The first indication that the far Right was back was right there, right in front. Right outside the glass doors of the Corus studios in Toronto.
I stepped outside of the building, past a worried-looking pair of security guards. There they were: the ones who are neo-Nazi, white supremacist, Holocaust-denying Hitlerian InfoWars freaks. And the ones who have been “shadowbanned” on Twitter. And the birthers, the truthers, the losers. And the ones who love guns and hate people with darker skin.
The Faith Goldy herd. More than a hundred of them, at least.
They were there to protest the absence of their She-Wolf of the Clueless,Fräulein Faith, from the Global TV Toronto mayoral debate. I was there because I am helping Toronto Mayor John Tory in his re-election campaign.
When I stepped onto the sidewalk, the Goldy mob erupted in screeches and booing. They don’t like me much, apparently. A couple Toronto police officers approached as some of Faith’s flock started to follow.
“We think we should escort you to your car,” one of the cops said, and the Goldy goons peeled away. I told the cop I didn’t think that was necessary.
“We think it is,” he said. “We will escort you to your car.”
Welcome to Toronto’s 2018 mayoral campaign, folks. It’s been something.
Everywhere you look, Faith Goldy can be seen, like some foul, unkillable virus you can’t remove from your computer. There she is, slithering onto the stage at the Arts debate, her rightist goons chanting for “free speech” for them (but not for anyone else), and then calling everyone present “communists.” Goldy got led out by the police at that one. But she also got what she wanted most: the bulk of the news coverage that night.
There she is at Ford Fest – and not for the first time, either – posing for that now-infamous photo with Ontario’s Premier. Only after being pressured by the Opposition and anti-hate groups does Doug Ford tweet out his condemnation of bigotry – and, sort of, Faith Goldy.
Goldy is undeterred. She cheerily tweets back at him: “Proud to stand up for all Canadians alongside ya, Doug!”
There she is at the transit debate – or her goons, at least – doing their utmost to disrupt the proceedings. Shouting at those who are present.
I’ve been writing about the racist Right – and the anti-Semites and women-haters and the National Socialist types – for three decades. What Faith Goldy has on offer isn’t particularly new.
It’s all been done before: the plan to restrict immigration to white Europeans (as she does). The promotion of a book calling for “the elimination” of Jews (as she did). The willingness to suggest that the Nazis had “robust ideas” (as she did, too). The recitation of “the fourteen words” – the neo-Nazi pledge that was pioneered by a founder of The Order, after he helped murder a Jewish talk show host.
All of Faith Goldy’s hate and bigotry has been done before. It isn’t new. What’s different, what’s new, is what she is doing down here in Toronto – and how she is doing it.
Goldy, you see, is following in the footsteps of former Knights of the Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke – who retweets Faith’s stuff, by the by – and presenting a kinder, gentler face of hate. You’ll never catch her, then, at a cross-burning or in a Klansman’s robes. She’s too clever for that.
Goldy does what Duke did – and what Donald Trump’s acolytes do. She spews hatred and division, sure. But she does so in pithy soundbites, using code words, and the practiced smile of a telegenic panellist on Fox news. She’s good at it.
The results can’t be disputed: she’s running third in the mayoralty race, she’s raising money, she’s got plenty of followers, and she’s even doing robocalls and TV ads. Debates or not, she is making her loathsome presence felt.
Anyway. I got to my car, and I drove slowly away, a few haters hollering at me as I did.
The beast of hate is awake, folks, and he is slouching our way, too. Not just in the States, not just here and there in Europe. Here.
Faith Goldy isn’t going to win the Toronto mayor’s race. She never expected to. She had her sights set on something else.
Watching her mob in my rear view mirror, I reckon she’s already got it.