March 29, 2016
Source: Wikimedia Commons
If you”re starting to imagine Rob Ford as a kind of John the Baptist to Trump’s Jesus, you”re not alone. Ford’s death inspired a LOT of “compare and contrast” think pieces to that effect, intended as cautionary tales, of course.
When it mattered, “Ford Nation” turned out to be more like “Ford Notion.” Cancer and rehab (and, arguably, everything else) forced Rob out of the mayoral reelection race. His designated replacement, his less-everything brother Doug, placed a respectable second in a three-way race, but Toronto reverted to type and chose another smug, big-spending, politically correct uptight patrician for mayor.
Anyone shocked by that must not remember how many of RFK’s supporters flocked to Wallace after Kennedy’s death.
Personality cults aren”t just a problem when the “personality” is someone you hate and who won”t die already, like Fidel Castro. They”re also a danger when the “personality” is our son of a bitch“and he doesn”t live long enough, or lives long enough to lose. In a flash, your “mass movement,” your “sea change,” is reduced to a damp, embarrassing carpet stain.
Anyone blowing their savings on a Trump lottery ticket, as it were, should brace themselves for a variety of disappointments. If he wins in November, despite my reservations, I”ll be delighted, believe me. (See “a necessary and even secretly thrilling antidote,” above.)
The trouble is, permanent cultural and political change of the sort the West dearly requires demands more thrust and momentum than a lone middle finger can bring to the fight. We need a fist. Toronto couldn”t make one. Can America?