People love to hate on politicians. They like to call them corrupt, stupid, misguided, evil, racist, liars — you name it. Every single person who has served as president of the United States has been called one of these things, if not all.
It’s because we expect the smartest, wisest people to lead us. We worry enough about our own lives. We take care of the things we can control. And we leave it up to the best and the brightest to control everything else. So it stands to reason that we expect brilliant individuals to represent us as mayor, governor, senator and president. It really isn’t too much to ask.
But nobody is perfect. That’s what we need to understand. Even the man I spoke about yesterday, John F. Kennedy, who is so often immortalized as a tragic hero who could do no wrong, had his flaws.
So that’s the balance we need to all come to grips with. Although we should expect elected politicians to lead us to the best of their abilities, sometimes it’s accompanied by occasional mistakes and misjudgments.
And then there’s Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto.
Who smokes crack.
And pushes elderly female Councillors while in public session.
And happens to look exactly like Chris Farley.
Often, when Canada is compared to the United States, people like to say how they do things better than its neighbor to the south. It’s a country rarely plagued with controversy, and people just love to point out how their healthcare system is so much better than ours.
Well, there’s never been something that Americans could point to and say, “Yeah, at least we don’t have that.”
And now we do. And his name is Rob Ford.
Toronto voters elected Ford, 44, as their mayor on October 25, 2010. I’m not going to pretend I know a single thing about his policies, experience or world views, but I do know that there has never been another elected official who has served as a greater form of entertainment.
I also do know that it is the obligation of elected officials to behave cordially in every circumstance, because how you are portrayed to the public is an important part of the job. Again, his policies might be outstanding, and he may actually know the key to ending all poverty and crime in the entire world. But as for the public image aspect, he could not be failing more miserably.
And the best part is that we, as Americans, can laugh about it and not actually be affected in any way at the same time. People loved to mock George W. Bush, and his constant ability to embarrass himself in public. But while we were laughing, we were also silently crying, knowing that this man is our commander in chief.
Well, Rob Ford is in another country. And what he does has zero impact on us.
So, we can laugh!
This guy would be funny if he was a comedian whose schtick was to go out in public and intentionally embarrass himself just to entertain others, a la Sasha Baron Cohen. But the fact that he is an actual mayor — who was elected by the public — makes it that much more glorious.
Of course, it will probably end soon. In the last week, the Toronto City Council voted to reallocate some of his mayoral powers to Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, and it’s only a matter of time until he is officially booted from office.
But until then, America can all finally sit back, grab a cold beer, and laugh wholeheartedly at Canada for the first time since the South Park movie was released.
Oh, and for good measure, here’s a clip of him falling down while pretending to play football.