In the Public Eye

Posted: October 29, 2013 in Education, Humanity

Rob-Ford-Mayor-of-Toronto

Toronto Mayor: Rob Ford (above)

I’ll say, honestly, that I don’t know much about politics. However, I believe that I know enough to get by in a conversation and not sound ridiculous, and I feel as though I can make an educated vote when the time comes around.

Lately, Toronto’s 64th Mayor – Rob Ford – has been in the news. Well, actually, he’s been in the news a lot since his term started back in 2010. I am hard-pressed to find a list of good things he has done for the city, but I have heard he’s actually a good mayor. I can’t find anything else on him except for the piles and piles of news stories revolving around public displays of drunkeness, drug abuse, and accusations of sexual assault. Now, I have no idea whether these stories have any legitimacy, but there was a story from the summer that caught my attention:

On AM640 – a radio station I have been listening to recently – they discussed a news story about Rob Ford. The situation is this: Every summer, Toronto hosts an event called “Taste of the Danforth”, which is a popular event held across three days with varying types of entertainment and food vendors. In attendance was Rob Ford, who took it upon himself to have a few drinks and was unfortunately (or, fortunately) recorded slurring his words when speaking to some Torontonians.

Rob Ford is often referred to as one of the people.

Anyway, AM640 had callers phone in their thoughts on whether or not they felt Rob Ford was out of line given his occupation. I was surprised by how many Rob Ford supporters phoned in to explain how they were disgusted by how negatively he is portrayed in the media. Callers said that they didn’t mind his behaviour, as long as it didn’t affect his work. Another few callers said that a politician with a bit of a “normal” side was better than a standoffish-stoic politician. While other callers said that he should be able to enjoy himself at a public event as “one of us.”

My feeling on this is simple: Due to nothing more than his occupation, Rob Ford must understand that he gives up certain liberties by taking the job as mayor in one of the largest cities in the world. So, can he not have some beers at a public event? I guess. Does it, however, make more sense to maybe only have one or two beers so that he can hold a slur-less conversation with his fellow citizens? Definitely. He needs to be careful with how he presents himself.

Now, I am nowhere near his social stature in the public eye, but I can relate to some degree. Being a teacher and living within the same general area as my students (at most, one or two towns away) I need to make sure that I conduct myself appropriately in public in case a student or parent/guardian see. I am an extension, representation, and reflection of my school, much like Rob Ford is of Toronto. Is he held to a higher standard than the rest of us? You better believe he is.

He loses the respect of his citizens every day and that is something that is difficult to regain in the eyes of both citizens and students, alike.

For what it’s worth, I am willing to chalk this up as a one-time error…along with the other 100+ errors he’s made while in office.

But, you know, we all make mistakes.

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