In the fall of 2009, Rob Ford tried -- and nearly succeeded -- in getting me kicked off of a by-election campaign happening in the upscale Toronto riding where I lived at the time.
I had mightily offended the future Mayor by accidentally transferring him to the campaign office's general voicemail rather than the campaign manager's personal, private voicemail; Rob Ford let it be known that if he was running the show, I would be gone from my unpaid volunteer position.
And so, when Rob Ford announced his candidacy for Mayor, I resisted. I embarked on an ultimately futile quest to stop him, which transformed into an odyssey that brought me into conflict with the top minds of the PCPO and the CPC. I warned everyone of the impending backlash from a Ford Mayoralty. I warned of the ramifications for the other two parties. And though events would technically prove me right on those counts, I was also, in many other ways, admittedly very wrong.
I, the Toronto conservative, living in my bubble, was wrong about what Canada was. Maybe I still am, since I believe we can in some way prevent Kevin O'Leary's intrusion into the Canadian political firmament with ideas.
So, when Stephen Marche -- the guy who writes stories about Jewish guys with a thing for wild animals -- writes that Rob Ford was a prophet, an inventor of some new kind of politics, I know from whence he speaks and why he's wrong.
I mean no disrespect to the dead, but Rob Ford did not invent anything. He didn't have to.
He just embodied the Canada that Stephen Marche doesn't recognize- the Canada that exists mere kilometres outside his world.
Canada, like the world it is a part of, is a brutal place. Only intellectuals like Marche see it and try to define it as something other, because they are charged with suppressing that brutality.
They do not recognize Ford, or Trump, or O'Leary, the Kardashians, or anything from the real world, in themselves. They cannot. It is not part of their programming.
Paradoxically, though, they are fascinated it.
A man who writes a story about someone who wants to have sex with animals obviously wants to understand that real world. A man who eulogizes Rob Ford the way he did wants to understand that world. But he doesn't know that world.
He will never know it until it impinges itself, forcefully, brutally, into his world.
And it will.
Rob Ford is dead, but the story of the next few years is that real world- that gritty, brutal world he embodied- into the quiet, safe, mainstream world.
A while ago, Marche posted a tweet about his daughter reacting to a photo of Donald Trump by asking her father, "Why is that man so afraid?"
Readers’ online reaction was, to be succinct, brutal. Nobody believed his daughter actually asked the question.
Mr. Marche was surprised by that pushback, no doubt. But he didn't learn the lesson, because he does not accept that the world is brutal.
Let me assure him that this is going to happen again.
And then he and his ilk won't have to write stories about brutality. It'll be all around him, and it'll be better, and more real, than anything he can ever hope to scratch out.