Rob Ford. The disgraced Mayor of Toronto who refuses to step down despite admitting to buying illegal drugs and drinking excessively.
The Whisky Priest. Graham Greene’s nameless protagonist in his masterpiece The Power and the Glory. He drinks excessively. He fathered a child.
Rob Ford is not a priest. And despite enjoying the title “His Worship”, to which he’s holding on to for dear life, I would say it’s safe to say, the man is no longer held in high-esteem – or more correctly – should no longer be held in high-esteem.
The Whisky Priest lives in Mexico during a time Catholicism is outlawed. He time and again escapes being recognized by the lieutenant who will stop at nothing until he finds the priest in order to execute him.
To the reader, the priest is a likeable fellow. Because he is human. And though at times he is a coward, we forgive him. Because he makes himself worthy of our respect. When the Whisky Priest meets his unkempt and ill-mannered daughter, he is unable to feel repentance. What he does feel is a deep love for her. And later, towards the end of the book, the priest is aware he is walking into a trap, and yet agrees to do so, to hear the confession of a dying man.
Rob Ford is human. And he’s no coward. But we dislike him. Or at least I do. Because he’s a reckless idiot. He shames his constituents. He shames the city of Toronto and he shames Canada. Rob Ford may not legally need to step down. But he should because it’s the right thing to do.
Reckless acts of greatness can make a leader. Great acts of recklessness destroys one.