Rob Ford’s mother came out yesterday on CP24 to deny. Deny her son is an addict, deny he has any bigger problem than a weight issue. She is the mother of enabling. She seems to believe the left wing politicians are behind a conspiracy to get her son out of city hall and while this may be partially true, she refuses to see that there is a bigger issue at stake — her son’s life.
She seems a woman blinded by primal desire to win at all costs, blinded to the signs that all point to addiction.
Her world is one that puts political life above everything else, so much so that I wonder if there is resentment or bitterness that their suburban wealth, and propulsion to the forefront of civic life didn’t earn them a position within the establishment? Is she a Ford wanting to be a Lexus? Does she think she has a second chance through her son – no matter what the cost on him?
She seems to be putting her son’s role as mayor before her son as a human being. While many have wondered why a rich kid from the suburbs would want to escape into a crack-induced haze, Rob Ford may be surrounded by a family who see politics as a life long endeavor, a family focused completely on how others see them. It’s no wonder he seeks to escape – how empty is a world where status is the highest endeavour?
The Ford Sunday radio show is one of their strategic achievements. I can picture mother Ford listening by the radio hanging on to their every word. The sons list their achievements, sliding over the true work others did – like Councillor Ana Bailao who single-handedly refinanced TCHC loans – claiming the achievement as their own. They often list their charitable contributions, clawing for a position within an establishment that finds them vulgar and lacking.
None of the Ford’s seem to realize how empty the desire to be accepted is — except perhaps Rob Ford. And that’s the rub. While people have always pegged Rob as the dumber younger brother, he may actually be the smartest in his family. A man who might have become an artist, an actor, a thinker — surrounded by a family whose biggest desire is to be accepted by the “Joneses.” A family so skewed by the need for political success they have lost touch with the human desire to grow and learn. Imagine being a child growing up in a family like this.
While many will think I hate Rob – I don’t. He has a heart and when straight he’s actually a nice guy. Problem is he’s acting a role that his mother wants him to play and it’s killing him. This past week people have said that I must feel vindicated, but that is an empty feeling given the critical level of the situation. I feel more a sadness. Sad for Rob, sad that his family is so politically motivated they have chosen to ignore his cry for help. Rob is a victim of circumstance caught in the small world of low level political opportunity. If I was caught in a family like that I wonder if I too would try to escape it through drugs and alcohol? He once told me that he loved the theatre and during high school he had been in a play that was one of his best memories – that is the first and only time I saw the real Rob Ford and unfortunately I think that man is now lost to a world of alcohol and drugs. The spirit inside him is trapped with nowhere to go but down.
The future for Rob Ford doesn’t look promising. The more his family prop him up the farther he has to fall. He has a choice only he can make. Does he break away from a family who want him to be someone he isn’t, who demand he forever focus on politics, and instead discover a vast world where he can learn and grow? Or does he drug himself daily to get through the emptiness of a life that is completely focused on small time local politics? Could Rob Ford be a big frog trapped and forced to swim in a small scummy pond?