Wall Street Journal: The Cultural Revolution Comes to North America

Wall Street Journal: The Cultural Revolution Comes to North America

“China did not become a tyranny overnight. Too many people in my father’s generation chose not to stand up for their neighbors, friends and even family members when they were under attack. They learned to obey instead of challenge, to pick sides rather than think for themselves. They assented to obvious lies because they didn’t want the mob to turn on them next.

Such practical-minded decisions to place reputation and safety above truth allowed evil to accumulate. Personal compliance became collective complicity, and China was lost to totalitarianism. Don’t let it happen here.”

Podcast: When the Mob Comes for You

“What tactics are acceptable in a political campaign? Are some things out of bounds? When politics become ‘total war,’ what damage is done?”

These are among the questions I discussed recently with Joel Crichton, an Edmonton-based psychotherapist and curator of the Windward Psychological podcast.

It’s a lengthy, deeply personal, and sometimes esoteric discussion. But may be of interest to anyone hoping to understand the comments that precipitated my resignation as an MLA candidate, and more importantly, what my story might tell us about our current political climate.

Apologia

Until three weeks ago, I was a conservative political candidate running for a seat in the provincial legislature in Alberta, Canada.

I had spent nearly nine months campaigning, winning a contested nomination and meeting thousands of voters. My campaign brochures referenced the need for intellectual humility, a sense of gratitude, a commitment to truth, and the importance of nuanced and thoughtful dialogue across partisan lines. It was a bit unconventional, but the message resonated with voters who were exhausted by divisive and simplistic partisan rhetoric. With the election less than a month away, our internal polling showed a clear path to victory. We had a phenomenal campaign team, motivated volunteers, and we had out-fundraised the other parties by massive margins.

Then, less than 24 hours before the the formal 28-day campaign period began, an NDP-affiliated organization PressProgress published an article accusing me of sympathizing with white supremacists.

Calgary Herald: From human rights, to film, to politics, Caylan Ford is a force of nature

Calgary Herald: From human rights, to film, to politics, Caylan Ford is a force of nature

Last October I was fortunate to be profiled in the Calgary Herald during my nomination run for the United Conservative Party. There is something oddly prescient about this article, particularly this bit:

And now Ford is embarking on a new challenge as she’s running for the United Conservative Party nomination in Calgary-Mountain View […]

Why is she choosing politics?

Ford recognizes that “most normal, sane people wouldn’t do it.” […]

“What kind of person wants to run for office, where everything that they say and do is scrutinized in the worst possible way?” she says. “There are so many assumptions of bad faith.

“To have your views wilfully misstated and misconstrued, it would be infuriating. But then if good, normal, decent people don’t step forward, then you are just ceding that ground to those who seek power for its own sake.”