Thursday, November 14, 2013

We Have to Stop Enabling Rob Ford

Mark Sutcliffe says what I said, but in a more articulate way.

One part that bears repeating:

The Ford situation says a lot about how our society views alcohol and drug use. Being drunk or stoned is still considered funny at parties and in movies. So when a public figure is seen with a bottle or a crack pipe in his hand, the default is humour.

And yet addiction ruins and ends lives, rips apart families and costs billions in productivity. While we shouldn’t begrudge anyone some weekend fun, a line must be drawn between recreation and abuse. By all indications, Ford is on the wrong side of that line. No one who is serious when he utters the line “in one of my drunken stupors” is fit to lead any organization, let alone face the pressures of big-city politics and public life.

Drunkenness provides a lot of laughs.

Except that it also ruins lives.

Our culture has a seriously dysfunctional approach to alcohol.

We think a heavy drinker is a funny character.

When in fact, they're probably operating under a lot illusions and a lot hurt.

And a reminder to conservatives:

But those who defend Ford are just as much a part of the problem. They wilfully ignore his misbehaviour because they don’t want their cause to suffer a setback or worse, their enemies to achieve victory. They encourage Ford to keep up the fight, as though it’s his opponents in politics and the media, and not his own actions, that have caused this crisis.

In so doing, they cause harm to the person they claim to admire and support. Are they really willing to see a man die in the name of municipal tax cuts and spending restraint? Is there no one else who can advance the agenda without risking his own life in the process?

Folks, the right will have to bite the political bullet on this. Integrity, conscientiousness and Rob Ford's life are more important than any political office. Life is not a game. It's not about "winning" and "losing". It's about doing the right thing.

H/T:  Brigitte Pellerin