I have never been one to be much into politics. Mainly because I'm such an idealistic person that I see rainbows, stars, and unicorns floating about my head most times. And no, I'm not on crack.
Of course, if you put those two words - politics and crack - together, you get one result: Rob Ford. Who's that, several of you may ask. He's the mayor of Toronto, and has been in the headlines for his 'crack scandal' (and other similar reasons) putting the biggest metropolitan city in Canada on the global map for its shame.
Still, I didn't much care, except to scoff, roll my eyes, and shake my head with aplomb; what else was expected, anyways? He's a politician.
Granted, not every politician gets busted for smoking crack, and other drunken and under-the-influence behaviours. Certainly, other politicians already beat that (re: )
And many other politicians are worse: when you've been familiar with the 'Indian' bureaucracy and all that which happens (often depicted in hindi movies- so I confess, maybe my idea is a bit, err, skewed) you only expect the word 'corrupt' to go hand in hand with politics. And I don't only mean to highlight India, so do not be offended; the infamy of politics and government through history has only highlighted those famous words "Power corrupts". (For more background on this quote, go here. Because I'm linking it, I obviously recommend you do.)
So, if I'm not really shattered to pieces by any of this happening, why am I writing about this so called issue? Well, I actually got to thinking about it, in my idealistic moralist way. About what exactly? Well to better answer that question, it should be rephrased as "why exactly":
Yesterday evening, I grabbed the Metro (mini-newspaper-thingy-for-commuters) to read on the way home. I came across this article about this other Toronto MP pushing for a chance to pose beside our Prime Minister at the holy site of the Western Wall in Jerusulem:
So, of course, following that, the man had no choice but to show some sort of remorse with his lack of tact (for lack of a better word) so he makes a statement saying - wait for it - "I was joking".
Err, yeah buddy.
So, all this got me thinking. This man goes to this place where it's all about international relations and diplomacy and he's pushing and shoving and yelling for a photo-op just because it's going to get him re-elected. Then you have Rob Ford, who again gets splashed on front lines because a video is released showing him drunk, cussing and insulting chief police officers, among other people, and yet he asserts that it's what he does in his own time and no one should give him grief for whatever he says or how he talks while with friends. Which is, of course, a point.
But what exactly does that say? That who you are in front the cameras will be different from who you are in reality? That you're only mucking up, hogging for the cameras, showing a 'good side' and yet it's still an act, because what you do in your time is solely your business?
If he were only, say for example, a mere celebrity, maybe I'd be okay with that. Even then, celebrities have to kind of pay attention to their own actions because of the inevitable (unfortunate) effect of being 'role models'. But being a politician is one step further isn't it? You have to really buck up, make good, and stand by it. Sure, no one is dumb enough to expect glowing and flawless candidates; we know no one is perfect. But, by being a politician, you are stepping into a position where you make decisions crucial to the well-being of thousands upon thousand of people. You are representative of their moral compass.
Who you are does have everything to do with the public. Because your beliefs, philanthropy, and politics are an extrapolation of your personality. And when your true personality - exemplified by derogatory, disgusting behaviour - is splashed out for your people to see, that's pretty damn telling.