Why are we so afraid of Rob Ford?

I used to laugh when a teaching colleague constantly stood up at department meetings to warn us that the Barbarians were at the gate. After last month in Rob Ford’s Toronto, I’m not laughing anymore. Not only were the Barbarians at the gate, one was elected mayor of my city. And he’s not leaving. Even stripped of all his powers, he sits like a big pile of garbage in council chambers, constantly rising to his feet to preach his one-line platform: don’t spend taxpayers money on anything. Anything that is except subways, subways, subways. He seems cold sober. But anyone who knows anything about addiction knows that a dry drunk is the most dangerous addict of them all. I’m trying to remember the Springsteen song–is it My City of Ruins or My City in Ruins. While City Council has stripped him of his power to do damage as mayor, he still sits in council, defiantly challenging every decision our elected representatives make. Yes, he was elected, so he has that right. The Barbarians are inside the gate. They are inside City Hall. Their names are Rob Ford and Doug Ford.

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