I’m writing this post this morning in response to Rob Ford’s so-called apology on his radio show/bully pulpit last night.
It was complete bullshit: There was no apology there; it was just a bunch of excuses. An apology implies remorse… and more importantly, a commitment to fix the problem which one is apologizing for. What Rob Ford did was whine on the radio and offer up reasons why he’s the victim, and I can’t respect that.
A lot of people are making sympathetic noises this morning; as an illustrative example, a friend of mine who is a very intelligent and caring person, actually posted “After reading this article I have to wonder now if he is just a person who’s made mistakes. I’ve been hearing more about how much he has accomplished for Toronto, and that he does get things done.“. Basically people are saying “well, he’s got his problems, but he’s a good guy.”
Um, no. Rob Ford is not a good guy. He’s a very fucked-up guy, and I’m pretty angry about it. Ford’s a person, yes, and he’s a person in a lot of trouble but for me the outright lying and abusive behaviour he’s demonstrated pretty much outweighs any “good” he claims to have done — especially since his claims of taxpayer savings are provably false.
I think Ford’s erratic behaviour and refusal to acknowledge that he’s got a problem (he even outright stated that he’s “not an alcoholic” yesterday despite the fact that he was caught drinking in the mayor’s office to the point that he could no longer remember where he left his car) is classic addict behaviour, and he needs to resign from office and seek professional help, full-time, for his own sake and that of his family.
I doubt very much he will because frankly, Ford’s never had to deal with the consequences of his own actions.
For the record, this is my opinion of Rob Ford, mayor of Toronto: He’s a habitual liar, a consequence-denying, self-serving, crack-addicted, alcoholic homophobic bully and he is wholly unsuited to run the fifth-largest city on the continent. A whinging “I’m sorry, I’m not perfect” isn’t an apology… especially since he’s immediately tried to play the victim for political gain.
Maybe that opinion makes me the asshole here, but somehow I doubt it.
(Oh, and by the way, have we forgotten Ford’s whole “Justin Trudeau’s a fag” quote? Because that’s just a huge issue on a lot of levels.)
But let’s look at the reality: Ford’s not going to resign and he’s not going to ask for help because he hasn’t hit rock-bottom yet. That’s what it’s going to take: Rob Ford quite literally lying in a gutter somewhere (or, Gods help him, being pulled out of a wrecked car) and having that epiphany that he’s hurting himself and others. That hasn’t happened yet, and the reason that Ford hasn’t hit rock-bottom is because he’s surrounded by people who are enabling him and trying to cover up his problems. Rob Ford has a lot of problems… and right now his biggest problem is that nobody (or at least nobody he’ll listen to) will walk up to him and say “Rob, I love you and I think that you need help.”
Addiction is a serious issue, and I’m not writing this to blame the addict — or worse, to blame his family and friends. I’ve seen people cope with alcoholism and drug addiction; I’ve watched good people have to cope with a loved one in that situation, and it breaks my heart to see it. I’ve even had to deal with it myself… and that’s why I’m angry: Is there no one among his friends who will get the ball rolling, confront him on this, put aside politics and power and take the risk — and it is a risk — and try to intervene? Is the man really that alone?
The simple fact is that Rob Ford isn’t doing the job he was elected to do because he can’t seem to get his shit together and the people around him are protecting him from the consequences of that… and the so-called Ford Nation is enabling his addiction and alcoholism with their no-strings-attached support. And I’m afraid that something terrible is going to have to happen before they’ll wake up do what’s necessary to get Rob Ford the help he needs.
This whole situation is a tragedy for Rob Ford, it’s a disaster for his family, and it’s a disgrace for the city of Toronto. There are no winners here… but the worst thing we can all do is give Ford the benefit of the doubt. Again.