A little more on the idea of Hubris | Opinion re Toronto Mayor affair

Hubris (Greek: hybris) is a term often found in literary criticism to denote some kind of tragic flaw that brings disastrous fortune to a character or group.  The idea has a complex history in anci…

Source: Hubris – Do criminals really want to get caught? – Earthpages.org


I wrote about hubris a few weeks ago and suggested that some, certainly not all, criminals actually want to get caught. Admittedly, I sensationalized the heading by not adding the adjective “some” to the noun “criminals” but that’s the kind of compromise I make every day at earthpages.org—detail vs. readability.

Today I’m revisiting the idea of hubris because last night much of Canada was surprised to see our straight-laced, family-man mayor John Tory, step down with the admission of having an inappropriate relationship with a former staffer. Seems the story was going to break this morning in a major newspaper, so perhaps someone warned Tory, giving him a chance to leave on his own terms before the proverbial axe dropped. But we don’t have any details on what went down.

Appearing quite humbled but in total command of himself on TV, Tory apologized to all concerned before leaving without questions.

So what’s this got to do with the idea that hubris could be linked to a personal issue or interpersonal situation?

Well, anyone in a position of authority and power having an inappropriate relationship with someone under them is at high risk of being discovered. Some wiggle out of it, like Bill Clinton. Others are not so lucky.

I do not claim to know what factors compelled Tory and the former staffer to have a relationship. I don’t judge either. It can happen to just about anyone. Even the public seems bored with the idea of casting stones. From looking over Twitter last night, it seems most Canadians are more concerned with what’s next in the wake of Tory’s resignation. He was a pretty good mayor, as far as mayors go.

What interests me is why a politician in a high office would make such a blunder, knowing that people do talk and practically nothing, when you get right down to it, is private these days.

There’s always some disgruntled opportunist out to get you, n’est-ce pas? That’s just the nature of the human beast. Or some of us, anyhow.


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