"People are sick of the elites and artsy people running the show. It's time for some lunch pail, blue-collar people."
Don Cherry, cited in the Toronto Star, December 3, 2010, explaining his endorsement of policeman/politician Julian Fantino and his appearance at the inaugural meeting of Toronto Council to celebrate the election of Rob Ford.
Where to begin to untangle so much confusion and drivel in so few words? How about an edition of the CBC's "The Debaters" on Mr. Cherry's pronouncement. It shouldn't take long and could easily replace a segment of Coach's Corner.
Arguing first for Cherry's analysis would be Julian Fantino, whose blue collar credentials includes being the Ontario Police Commissioner, Toronto Chief of Police, London Chief of Police and senior bureaucrat for the Province of Ontario. Next will be Rob Ford, the new Toronto mayor, son of a former MPP whose work experience consists of the family business, described by his election bio as a "multi-million dollar North American enterprise," and politics.
Also in the affirmative are the media elites who give Mr. Cherry and a substantial number of other social conservatives national media platforms to express their biases.
Taking the negative view of Don Cherry's assault on artsy elites is...
The Liberals were certainly against Fantino and Ford, except they wanted the police chief as their candidate before the Tories recruited him, and George Smitherman's election platform wasn't all that different from Ford's.
How about a media personality from the CBC with a solid analysis of economic inequality and how elites are more privileged than ever after the failures of the free market? There is Jian Ghomeshi who is on the radio weekday mornings. He seems reasonable and informed, but he is pretty artsy.
So who should answer Mr. Cherry's line of reasoning? A real blue collar worker might be just what Mr. Cherry ordered up. Except that might mean hearing what trade unionists have to say about the elites - and, plainly, that would be most improbable.
Now, audience, who is the winner? For Mr. Cherry: applause. For the other view: the sound of one hand clapping.
Thank you for reading this story…
More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.
rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.
So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.
And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.