I’ve obviously never been a great fan of Toronto mayor Rob Ford.
While he was running for office, I encouraged everyone I knew in Toronto to vote against him. I don’t personally live in the city, of course, but I nevertheless disliked his policies, and pundits at the time were speaking about him like he was the narrow end of a wedge of a Tea Party-style right wing politics in Canada*, so I opposed him on principle.
And when he was elected, I contented myself with the sickly solace of knowing that Toronto, in the end, would get exactly the mayor that they had voted for. And that Rob Ford was exactly the man that his critics said he was.
I admit, I have taken pleasure in watching the man make an ass of himself over and over and over again in the news over the past three years. And when news of this whole crack video broke, I assumed that it would just be more of the same.
But frankly, this situation has now gotten so bad that I can’t even extract schadenfreude from it anymore. Between his claim that he was blackout drunk at the time that he smoked crack, and the new video of him murderously ranting, I have actually reached the point where I pity Mayor Ford. The saturation coverage of his ongoing breakdown feels nothing short of voyeuristic; and I can’t partake in any of the attempts at humour anymore without feeling like I’m part of a mob making fun of a mentally ill person.
I don’t want this circus to continue; I am genuinely concerned about this man’s mental health. I think he needs to step down and get the help he needs. And, potentially, face legal consequences for his actions.