Canadian Christians’ Trumpian Moment

“Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” Karl Marx thus ruminated on the great, and greatly destructive, Napoléon Bonaparte being succeeded by the comically less competent Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte half a century later.

Canada now faces its Donald Trump moment, and Canadian Christians would do well to learn from our neighbours to the south. Doug Ford has been elected the leader of Ontario’s conservative party and will soon run against a widely despised liberal woman to govern the world’s 17th-largest economy.

Yes, this is Doug Ford, older brother, enabler, and defender of former Toronto mayor and out-of-control drug addict Rob Ford, the politician who globally tarnished that city’s long-cultivated image of being “world class.” This is Doug Ford, whose sanitized Wikipedia page still bears traces of a wide range of questionable utterances, threats, promises, and actions.

This is Doug Ford—and here the parallels with Donald Trump grow more ominous—who describes himself as a man of the people and a defender of the marginalized who, like Trump, inherited a multimillion-dollar business from his dad and has spent his entire life in…Toronto. This is Doug Ford, who recently and sensationally submitted to being anointed, literally, by a controversial megachurch pastor and pledges to uphold the values of social conservatives.

I haven’t lived in Ontario for more than thirty years, but Ontario, like Toronto, deeply affects the rest of Canada. So I, and all Canadians, have a stake in this election. I bear no love for Kathleen Wynne, her policies, or her record and, like many Canadians, have been hoping for a change of regime. But now: what a choice.

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