Today, I was going to write about Rob Ford’s new Executive Committee. I was going to make note that not one progressive holds an appointment and that Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, the new public works boss who will likely privatize garbage collection, has already set the tone of the Ford cabal. He said: “Sometimes, when you sit around and sing ‘Kum-ba-yah’ you don’t get anything done.”

I was going to assert that words like this smell of bullying. That discourse with which one does not agree should be demeaned and derided. That legitimate council discussion that doesn’t meet a certain agenda should be ignored. And worse, that supposed “soft” attitudes (characterized by Minnan-Wong’s reference to “Kum-ba-yah”) lead to inertia. Only tough-ass, elbows out approaches lead to action. Sorry, but that hyper-partisan bullshit doesn’t fly at City Hall. If Councillors can’t cooperate, no matter how many drones Ford collects, little will be done. Dialogue and compromise are critical.

So I was going to talk about all these things and I suppose I have.

But then I read a column yesterday that caused the vein in the side of my head to engorge and then nearly explode. Imagine Michael Bolton’s temples when he’s reaching for the high notes.

The Ottawa Sun published a bilious, vile piece by Ezra Levant. Levant is known for saying provocative, lacking-in-fact statements. Contrarians challenge the status quo, knock down prevailing opinions and the brilliant ones do so with erudition and an examination of evidence. Levant is no contrarian.

The opening line of his op-ed screed asks, rather airily: “Why isn’t Julian Assange dead yet?” He goes on to paint Assange, founder of Wikileaks, as being on the “other side” and declares that Assange is “anti-American”. Levant, like many others of his ilk, seek to silence dissent by careful application of “anti”.

Levant spends the remainder of his venomous column issuing pointless “facts” about Assange’s childhood.

He picks up on his opening line towards the end of the column. He gets giddy about war and assassination in a way only someone who has never seen the horrors of war or witnessed an execution; much like Chickenhawks – those war-mongering Republicans who all managed to skip out of Vietnam yet have an insatiable lust for guns, bombs, uniforms and warfare.

The Sun has published a foul piece of tripe where the author advocates murder. It doesn’t matter whether you agree or disagree with Assange and Wikileaks. The moment we follow the lead of the Levants of the world, we abandon the rule of law, we defeat justice, we become evil.

Eric Mang

Eric Mang

Eric Mang served as a political aide in the Harris government in Ontario and the Campbell government in British Columbia. His politics have since shifted left. He works full-time in health policy, part-time...