Dear Urban Diplomat: how can I get my co-workers to stop bashing Rob Ford?

Dear Urban Diplomat: how can I get my co-workers to stop bashing Rob Ford?

(Image: Christopher Drost)
(Image: Christopher Drost) 

Dear Urban Diplomat,
I am a Rob Ford supporter, and I work in an office where everyone, including my boss, bashes him. They even extend their criticism to his supporters, suggesting we’re all suburban morons (they don’t know I am one such “moron”). It’s offensive. How can I get them to shut up without alienating myself?
—Ford Indig-nation, THE ANNEX

Unless you plan on skipping town, you’re going to have to develop a Teflon skin when it comes to attacks on our lightning rod of a mayor. And it’s Ford’s job to deal with his approval ratings, not yours. That said, when your colleagues make simplistic generalizations about Ford supporters, you could correct them. Try gentle remarks such as, “I know educated, nuanced thinkers who believe in Ford’s policies.” If that’s too subtle, fight the stereotype with a stereotype: “Some of my best friends—latte-sipping downtowners who shop at farmers’ markets—voted for Ford.” Whatever you do, don’t lose your cool and call them pinkos.

Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at urbandiplomat@torontolife.com