Posts Tagged ‘mudslinging’
I am much more the armchair quarterback than the participant when it comes to politics. I volunteered on an NDP campaign in Halifax back in the 80s, and I tried to help a friend become an Ottawa city councillor in 2006. Beyond that, I’m a dutiful voter and an active discusser. I don’t know many politicians. I’ve met a few, from time to time. But I don’t really know them.
So watching the assassination of a friend’s character in 24 hours has been a sobering experience.
Anthony Marco is someone I’ve met through PAB. I consider him a friend in the social-media sense of the word. We might not speak for months at a time. More likely, we might trade an e-mail, a tweet, or I might leave a comment on one of his several podcasts. Anthony is a dynamic speaker, he’s a great writer and a superb podcaster.
And he’s also the NDP’s candidate for the riding of Ontario PC party leader Tim Hudak.
And since yesterday, he’s been the subject of a story in the Toronto Sun, and now the smearing of the Liberal Party’s war room. The source of the outrage in the Sun story? Anthony said, in a podcast, that he was an atheist, that he thought churches were great examples of brand loyalty, and that he sometimes considered religion equivalent to a hobby. The comment thread at the Sun story quickly degenerated to juvenile and insulting personal comments.
Now the Liberal party, led by its prominent war-room blogger Warren Kinsella, has decided to paint Anthony as a “kook”, a “lunatic”, and to insinuate that he is somehow anti-Semitic and/or sympathetic to Nazism. By referring to one (I’m waiting to find out which one) of his more than 300 podcast episodes at LoveHateThings.
Since I haven’t the time to listen to all 332 episodes, I can’t determine whether the quotes are accurate, or whether the context would have something to say about them. So I’m not going to try (at this point) to defend them, beyond saying I’ll wait until I know what the actual content tells me.
What I will say is this. I know enough about Anthony Marco to know a misrepresentation when I see one. And if this is how the game of politics is played, I pity our country. If political parties are willing to listen to hundreds of hours of audio to search out something to smear a fundamentally good man, to paint him as an anti-Semite, then I now see one reason for our country’s political disengagement.
Someone once said that you don’t want to see two things being made: sausages, and laws. I would now add political victories to that list. This is ugly, and infuriating, and nauseating, and sleazy. And it makes me wonder just how many other good, worthy people have lost elections because of this sort of nonsense. Sad, isn’t it?
UPDATE: I appear to have been banned from Warren Kinsella’s website. Mr. Kinsella posted a reply to me that read “Then beat it.” I replied with “Cogent.” He deleted that reply in the moderation queue. I then replied again, assuming that it was a mistake. The second reply was deleted, and he then added significantly to his comment. You can find the thread here. I suppose I should start emptying my closets. God knows what skeletons Mr. Kinsella will find there.
In any case, just to be sure that SOMEONE gets to read my reply to his comment, I’ll post it here.
Warren, I’m not sure what your issue is here. When it started, you said that this candidate was deserving of censure because he was in some way denigrating those who “fought Nazis.” However, the direct quote suggests nothing of the sort. It argues that trying to change the mind of those who hold Nazi-like beliefs is futile. I agree. I’m not going to waste time trying to convince a lunatic that his Holocaust-denial beliefs are mistaken. Might as well tell Michelle Bachman that the HPV vaccine is safe. Now, you’re accusing this candidate of a “paean to Mein Kampf.” Again, I see nothing of the sort in the expanded quoted text. In fact, I read it as an argument against book-burning. As the organizer of an event called Censored Out Loud here in Ottawa, I tend to disagree with book burning. Even when the book is the product of a homicidal maniac. I would argue in order to understand such human monsters as Adolf Hitler, we need to read and comprehend their writings. When you wrote “Web of Hate”, an excellent and courageous book, did you read neo-Nazi literature? Perhaps even Mein Kampf? Does your reading it imply an endorsement? Of course not. We owe it to ourselves as a society to understand those we oppose. Even the loathsome. I’m disappointed that you would put your political ambitions above a commitment to honesty and fairness.