Wednesday, November 14, 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 don’t win elections.

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

It’s not that Bondi deserves sympathy. She doesn’t. As the state’s 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 today’s progressives don’t seem to understand. They believe they occupy the moral high ground, and somehow that excuses their own sins and intolerance.

And they still don’t 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 that’s 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 don’t do that by yelling in a restaurant or movie theater. You certainly don’t do that by demeaning conservative voters by insisting their values are backward.

We’ve 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 don’t pay attention to tax cuts that aren’t benefiting them, or tariffs that are harming them or health care lawsuits that may eventually kill them. If Democrats want to get America’s 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 don’t 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,’’ 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
??Rick Scott appears in D.C. along with new GOP senators, despite the recount

??Rick Scott appears in D.C. along with new GOP senators, despite the recount

Even though his Senate race is in the middle of a recount, the governor was with new senators.
Updated: 4 hours ago
Judge considers Bill Nelson lawsuit to count votes with faulty signatures

Judge considers Bill Nelson lawsuit to count votes with faulty signatures

Florida's system of verifying signatures on mail and provisional ballots is under intense legal scrutiny.
Updated: 5 hours ago
Florida officials flag a possible violation of elections law by state Democrats

Florida officials flag a possible violation of elections law by state Democrats

The forms listed the wrong due date for voters to fix issues with their mail-in ballots.
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rick Scott wins suit against Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections

Rick Scott wins suit against Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections

Election watchers will now be allowed to stand inside the physical area where machine recounts are taking place.
Updated: 8 hours ago
Hillsborough to be a dumping ground for clay from Hardee County phosphate mine

Hillsborough to be a dumping ground for clay from Hardee County phosphate mine

Hillsborough County Commissioners on Wednesday voted 4-2 in favor of a controversial request by Mosaic to dump clay from its Ona Mine into the Four Corners Mine in southeast Hillsborough County.
Updated: 8 hours ago
Palm Beach recount further behind after machine malfunction

Palm Beach recount further behind after machine malfunction

There's uncertainty about meeting the Thursday deadline for a machine recount.
Updated: 9 hours ago
Broward County confident it will make Florida recount deadline

Broward County confident it will make Florida recount deadline

After starting the recount way after other counties, Broward is now optimistic about finishing on time.
Updated: 9 hours ago
Bill Nelson sues for fax, email voting records from Bay County

Bill Nelson sues for fax, email voting records from Bay County

The Bay County Supervisor of Elections has said he accepted some ballots by fax and email.
Updated: 9 hours ago
Judge Mark Walker is at the center of Florida recount legal fight

Judge Mark Walker is at the center of Florida recount legal fight

Several federal lawsuits are assigned to the federal judge.
Published: 11/14/18
Broward County elections supervisor says invalid ballots ‘were never counted’

Broward County elections supervisor says invalid ballots ‘were never counted’

She is trying to tamp down reports that she included invalid ballots in vote totals transmitted to the state over the weekend.
Published: 11/14/18