Before I get into this, let me just say that I am not a “politics guy”. Sure, I’ll tune into political debates and follow elections, but if you’re ever on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, and a question about politics presents itself, I better be the last person you think of when you decide to phone a friend. That being said, let’s talk about Rob Ford.
I told myself I would stay out of this. I told myself that I would not write a blog about the Mayor of my city. I told myself that I would just leave this alone and let everyone else attack this story, like a 6-year-old attacks candy on Halloween.
But I can’t help myself.
Everyone knows the allegations against Mayor Rob Ford. The infamous crack video. The drunken stupors. The impromptu press conferences outside of his office where he tells us more than we need to know.
Ford still has his supporters. He still has people saying, “He has been a good Mayor and has done exactly what he said he was going to do. What he does in his personal life should not matter.”
Then he has people saying, “He is an embarrassment to the City of Toronto and should be removed from office immediately, due to his actions.”
Personally, I sit somewhere in the middle of these two thoughts. When I think of a Mayor of a city, I think of a leader. Someone that people look up to and can trust. Someone who makes their city proud. I want a Mayor who can do his job AND represent my city with class and dignity. I don’t know if Rob Ford can do that.
Whether he likes it or not, he is a public figure. And when you’re a public figure, you have no choice, but to be a role model. You can’t hide your personal life. Privacy? What privacy? Are you kidding me? TMZ exists. Twitter exists. Smart phones, with cameras, exist in every person’s pocket. The world preys on public figures to screw up. It’s what we live for.
We live for drama. We live for scandal. We live for controversy. Grab your popcorn, sit back, and watch the story unfold.
Is Rob Ford a role model? I don’t think he can be anymore. How many parents are rushing to tell their children what Rob Ford does in his spare time and that they should grow up to be just like him?
In any other line of work, he would have been fired a long time ago. The way he carries himself and deals with the media is not the business etiquette that was preached to me in University. Ford acts, before he thinks. And in doing so, he comes across as unprofessional and “holier-than-thou”. Just because you’re the Mayor of a city, does not allow you to act like a fool. And if you think I’m letting the media off the hook, I’m not. I’ll get to them later.
Mayor Ford reminds me of a child in elementary school that is relentlessly picked on. You feel sorry for him, to an extent, and then realize that some of the things he does are just downright childish and the ounce of sympathy you had for him, is gone.
For instance, yesterday at a city council meeting, he mocked a councillor by pretending to drink and drive. The speaker had to tell him to stop. I was so embarrassed when I saw that. What is this, Grade 2? I did not not know that a grown man was capable of that kind of behaviour. You’re going to sit there and make fun of someone for drinking and driving when you also have a drinking problem? Is he unaware of the definition of irony? My goodness. I was waiting for him to say “na-na-na-boo-boo”. Grow up.
This man was told not to attend the Santa Claus parade. He was also told to stay away from the Toronto Argonauts playoff game by the commissioner of the Canadian Football League. And could he stay away? No. Because he is Rob Ford and this is his city, and he can do what he wants, whenever he wants.
He showed up to the football game at halftime and sat among Hamilton fans, while every television camera and smartphone was pointed in his direction. Go home, Mr. Mayor. Why do you have to make this about you? Nobody likes an uninvited guest.
THEN, he has the audacity to stand in Toronto City Hall and not only congratulate the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, but also say he is rooting for them to win the Grey Cup, and that he wants them to win it for the province of Ontario. Not much offends me, this offended me.
I admit, Hamilton played well and deserved to win. I wish them luck in the finals. But I’m not about to make that public information while in the middle of a serious meeting. (Or at least it should have been a serious meeting). Sometimes you can lose with class by just saying nothing. Did no one tell him that? Since when does he speak for the Argonauts, by the way? They want nothing to do with him. And I found it very inappropriate that he stood up at a city council meeting – where his powers were stripped from him – and made this announcement. This just proved to me that he doesn’t care about proper etiquette anymore, or realize that there is a time and place for everything.
Don’t waste our time at a city council meeting and announce that you now love the Argonauts’ biggest rival. Just don’t do it! It’s like me giving a presentation at school, but before I do, I announce what I ate for breakfast three weeks ago. Completely irrelevant.
Another thing that bothers me is the lack of respect he shows his peers. Council members spoke and there he is in his own little world – not paying attention, or talking to someone else. I mean, have some respect. If someone is going to tell me how much they can’t tolerate me, I’m going to make sure I stare them right in the eye when they say it. This guy looked like he didn’t know they were talking about him.
Granted, council members have turned their back on him (literally) in the past when it was his turn to speak. Welcome to politics?
Forget the crack, drunken stupors, and the videos, the mayor of my city wants to act like a child. If it weren’t for the media members outside his office, a teacher would have moved his desk to the hallway by now.
So that is how one side of me feels. In fact, after writing that, I think that’s how 80% of me feels. The other 20% of me just feels sorry for him and wants to play laser tag with him, or something.
It can’t be easy what he is going through. After all, he is a human being. I think we forget that. Nobody wants to hated. It’s why we all try so hard to fit in at school. People still support him because they look past his personal issues and see that he has done a good job running this city.
But at the end of the day, Toronto is being laughed at, not with, all over the world. We are the punchline to every joke. I don’t think we deserve this negative attention. I am experiencing second-hand embarrassment from the whole ordeal. I understand that he has done a good job at saving taxpayers money, but he has failed to be a decent and respectable human being. And I think a Mayor of a city should be able to do both.
The media has been all over Mayor Ford, but that’s what they do. Who’s ever heard of a polite media scrum in the wake of a scandal? Ford is a reporter’s dream because he says exactly what he’s thinking and doesn’t hold back. I think it’s a bit much that they follow him home, though. I mean, there are some things you just don’t do and that is one of them. I get it. They need a story. And if another news station is there, then they have to be there too. But come on. Give him some space.
If Ford thinks he can hide from the media, he can’t. If he thinks he can smoke crack, get drunk, and go on threatening rants without being caught, he can’t. This is planet earth he is living on. We caught a terrorist who had been in hiding for ten years. We’re going to catch a Mayor of a city when they are involved in eye-opening and illegal activity.
So what do I think should happen?
Unless the chaos at city hall subsides and the Mayor can get his life under control, I think he should resign.
I can’t picture that happening, but anything’s possible, especially with Rob Ford.
If you disagree with me, I understand why, so there is no need to start a debate. I don’t like debates that go on forever. I’m not a politician.