Monday, November 11, 2013

Who Elected Rob Ford?

With all the press coverage of Toronto mayor Rob Ford, no one has taken time to explain how this clown was elected in the first place. He clearly has his supporters...lots of them.

Here's an explanation from a knowledgable local. Amid the over-written trolling comparison lies this nugget:
[Ford's constituency is] the Ontario equivalent of the Tea Party. Peel back the veneer, and you find someone who truly, deeply feels that "Toronto The Good" doesn't work. Who feels that it works for someone else. For downtowners, or liberals, or cyclists, or unionized employees, or something else.

Ford Nation thinks Toronto is all about "someone else," not about them. To Ford Nation, Toronto looks down upon the suburbs and taxpayers, and Ford Nation is angry about that
Anarchism exploded in America at the turn of the last century. The movement's little-remembered now, though it terrorized the nation for a few years, and even led to the assasination of President McKinley. And it all stemmed from an economic crisis, the Panic of 1893.

The financial crisis of 2007–08 brought its own anarchistic reaction, from the Tea Party (launched in 2009) to the angry nihilistic mobs who put Rob Ford in office in 2010.

Writers both liberal and mainstream conservative have always warned of the gruesomeness lurking in the right wing fringe. Yet conservative politicians have long pandered to that fringe, stoking it to a critical mass where it's now able to elect its own candidates who, in turn, consume the panderers.

Of course, the explosive combination of the civil rights and anti-war movements in the 1960's empowered a left-wing fringe with equally harsh "tear it all down" objectives. But neither fringe has ever held real power until now. And those who pine for the days of moderate conservatives ought to temper their nostalgia with an awareness that those were the guys who stoked and empowered these loonies in the first place.*

Republicans who cynically pretended to believe that evolution's just a theory and that the president was born in Kenya, etc. etc., have been violently replaced by kooks and morons who actually buy all that. Is crack-smoking really so far beyond?

* For that matter, bear in mind who inflamed and armed radical Islam in the first place (hint: it was a country that really really wanted to see the Soviets pushed out of Afghanistan).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

An important thing to note is that Toronto is not just the City we imagine. It expanded from Old Toronto through several acquisitions to become Metropolitan Toronto in the decades after World War II, and became the Megacity of Toronto in 1998. It is currently over 240 sq. miles with 2.5 million people (Old Toronto has about 775,000 residents). So most of it is more like Westchester and Long Island than NYC.

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