Dear Mayor Rob Ford:
Recently, Sue Edworthy wrote a thoughtful and friendly letter to you. It was a thoroughly positive letter, given that it was written in response to you skipping out on an executive meeting of city council so that you could go coach football. Ms. Edworthy has, very nicely I might add, suggested that perhaps you would be happier if you made your foundation which helps underprivileged kids play football your life’s work, which dovetails neatly with the conflict of interest charges you face for using city resources to solicit donations to said foundation.
She’s right. But her letter to you is a classic “mom letter.” And this is the thing: you do not deserve positive reinforcement for its own sake at this stage in your life. You are a grown-ass man, in years if nothing else. God knows that, as the privileged son of a wealthy family, growing up and acting like an adult has always been something you treated as sort of an optional extra. And I’m certain that the useless son of a rich and connected family will find no shortage of donors for his nonprofit, because you were lucky enough to be born into a class that can almost always find something for its less talented children to do, and at least you’re good at coaching football (by all accounts).
But you aren’t a football coach first and foremost, no matter how much you might like coaching football (and I’m sure it is rewarding). You are the fucking Mayor of fucking Toronto. You ran a long and dirty campaign to become Mayor. You spent an extremely large amount of money to become Mayor – most of which, needless to say, was other people’s money. Every one of those people should take it as a personal insult when you blow off work – and that is exactly what you were doing.
I’m sure you don’t like being Mayor of Toronto any more. I’m quite sure you didn’t realize what you were getting into when you decided to run for Mayor; I’m sure you didn’t understand what the position entails and in fact am still sure you don’t (I strongly suspect you think the entire job consists of taking constituent phonecalls, like you’re some really, really well-paid customer service representative). Tough. I don’t care. You’re the Mayor. Do your fucking job. Don’t like it? Well, then, maybe you should quit. Ms. Edworthy was quite right about that: if you don’t want to do the job, you could at least have the courtesy to hand it over to someone who won’t half-ass it the way you’re half-assing it. That’s the choice most everybody else has every day: do your job or quit. Most of us just do our jobs even when it’s on a day we don’t want to be doing them, and for those of us where it becomes unbearable, we quit (and generally we don’t have the assurance that you do that someone will come along to make sure there’s something for you to do).
But if you’re going to remain Mayor (assuming you don’t get booted for that conflict of interest violation – and I note that 55 percent of Torontonians have said they would be happy to see you get the boot on a technicality, so please understand you would not win an emergency election), and it certainly seems like you want to keep being Mayor even if you don’t like doing the actual job – then you have to do the work. This might seem like a dreadfully obvious thing to say, but apparently you need it said to you, because you are an enormous bawling child of a man. Do the job or go home. You’re already quite probably the least effective Mayor in the city’s history (and given that we had Mel Lastman in charge less than a decade ago that really says a lot); leaving early won’t tarnish your reputation further because there is simply nothing left to tarnish.