"What I compare bike lanes to is swimming with the sharks. Sooner or later you're going to get bitten... Roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks, not for people on bikes. My heart bleeds for them when I hear someone gets killed, but it's their own fault at the end of the day." ROB FORD
I am not going to be a hypocrite and wax polemic about the utterly cringeworthy contribution of the crack smoking, obnoxious asshole that was Rob Ford.
Yes, 46 is too young an age to die. Diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, he suffered mightily through rounds of chemotherapy, months of radiation and the ravages of several cancerous tumours. My sympathies are with his family and they will miss him terribly. After all he was a son, a father, a husband and a brother.
In public life, from my perch out here in the North Atlantic he projected lunacy, an idiot - bordering on the insane. He was not just an embarrassment to Toronto (our economic and cultural capital) , but to the entire nation. His personal problems plagued his time in office. He will be remembered for his refusal to put his city above his own ambition and his unfiltered divisive brand of politics.
That said he had a cult like following. Ford Nation was built on customer service, building a brand, He returned calls, visited people at home, addressed issues, fixed sidewalks, filed potholes and cleaned-up garbage.
It is hard to question his electoral success, he won five municipal elections - including the mayoralty of Canada's largest city. He won his last election after a crack admission!
His everyman brand was brash - contrived to resonate with the lowest common denominator. His currency was hate, division and red-baiting. He was not a leader, he was not a consensus maker. He certainly was not a role model. He was not a man of the people.
He was a pretender who offered distain to those who offered truth to power.
He was a one man wrecking machine that used his brand to leap from once crisis/scandal/abuse of office to another.
In life or in death, I can't say that I had any respect for the guy who claimed "I'm just a normal guy."
Rest in peace Mr. Ford. Your personal demons are all behind you now.