ďFaux-consĒ separate T.O., Vancouver: Being rich doesn't automatically make you conservative
By: Rachel Marsden
I recently moved to Toronto from the tabloid-driven metropolis of Vancouver, where everyone is far more interested in who youíre doing than in what youíre doing. Vancouver is a town full of sandal-wearing, granola-chomping lefties that doesnít pretend to be anything other than what it is: Slackerville. Business is dead, and networking is virtually non-existent. And I donít care what the government stats tell you about employment levels. They must be factoring squeegee kid jobs into those numbers. So itís hardly a shock that many people I know from Vancouver have given up the ooh-aaah of the pretty Left Coast mountains for the booming job opportunities in Toronto.
If youíre a media personality like myself and youíre living in Vancouver, you may as well be in Siberia. Vancouver media people ó navel-gazers who naturally figure theyíre the center of the universe ó are unaware of their own backwater insignificance in much the same way that fish donít know theyíre wet.
Toronto is teeming with lefties too, but at least all the big business movers and shakers are here, and itís a quick puddle jump to New York City and Washington, the economic and political capitals of the U.S.A.
Toronto has a special breed of lefty that Vancouver lacks in significant numbers: rich intellectual snoots who think they can buy their way into Club Conservative. Yes, Iím talking about you, all you Rosedale and Forest Hill elitist snobs with 20 letters after your name, who bastardize the ďconservativeĒ label. Itís time to hop aboard the Marsden Tough Talk Express. (Donít worry, we have a first-class section.) Take a seat on your overpriced chaise longue, grab a triple decaf no foam non-fat latte and some crispy crab cakes, and listen up: Just because you like to keep more of your money and wear an expensive suit to work doesnít make you a real conservative. Itís people like you who propagate the notion that conservatives are only out to look after their rich friends and rich selves. Reality check: Youíre a liberal in every sense except when it comes to your pocketbook. Two words: Belinda Stronach.
You shun the idea of populist, common-sense conservatism and dismiss those who disagree with your flamingly liberal gay marriage and pro-pot stands as knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, cement-crack-dwelling yokels. Real conservatism and traditional values arenít ďscary,Ē theyíve been around for centuries and form the basis of our civilization. Itís this untested, liberal re-engineering of society with ďprogressiveĒ experiments youíve bought into thatís really scary.
Hereís a quick test to see if youíre a faux-con: Do you think Iím yelling at you right now? Do you find this column rude and obnoxious, to the point where youíre going to go to your champagne party tonight and tell all your friends how shocked and appalled you are? If so, then youíre either a faux-con or a liberal, because both believe in diluting and euphemizing straight talk into politically correct drivel. They need a zillion more words than the average person to get the same point across. Apparently itís supposed to be a hallmark of intelligence and sophistication, but in reality, it just means that youíre a pretentious windbag pansy. This isnít yelling. Itís called ďtalking like a normal person.Ē Put down the thesaurus and give it a whirl sometime.
I feel like Iím an anomaly here in Toronto. You canít be raised in Vancouver and not turn out to be an extrovert. Unlike in Toronto, there are very few places for snobbism to flourish in Vancouver. Pretension is ridiculed. Couple that West Coast extroversion with the straight-shooting, no-nonsense, populist brand of conservatism that comes naturally from having cut my teeth in the rough-and-tumble world of American politics and political journalism ó and the thick skin borne from having worked in two of the toughest cities in the world (New York and Washington) ó and you have a creature running around Toronto that scares the living hell out of people. And Iím talking about the Rosedale faux-con crowd here, too.
So why did I move to Toronto and not to a more conservative town like Calgary? Toronto is where the action is. Itís the biggest possible pot of liberals and faux-cons in this country in which to raise holy hell. Apparently, fighting on behalf of the traditional values on which our society was founded is a really rebellious thing to do nowadays. Contrary to liberal conventional wisdom, itís conservatives who really love this country ó who are defending all the good things that underpin our society ó while the lefties hate this country so much that they canít change it fast enough. Now, you tell me whoís really ďscaryĒ here.
PUBLISHED: NATIONAL POST (June 4/05)
COPYRIGHT 2005 RACHEL MARSDEN