This isn’t the first time I’ve said, in my blog, I’m not a fan of our Mayor. Rob Ford is his name. And if ever there was a polarizing human being, it is him. You are either a staunch supporter, or you just cannot stand him.
There is absolutely no middle ground.
I fall into the latter category. But like it or not, he got elected. Nothing more to say about that.
Don’t worry, I am not about to put you to sleep with a diatribe about his politics. It wouldn’t mean anything to you. Much as I would love to, I’m not even going to vent about his character, which leaves a lot to be desired. Or his personal ‘issues’, of which there are many.
If you’re curious Google him. There won’t be any shortage of information.
What I want to talk about is how acrimonious the discussions are, about him. And trust me, I am using the word ‘discussions’ very, very loosely.
Although I am not going to go into detail, if I don’t tell you something about his personality, you’ll miss the point of this story completely. Which would totally defeat its purpose. So please bear with me, for a moment.
He’s a bully. He is aggressive. He never accepts responsibility for any wrong doing. He blames everyone else. When he fights back, he makes it personal. It is never an intelligent or strategic argument. It’s confrontational.
He is pretty much universally disliked by the press. No respect there. And, because he invites controversy, always, and because his behaviour is usually disgraceful, he is criticized in the media often. Normally this would get sympathy from me, except he asks for it.
As you might expect, this outrages his supporters.
Facebook, at least within my circle of FB Friends, has become a boxing ring, of sorts. To be fair, from what I’ve observed, it’s the Rob Ford foes who usually start it. Usually after days of reports of his embarrassing behaviour, whether it’s potential conflicts of interest, missteps, gaffes, etc. Enough is enough, for heaven sake. He is the Mayor, after all. Some decorum would be nice.
So someone will share an article. Or an opinion. Or a concern. Or a frustration. What comes next is the raison d’être for this post.
Those of us who feel the same way, will usually ‘like’ the status update. The Mayor’s supporters, on the other hand, fight back. And I do mean, ‘fight’. Verbally, obviously, but they are throwing punches around. It gets personal. It gets ugly. It gets nasty. It gets abusive. It is irrational. They behave like bullies.
While I have commented on friends’ updates, I’ve tended not to initiate. Until the other day. Someone I know ‘shared’ a recent article from one of Toronto’s major daily newspapers. It said the Mayor was allegedly asked to leave an official reception because he was drunk. It’s not the first time his sobriety has been called into question. It really is enough already, with Ford and his antics. I shared the article on my timeline.
Next thing, a woman I do not know (and who does not know me) commented. I have no idea how she even found me on Facebook. I swear, if she walked in here, right now and sat down beside me, I wouldn’t know who she is. We commented back and forth a couple of times. And then, she became defensive; and, suddenly, she attacked me. Personally.
Without knowing me, or anything about me. She insulted me. Berated me. Me. A total stranger. It’s crazy. Childish. Ridiculous. Ignorant.
And that’s when it dawned on me. Whenever Rob Ford is criticized, by anyone, his supporters respond in exactly the same way he does. They go on the offensive. They get down and dirty. They point the finger at you. They attack you.
It seems birds of a feather do flock together.
Gotta love social media. Seems like the last US presidential election. Manners and decorum out the window. Hateful words carelessly spewed. I guess no one cares about persuasion.
Exactly right. It’s just so weird. And it really accomplishes nothing.
Leadership really does set the tone by which so many follow. Whether that leadership is positive or negative, inspiring or accusation, it doesn’t change the fact that it sets the tone. Guys like that attract people who resonate with being a victim and using that as a platform to bully. Politicians abound, but statesman are a rare breed and may soon be extinct.
You are so right! Statesmen and leaders are in short supply.
In my 13 years on the internet, I can tell you this is nothing new. this way of “debate by attacking” just moved from the newsgroups to the message boards to the blogs and now to social media. Other than my general overall political apathy, this is another good reason why I tend to stay away from the subject… too many people take their politics waaaaay too personally…
Yeah, I guess you’re right to some degree. But this guy’s supporters really are something else again. And then, so is he.
I’m just sitting here asking myself how did this ass get elected? Sounds more like a cult following rather than political supporters.
Good question. We all keep asking ourselves the same question. But he did, God help us. He is simply a disgrace.
Fransi, your comments about Ford are right on the mark. I’m sorry you were subjected to such ignorant behaviour on F/B.
Thanks. I just abhor the man. He is such an embarrassment. I just cannot believe he gets away with half of what he gets away with.