Rob Ford should resign, but not for the reasons that are very popular right now.
Claim #1: Rob Ford smoked crack, so he should resign.
The tendency of government is always to grow. It is an insatiable beast that becomes bloated by feeding upon the wealth of its subjects. Anything that distracts politicians from trying to pass new laws, new taxes, and new regulations should be welcomed.
Weirdly, that includes smoking crack. The more time a politician spends smoking crack, the less time they can spend trying to do “serious work” like using the law to take more of the peoples’ wealth.
If the entire city council of Toronto was high on crack all the time, they would be high on crack all the time. So they would be pulsing with inflated confidence and sensory stimulation, but they would be unable to do their normal job — which is exercising power over their subjects, generally making their lives worse.
Look at how much energy is being expended to deal with a mayor who apparently smoked crack one time. Instead, they would be working on “fixing problems” in Toronto (read: making Toronto worse).
Normally, crackheads don’t have jobs because they can’t keep a schedule, they can’t concentrate on anything, and they are always desperate to smoke more crack. That would be a far less threatening politician.
Wouldn’t you rather have politicians smoking drugs instead of raising property taxes or creating exploitative regulations that make life difficult?
Claim #2: Rob Ford lied, so he should resign.
I am sure you’ve heard this joke before:
Q: How do you know a politician is lying?
A: His lips are moving.
The term “lying politician” is completely redundant. Politicians lie all the time. If they were actually elected, it is guaranteed that they lied profusely to achieve office. The best politicians are the best liars. The entire premise of democratic politics is people competing against others with one outlandish deception after another.
Mencken said of politicians:
They will all promise every man, woman and child in the country whatever he, she or it wants. …. They will all be curing warts by saying words over them, and paying off the national debt with money that no one will have to earn. When one of them demonstrates that twice two is five, another will prove that it is six, and six and a half, ten, twenty, n. In brief, they will divest themselves from their character as sensible, candid, and truthful men and becomes simply candidates for office, bent only on collaring votes. They will all know by then, even supposing that some of them don’t know it now, that nonsense, and they will apply themselves to the job with a heart yo-heave-ho. Most of them, before the uproar is over, will actually convince themselves. The winner will be whoever promises the most with the least probability of delivering anything.
If people were less selective with their outrage and instead demanded that all politicians resign if they lie, they would seriously require all politicians to pack up their stuff and retreat from public office immediately.
Which would probably make the world a much better place. But people aren’t demanding anything like that at all. So their whining about how Rob Ford lied to them seems extremely contrived and arbitrary.
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