Today is Election Day for the United States of America, so I suppose this is just as good a time to write about this as any. While the embedded video below “stars” Mitt Romney, he is in no part the focal point of this post.
The video was brought to my attention via a tweet by Canadian webcomic artist Kate Beaton, which linked to an article titled “Watch Romney grin awkwardly as his audience shouts down climate activist.”
A breakdown of said video:
- Mitt Romney has some things to say about ways to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
- A man yells at around 00:22, and says “What about climate? What about climate, that’s what caused this monster storm!”
- He holds up a sign that says “End Climate Silence.”
- This is almost instantly met with boos.
- The boos turn into a rousing cheer of “USA! USA!”
- At around 36 seconds in his sign is violently yanked down.
- Seemingly unperturbed, the man tries in vain to yell above the crowd; he does not succeed.
- 00:54 has the camera zoom in nice and close on Romney’s awkward grinning face.
- Thirty seconds after the man’s outburst, Romney continues his speech where he left off as if nothing happened.
Even watching that video for a third and fourth time to write this I’m still both shocked and angry. This man was raising a legitimate point about the source of the storm, and he was shouted down. What’s more, he was shouted down by dozens of people yelling the name of their country over and over and over.
Why did this happen? Sure, the guy may have been interrupting what was ultimately supposed to be a way for Gov. Romney to raise support, but is that a reason to boo him? Is it a reason to yank his sign down? You can see the man struggle to keep it up and then decide it’s not worth the trouble.
As a presidential candidate, can you stop Americans from crying “USA! USA! USA!”? Yes. You can. When what is typically a patriotic cheer is used to instead bully someone and invalidate their opinion. It is disgusting what happened, and anyone involved should feel disgraced by their behaviour.
A reply to Beaton’s tweet put it well when he said:
Oh, and here is an actual video where Romney basically says that caring about the environment is a joke: