Feeding The Monster–Conservative Style

A few week ago PostMedia columnist Andrew Coyne wrote an article excoriating the simplistic and mean-spirited politics underpinning the type of conservatism championed by Toronto mayor Rob Ford. While catching up on my reading last night, I found an editorial in the Focus section of the Nov. 23 Globe & Mail that articulated pretty much the same thesis.

Titled “Rob Ford, non-conservative”, the editorial opens with this paragraph:

Rob Ford has been stripped of much of his power and, according to the latest polls, he’s likely to lose next year’s mayoral election. Rob Ford the man is much diminished. But Rob Fordism, the idea, endures. It’s an ideology of resentment, bitterness and negativity. It is politics by dumb slogans rather than considered principles. It is the conservatism of “No.” If Canadian conservative parties, and Canada, are to prosper, they – and we – have to rise above it.

The Globe & Mail goes on the lament how politicians like Ford delight in demonizing their opponents and branding them as enemies, asking at one point “Is the future of conservatism government by enemies list?” . The term “enemies list”, of course, recalls the revelation last summer of a PMO initiative to draft enemies lists for incoming cabinet ministers in the Harper government.

For a certain type of politician, or brand of corrupted conservative ideology like the Tea Party in the United States, such an strategy might pay short-term political dividends. But at what cost to the long-term well-being of our society? As the Globe & Mail observed, “[Ford] and his advisors have sought to channel and inflame a certain group of angry voters. Seeking to address voter rage is one thing; aiming to embody and feed it is another.”

Author: Gregory Beatty

Greg Beatty is a crime-fighting shapeshifter who hatched from a mutagenic egg many decades ago. He likes sunny days, puppies and antique shoes. His favourite colour is not visible to your inferior human eyes. He refuses to write a bio for this website and if that means Whitworth writes one for him, so be it.

8 thoughts on “Feeding The Monster–Conservative Style”

  1. OMG maybe in Canada this is called Fordism, or Harperism, but if you’d been watching the Sunday morning talk shows and CNN’s Crossfire from the mid-1990s on, you’d know it was just run of the mill, petty Republicanism.

  2. I’m sure Bejamin Disraeli, George Washington, and every 13-year-old girl had enemy lists. Present-day small-screen 24/7 political demagoguery is about as similar to an enemies list the Wright Brothers were to NASA.

  3. I’m sure Bejamin Disraeli, George Washington, and every 13-year-old girl had enemy lists. Present-day small-screen 24/7 Americana ? Canadian conservative political demagoguery is about as similar to an “enemy list” as the Wright Brothers’ innovations were to NASA’s.

  4. I’m sure Bejamin Disraeli, George Washington, and every 13-year-old girl had enemy lists. Present-day, 24/7 small-screen & hate radio conservative political demagoguery in America & Canada is about as similar to an “enemy list” as the Wright Brothers’ innovations were to NASA’s. I learned long ago not to trust ‘boomers to fix this problem as most of then live in denial of it.

  5. Rob Ford has become sort of a political celebrity thanks to the never ending media attention to him. The enemies of his enemies are now his friends is a good way to say it.

    His supporters and background crew are his enablers…..his so callled drug habit is his own making though.

    I hope Conservative MP’s like Michael Chong will help restore faith in conservative politics with his private member’s bill. Too much power in the head PM office.

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