Yes, I actually took my children to join the throngs of fascists descending on our downtown. And though a city councillor had warned me about the “far-right” types this event would attract, oddly, we did not encounter anyone wearing brown shirts, black arm bands or jack boots. It was mostly young women and men, dads and moms, in shorts and T-shirts, summer dresses, chinos and jackets. I saw a dentist I know in the men’s room who was there with his kids. I also bumped into a student I taught this year. Overall, it looked more like Saturday afternoon at Canadian Tire than a Rally for Alt-Right Haters.
And though this very newspaper warned me about the “messianic musings” of a crucifix-bearing, promoter of hate and distrust, what greeted the crowd was a slim man in a brown three-piece suit, who walked out onto an empty stage to resounding applause. And what happened for the next two hours was something extraordinary: