Your Misdirected Opinion on Rob Ford

In light of my participation regarding our mayor’s recent infamy, I decided to resume the topic on my first “Mind Of SepTo” piece. It is likely that the subject of Mayor Ford has been a point of discussion in innumerable barbershops, work spaces and living rooms across Toronto. I’m aware that the man and his actions have garnered worldwide attention recently; however I omit those “outside” conversations mainly because the contributions of Youtube, late night talk shows and political satire are of no impact to the lives of this city’s population. Can humour and entertainment be found in this debacle for those not from our city? Yes. For sure. However I am fairly certain that the conversations between those who call Toronto their home regarding the matter take a distinctly different tone. The competency of this man as a mayor directly affects our lives, and thus, even when we laugh and poke fun at the situation in a head shaking chuckle of subconscious shame, there is likely a more productive conversation being had here. I have had these discussions myself. In the studio where we recorded #RobFord, we spoke on politics and our mayor in a very serious way, alongside light-hearted pokes and jabs. The song only captures the latter side of that discussion, and thus, I feel it my social responsibility to shine light on the thoughts not discussed on record. First, the term politician comes hand in hand with the same stereotype of moral ambivalence as a lawyer (or rapper) in western society. What is said and done publicly by many of these people is usually not a direct reflection of their personal ideologies or lifestyle. Even with the best intentions, a politician is forced into the game of winning over hearts and expanding their demographic. What schools they visit, issues they tackle, and statements they make are carefully planned and executed with an air of premeditation. Many of their smiles and frowns are merely painted on; a veil over a blank slate, willing to say and do whatever is conducive to the majority of public opinion where they run. Keeping secrets and hiding your true personal feelings on things is a part of the job description. The occupation of politician requires so much objective insight and impersonal execution that it is safe to say we know absolutely nothing of the politician’s personal nature. That is unless they slip up. A bad politician isn’t necessarily one who is bad for the people. Given the job description, a bad politician is one who loses the popular vote, or is seen in a bad light. Rob Ford is not good at being a politician. This, in the least, is obvious (He seems to be very good at staying in office though). Now, I’m aware that most of us speaking on the matter can detail an up to date timeline on Mayor Ford’s scandals. Perhaps some of you can even take it back before the crack-smoking to his conflict of interest trial a few years back, alongside his sloppiness in public (i.e. drunkenness or abrupt and thoughtless public outbursts). Let’s forget that most of us who are able to list off all of these incidents really know nothing more on the doings of Rob Ford when it comes to responsible budgeting, tax increases and freezes, essential services, office expenses, city council or his impact on Toronto’s funding for the arts. Regardless of all of these things, Rob Ford has officially run his campaign image into the ground. We now see him for who he is (perhaps depending on whether you gravitate toward the Sun or the Star). He is an obvious liar and seems to be no stranger to criminal and underworld dealings. He has been found out and the public has spoken. Let us not lose sight of the overall picture however. The only difference between Mayor Ford and another politician that you may support is what you know about Ford, and what you don’t know about the other. The game is to hide what is not flattering, and portray what your public would like to see. Don’t think that just because it hasn’t become public knowledge that someone is racist, prejudice, dumb, criminal, sexist, hateful or any other negative characteristic, that they aren’t. Let’s remember we know nothing of these people’s personal lives beyond what is made public, and that the job of a politician is to only make public what they consider beneficial to their image or campaign. Before the week that you became a political expert, and knew every scandal, every slip-up and fumble reported to the public, Rob Ford was the same person he is today, even before you threw aside your support for him. I would like to make it known that I don’t mean for these words to reflect a bias for or against the man; this is not in his defense. There are legit arguments for one person or another to not support Mayor Ford. Let’s just make sure we are acknowledging what matters and disregarding the irrelevant.
Until next time…


-This was NevR supposed to happen

  1. Well said!!!!! This is probably the most honest (and mature) commentary I’ve read about Rob Ford. The situation isn’t great, no two ways about it…and it’s been hilarious at times, no doubt…BUT we can’t let the hype distract us from the truth, and the fact that the effects of this fiasco will affect our lives on some level, living in Toronto. We can just hope for a fair resolution, in the best interest of the actual people of Toronto. Not the media, and not the other politicians. You’ve taken a very good look at the traditional political climate and why Rob is an easy target…

  2. Very well said. I can’t add much more to that.

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