Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Conservative Ignorance and The Ford Brothers. . . .

I don't believe that all rightwingers are dimwitted or even evil. There are still a few rightwingers around that take a relatively rounded view of the society. I disagree with many of their ideas and beliefs but there are some that are honest enough and have enough intellectual integrity that I could at least converse with them about real political and social issues. I was very impressed with the stance taken by Conservative Senator Hugh Segal concerning the bill that he managed to have defeated not long ago which attempted to subject Unions to more financial scrutiny than almost any other institution in society. Segal spoke eloquently about the role that Unions can play in a society and the need to balance corporate power with the ability of workers to defend themselves and the environment. Joe Clark has spoken about the need to defend democracy and the sovereignty of MPs.

However, the modern nasty, divisive, mean spirited, shockingly deceitful, corporate style of rightwing politics is nothing but sickening. The continual hypocrisy of men like Peter Mackay, for example, is disgusting. While he has established his entire career on a lie, and continually reeks of corruption, he has the gall to continually preach to others about their actions. Suggesting that Trudeau's effort to have a rational public discourse about a substance that most Canadians think should be legal (and is already approved for medical use) amounts to "pushing" marijuana on "kids," is appalling. And comparing Trudeau's actions to Rob Ford's, as Mackay has done, is simply to expose himself for the peddler of deception and bombast that he really is. But we have almost grown accustom to the bombastic hypocrisy, the conscious deception and negativity, that is the contemporary federal Conservative party.

But if you really want to see the ignorant, know-nothinism of modern Canadian conservatism one need look no further than Rob & Doug Ford and their supporters. These guys will stop at nothing to hide their malfeasance. They bully, and lie, and misdirect everyone and everything to attempt to keep a light from shinning on their corruption. But then, as I was listening to Toronto talk radio, something I do regularly to keep a eye on what people are saying, I was treated to the ultimate example of the ignorance that lies behind the Ford phenomenon. A typical "Ford Nation" supporter called in to praise Ford, and in the process the caller complained about the continual deficit spending of the previous mayor, Mr. Miller. "We had to suffer from years of deficit spending with Miller the socialist," the caller said, "but Ford has run a surplus." Even the radio host, a well-known conservative and one time supporter of Ford, laughed and quickly informed the caller of his error, pointing out that not only didn't Mayor Miller run a deficit but in Ontario it is against the law for municipalities to run deficits. The caller seemed unfazed by his total ignorance of the facts and quickly went on to an anti-union rant. To say I was shocked by the raw stupidity of this Ford supporter would be a lie. And I honesty don't think he was willfully spreading lies because the ignorance in his voice was too authentic to be forced. This is just how modern Canadian conservatism has become; it is relying on a shockingly ignorant core at its base to promote a total lie - the lie that conservatives are fiscally responsible, that the left is not, and that the right really cares about the "little guy."

Meanwhile, the Ford brothers rail at the "elites" and "liberal intercity rich" who they say are corrupting our political system. And few people raise an eyebrow at the fact that these two wealthy-born bullies are worth millions. And the mainstream media watch the circus created by the Fords, never doing a single story on the total lie that is the Ford record. And people in the public gallery laugh at Ford's antics and outrageous comparisons of himself to Kuwait, while the ignorance of the conservative base goes merrily on.

1 comment:

Owen Gray said...

The usual antidotes to ignorance don't seem to be working, Kirby.