubble and build it up again – the right way.

Wouldn’t it be a great thing to clear out all the career politicians? You want people who are there to serve the people as opposed to serving their own pocketbooks.

This type of anti-establishment fatwa has spell-binding appeal as evidenced by the popularity of the Ford brothers still and Trump’s long spell on top.  Patrick Brown was elected leader of the Ontario PC’s largely on the same anti-establishment sentiment, conservatives lashing out at their own party leaders for their failure to win the last election.

But it’s short lived and it alienates – it’s built on anger, granted anger at the (liberal) establishment, and anger burns itself out.  You can carry a whiff of nihilism, you can hint that you want to shake the foundations a little, but you can’t make that your whole raison d’etre.

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Another Rob Ford Post

Rob FordOh no.  We’re going to write about Rob Ford.  And why not?

What we want to add to the chatter is this:

God bless Rob Ford.

God bless Doug Ford.

We haven’t had this much fun watching a political story unfold on TV in years.

Please, please Rob Ford, find a way to run for Prime Minister.  We would pay good money to watch you debate Justin Trudeau. Two intellectual heavy weights.

Watching Rob and Doug at council  made me wonder – did King Kong Bundy and Big John Studd retire from professional wrestling and enter politics? I saw two loud, fat, sweaty men taunt the audience, push over an old lady, give long speeches about how they were going to beat everyone else and come pretty close to throwing a chair or two. It was awesome! Who needs WWE Raw?

Really though – one has to see the Matt Lauer interview.  At least Lauer doesn’t back down.  Why is it that it takes a U.S. reporter to tell him to his face that he’s an embarrassment?  Even Lord Peter Mansbridge, the so-called greatest anchorman ever, seemed to chicken out when face to face with Ford and his bro.   Maybe the whole pro-wrestling vibe intimidated him.

Here’s the thing … his defense basically boils down to following talking points;

1)     I’m not perfect, and everyone else gets wasted so why can’t I?

2)     I was really really drunk

3)     I’ve saved the taxpayers money

4)     He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone

The constant “nobody’s perfect”, and “have you never gotten drunk?” line is really worth thinking about.  “I’m only human”, like it’s super-human to expect a person in a position of responsibility to have reasonable control over their behaviour.  It seems to us that he and his brother are desperately clinging to this notion that he, being mayor and leader of the city, needn’t be held to any higher standard of conduct than your ordinary Joe Shmoe.  Maybe Adam Vaughn is right, and Rob Ford has “failed his way upwards”, because in life aren’t the people who are more disciplined, more in control of themselves, more composed, more thoughtful and deliberate – aren’t those the people who manage to climb into leadership positions and positions of success?  If so, they don’t complain about being held to higher standards, because they hold themselves to higher standards.

That’s what’s apparently missing in these two.  They don’t hold themselves to a higher standard of conduct, and resent that you would suggest they did.  And it’s nearly impossible to explain that kind of immaturity in grown men who’ve experienced great success in life without having an insight into family pathologies.  Who knows?

Regardless, a pay-per-view no-disqualifications match between Justin Trudeau and Rob Ford would net millions for charity.  Make it happen.

Either way, this is a LOT of fun to watch.  Toronto, the rest of Canada -we’ll survive.  Let’s enjoy the spectacle.

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