Toronto Diary
2 min

Has Rob Ford broken Godwin’s Law?

For those of you who are able to use the internet (which, now that I think about it, is pretty much all of you since this is a blog . . . REDUNDANT!) you’re probably well aware of Godwin’s Law. If you don’t know what that means, chances are you’ve seen it in action and just didn’t know the proper term for it. Anyway, Godwin’s Law states two things: first, as an argument or debate goes on, the likelihood of someone comparing their opponent to Hitler approaches one; second, whoever does so first automatically loses the debate.

But Rob Ford may have finally found a way around that one. During an appearance on a radio talk show, Rob decided to create a loophole in Godwin’s Law by replacing one extreme, detrimental comparison with an equally extreme, detrimental comparison. Via the Toronto Star:

“I consider him a left-wing NDPer. I’m not surprised. It’s just like saying Adam Vaughan or (Gord) Perks or (Janet) Davis or (Paula) Fletcher is not voting with me,” he said. “These people are all two steps left of Joe Stalin. So I’m not discouraged by that and I don’t expect it. They don’t care about the taxpayers. But I know one person who does and that’s me.”

The comment sparked a hum of controversy at city hall Tuesday, which was packed because of a high-profile executive committee meeting.

When asked his thoughts on being compared to a man who killed twice as many people as Adolf Hitler, Matlow shook his head and said: “Nah. I’ll leave it.”

Vaughan wasn’t sure what to make of it.

“It’s one of those things that Mayor Ford says that no one understands. He’s just lashing out. I don’t think anyone should compare any member of council to Joseph Stalin,” said Vaughan. 

So some people are probably reading this and going, “Well, at least he didn’t compare them to Hitler, right?” About that . . . for the most part, they’re more or less on equal footing when it comes to the whole “Evil” thing, so a politician comparing his opponents to Stalin really isn’t that far removed from making a Hitler comparison. Come on, guys, I thought we were better than this! You don’t compare your political opponents to mass murderers. That’s just common sense here. Otherwise, we turn into Fox News, and absolutely no one wants that to happen up here.

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