Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Politics

Romano: Yelling in a theater is like earning a liberal merit badge

As the narrative goes, Democrats are motivated in 2018 because President Donald Trump has made America a less tolerant place where decorum is nonexistent and anger is palpable.

So now the response is a liberal version of intolerance and indignation in spiffy made-for-Facebook videos?

And Democrats wonder why they donít win elections.

The harassment of Attorney General Pam Bondi in a Tampa movie theater on Friday night was a sad example of todayís look-at-me moral outrage. Somehow, it seems befitting of our new era of reality-television politics.

Itís not that Bondi deserves sympathy. She doesnít. As the stateís leading law enforcement official, she repeatedly chooses to represent the Republican Party of Florida above the people of Florida. Her hyper-politicization of her job has made her about as unsympathetic as an elected official can be.

But explain to me what is gained from shouted insults in a theater lobby?

Other than some visceral satisfaction for the confrontation-minded, it takes the conversation nowhere. In fact, it just makes it harder to have a conversation.

RELATED: Pam Bondi confronted by protesters outside Mister Rogers movie

This is what todayís progressives donít seem to understand. They believe they occupy the moral high ground, and somehow that excuses their own sins and intolerance.

And they still donít understand that their saintly and superior attitude is what drives otherwise easygoing people to vote for demagogues such as Trump.

Too many liberals act as if the mean-spirited condition of America has been foisted upon them by the president and his supporters. Sorry, but thatís not how it works.

In a nation of elections, you get the country you deserve. And right now, these are the leaders we have chosen.

If you believe in a different kind of America, then you need to make a compelling case for your vision. And you donít do that by yelling in a restaurant or movie theater. You certainly donít do that by demeaning conservative voters by insisting their values are backward.

Weíve already seen where tit for tat will take us. The president revels in these opportunities to tell his Twitter followers that the Democrats are belittling conservative voters again.

And those voters get so caught up in ridiculous social media battles that they donít pay attention to tax cuts that arenít benefiting them, or tariffs that are harming them or health care lawsuits that may eventually kill them. If Democrats want to get Americaís attention, they might want to start there.

RELATED: The Red Hen kicked out Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Would Tampa Bay restaurant owners do the same?

Instead, too many people want to one-up each other in the hurling of insults and accusations. We donít pause long enough to realize that the leading cause of outrage is reciprocal outrage.

If you want a historical equivalent, consider the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: "The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy,íí Rev. King wrote in his final book Where Do We Go From Here.

You do not have to stay silent, and you do not have to acquiesce.

But if you want to change the world, you better engage in something more meaningful than Twitter burns and self-promoting Facebook videos.

No, I do not feel sorry for Pam Bondi. Nor do I celebrate her tormentors.

Instead, I lament the loss of dignity in America.

Comments
PolitiFact: Fact-checking the Donald Trump-Vladimir Putin summit

PolitiFact: Fact-checking the Donald Trump-Vladimir Putin summit

President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin made inaccurate statements to the media following their one-on-one talks in Helsinki about election meddling, global terrorism and nuclear nonproliferation.Hereís a rundown of our fact-checks.Trump:...
Published: 07/17/18
Obama gives Trump sharp rebuke in Mandela address on values

Obama gives Trump sharp rebuke in Mandela address on values

JOHANNESBURG —†Former U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday took aim at "strongman politics" in his highest-profile speech since leaving office, urging people around the world to respect human rights and other values now under threat in an imp...
Published: 07/17/18
Romano: Excuse me Gov. Scott, but youíre a hypocrite

Romano: Excuse me Gov. Scott, but youíre a hypocrite

Hypocrisy, thy name is Rick Scott.And, yes, I owe Shakespeare an apology.But I think Floridaís governor owes all of us an apology.This isnít about one manís opinion, and it isnít about philosophical differences. This is about a politician who is publ...
Published: 07/17/18
Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling

Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling

HELSINKI ó Standing next to Russiaís Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump openly questioned his own intelligence agenciesí conclusions that Moscow was to blame for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election to Trumpís benefit and seemed to accept Putinís i...
Published: 07/16/18

Pasco Political Notebook

Hunter, Murphy speak to Democratic ClubThe Trinity Democratic Club will host candidates Chris Hunter (running for U.S. Congress in District 12) and Amanda Murphy (running for state Senate in District 16) as guest speakers at its meeting at 6:30 p.m. ...
Published: 07/16/18
Giant pork pile awaits Americans as trade wars risk exports

Giant pork pile awaits Americans as trade wars risk exports

Donald Trumpís trade wars are making pork a bargain.American production is poised to reach an all-time high this year, and output is forecast to surge again in 2019. The supply boom comes as tariffs from China and Mexico threaten to curb export deman...
Published: 07/16/18
Sacha Baron Cohen still knows how to punk America, but his new show erodes what little trust we have left

Sacha Baron Cohen still knows how to punk America, but his new show erodes what little trust we have left

Sacha Baron Cohenís return to incognito trickery is, in current conditions, a little like pouring rubbing alcohol into the nationís open wounds.Employing the same ingenious commitment and subterfuge that made him famous in the guise of Ali G., Borat ...
Published: 07/15/18
Trump tweets, hits links before high-stakes Putin meeting

Trump tweets, hits links before high-stakes Putin meeting

TURNBERRY, Scotland ó Two days before a high-stakes summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump played golf and tweeted Saturday from one of his namesake resorts, blaming his predecessor for Russian election meddling and lash...
Published: 07/14/18
March column: Transit petition has

March column: Transit petition has "steep hill"

Leaders of an effort to put a Hillsborough County transportation sales tax referendum on the November ballot say theyíre confident theyíll gather enough petition signatures in time.But they may have to work fast. As of Thursday, All for Transportatio...
Published: 07/13/18
Updated: 07/15/18
Scott taps former Pinellas GOP chair to fill commission vacancy left by late John Morroni

Scott taps former Pinellas GOP chair to fill commission vacancy left by late John Morroni

Gov. Rick Scott appointed real estate investor and former Redington Shores Mayor Jay Beyrouti to the Pinellas County Commission on Friday, filling the vacancy created when Commissioner John Morroni died of cancer in May.In a short news release, the G...
Published: 07/13/18