Note: sorry, I clicked the wrong reply button, so this is more aimed at Tacochucks, but refers to what you said too.
As I said, your capacity or empathy is probably pretty minimal. I don't know if you are old enough to remember Nixon's resignation, but I certainly do. And the reason that I drew the parallel between Ford and Nixon is that they are genuinely closely related, for the reasons I gave, and one could go on from there.
The thing is this: the Nixon story has proved to be not only more important, but more comprehensible, in the intervening years when Nixon has been seen in human dimensions. It turns out that applying empathy to the person of Nixon reveals more about how politics really works than painting him as a cardboard demon.
The revilement of Ford is nothing, of course, compared to that of Nixon. But as it has turned out, it was not revulsion that got Nixon out, but constitutional process. Faced with the likelihood of being impeached Nixon resigned. It certainly wasn't because he was hated – Nixon, like Ford, used the hatred of groups he had no respect for as the fuel for his career. In brief then, the hatred you feel for Ford plays no real role, nor should it: politicians should not be turfed out because they enrage people, but because of the process of justice. This is what should happen with Ford.
The points that are missed in the anti-Ford campaign is that first, those in favour of him, even now, are probably far greater than those against. He is a very popular mayor, just as Nixon won with a huge margin. I hate Ford's guts, but I'm not blind to the realities of Toronto, a city where the manipulations of the Harris Tories made the downtown culture a marginal aspect of the larger city. Second, when you direct this much hate without empathy against people like Ford or Nixon (kind of weird that pairing), you turn politics into a separate level of activity from normal human endeavor. This is what justifies statements like the one you made about "The sympathy I have for people who get elected to high public office and then happily, knowingly, cynically abuse that station is zero."
You actually play into a very misleading and ultimately disempowering idea of politics by assuming that politics comprises a separate morality and a separate humanity. What Nixon tells us (and you apply this to LBJ, Theodore Roosevelt, Lincoln, Hitler, Mandela and many others) is that politics are oddly susceptible to human foibles: the vast majority of politicians may rise through cynical and predictable paths; but there is a class of person that can move rapidly and directly to power in ways that have everything to do with their human dimension. Ford is one of those, and that is what makes him very dangerous indeed. What the results will be are not predicted by the path, as the diversity of that list should show.
You miss the point again when you say, "Boo hoo, he didn't fit in with his rich family so he shit on others to make himself feel better." That's not what happened. Ford, and arguably his handlers, understood better than any other Mayoral candidate what the real desire the greatest number of Toronto voters wanted, and gave it to them. That's how he got elected, which is what I was talking about. What bubbles up from what you say – and I'm assuming here you're a Torontonian – is an inability of downtowners (of which I have been one for almost 30 years) to accept that the real meaning of amalgamation and the megacity is that they are no longer important. Their values are not the dominant values of the city. Ford's mess arises from the fact that he comes from Etobicoke, a place where things aren't just Starbucks and The Drake and MOCCA and Trinity Bellwoods and cute charcuterie boutiques. It's messier there, and Ford is one messy fucker.
And that's Toronto.
Addendum: the most important thing about Ford is he is revealing the most important things about Toronto to us. Without this, downtowners would still feel they were the representatives of Toronto: without this, the suburbs wouldn't have understood their real power in Toronto. And none of us would have understood that the megacity is a giant trap set by the Tories to be completely ungovernable, and ultimately doomed.