Doug Ford: what to say when all the easy shots have been taken?

The ascension of Brother Doug has been a catalyst, for better or worse. Past year or so, I’ve been reluctant to plunge back into this for a lot of reasons, chief among which is the fear that I’ve got nothing to add. I’m not sure I can offer any fresh insight or say anything that hasn’t already been said, better and by smarter people.

Especially when we’re faced with something like this. What’s new about any of this? What have we discovered that we didn’t already know? Anyone who lived through the years of Rob as mayor and Brother Doug as … whatever he was … knows all about it. The challenge, then, is to come up with something that actually adds to the conversation or moves the cause of progressive resistance forward.

Forget where I read it, but someone argued recently that he’d had enough of one sententious analysis or think-piece after another bemoaning the disconnect between nominally progressive parties and the angry alienated people who keep voting for right-wing policies to their own detriment, despite all the evidence that they’re kicking themselves in the face. We’ve got to understand them, we’ve got to reach out to them, we’ve got to build bridges, we’ve got to listen to them and make connections and appreciate why they feel and vote as they do. Not hard to see how that could apply to Doug Ford’s base.

Well, fuck that, the writer argued. It’s not on us. The problem isn’t that we don’t understand them. The problem is that they don’t understand themselves.

They don’t understand why embracing belligerent ignorance, time and time again for decades, doesn’t do shit to improve their situations.

They don’t understand that the Kochs and Trumps and Doug Fords of the world don’t give a fuck about them.

They don’t understand that the system is rigged to keep people like them down, and no amount of scapegoating the blacks or the Jews or the Muslims or the LGBTs or the Hispanics or the immigrants or the unions or the “elites” or the environmentalists or the feminists or the SJWs is going to change that.

And they don’t understand this, not because it’s complicated, but because they’re too lazy and complacent and terrified for anything remotely resembling critical thought. They don’t understand because it’s easier to just settle back into stale narratives and stupid, simplistic clichés. Changing that is on them, not on anyone else.

Not sure I buy into it 100%, but he’s definitely making sense.


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