Saturday, 9 June 2018
The election of Doug Ford makes it clear as day. How did such an obviously corrupt and inept man became the premiere of Ontario?
Easy. This situation mirrors the election of Donald Trump.
Voters were afraid of the ‘assault of the new.’
The ‘assault of the new’ is what I call gender and anti-racist politics. In the west, we have recently become more and more obsessed with recognizing the oppression of non-white peoples, and with ensuring that women take their rightful place in our society. The ramifications of these beliefs are huge. If the government has a dedicated anti-racism policy that means if you are out of a job a person of colour may get a job before you do— or become your boss. Valorizing women means disempowering straight men — which means not only that abortion will be every woman’s right but also that queer and trans people will be given power and agency too.
If you don’t understand what is so frightening about all of the above, then you are a politically correct, anti-racist, and anti-sexist person. Period. You don’t have to be a white male to understand — there are plenty of racist people of colour (Kanye West, anyone?) and sexist women (Women for Trump, anyone?). You just need to be a person who is, for whatever reason — and it may have nothing to do with your skin colour or gender — afraid of the ‘assault of the new.’
And for such people, the election of a black president in the United States, and a lesbian as premier in Ontario, were both hugely threatening events. For those who are a afraid of the ‘assault of the new,’ nothing about a candidate matters other than whether or not they are going to bring back the ‘old ways.’
Erich Fromm wrote a book called Escape From Freedom, about why people yearn for dictatorships. One of the reasons was that people need to ‘conform to a group norm.’
No group norm is as appealing as white male racism/sexism.
Whatever complaints we may have against Kathleen Wynne and Barack Obama they did not deserve the hate that was directed against them. Doug Ford, in contrast to Kathleen Wynne, will Make Ontario Great Again. This means he will bring assurance to those who are deeply, desperately, anti-racist and anti-women. There will be a bunch of old white straight guys in power again; and everyone who is afraid of the ‘assault of the new’ can take a deep breath.
Maybe you were confused, and thought this election was about fiscal responsibility, or Ontario Hydro?
Well, think again.