This Article Is Guaranteed Not to Incite Violence
If you commit violence, at least tell everyone you were inspired by a Dave Barry column and not me.
January 25, 2011 - 12:00 am
NOTE: People have become pretty aware of harsh rhetoric lately after the shooting in Tucson. Yes, that had nothing to do with rhetoric, but it’s hard to go into long partisan diatribes about random crazy people, so “harsh rhetoric” is an easier meme to seize. Also, there are tens of millions of armed, angry conservatives out there; they didn’t kill anyone last year or the year before, but we just know — KNOW — that one of these days, Sarah Palin will put a secret message in something she says and cause them to break out in an orgy of violence.
Keeping this in mind, I’m going to try to write this column very carefully to make sure that no one could possibly interpret it as a call to violence or hate. Columns can be very dangerous; do you know how many murders Paul Krugman’s columns are responsible for? One hundred and forty-seven. Yeah, I know; that’s fewer than I would have guessed, but the number is about eight times bigger if you include people who committed suicide while reading him.
Anyway, here is my political column guaranteed to not incite anyone to violence:
I think the health care law the Democrats passed is a bad law. Before I go any further, I just want to make it clear that I don’t think they were trying to hurt the country by intentionally passing a bad law. They thought it was a good law when they passed it and were trying to help the country. And I’m not saying they’re deranged in thinking that a bad law was good and therefore need to be locked up; they just had a different opinion.
I believe that the best option going forward is to repeal that law. And that “repeal” isn’t some dog-whistle codeword urging some violent action; I mean only that it should be repealed through normal legislative means. The reasons I think it should be repealed are many. For one, despite White House claims to the contrary, it will be extremely costly and add to the debt, which is like stealing from our children.
I said like stealing! It’s not actual stealing. Don’t go out and shoot politicians, saying, “They’re thieves, and you shoot thieves! Frank J. told me that!” Let me make this clear: That’s what I’m telling you not to do. No shooting. This is a policy dispute.
Another problem with the Democrats’ health care law is that I believe it’s unconstitutional.
Wait; why did you just shout, “TREASON!”? That isn’t treason. Yes, I know the punishment for treason is death, but that isn’t treason. Constitutional issues are supposed to be settled by the Supreme Court.
No! I’m not saying hang the Supreme Court justices for treason! Why are you tying up nooses? Stop that! I’m saying we have legal, non-violent ways to settle constitutional questions like this. I was merely giving my opinion on it. I’m not going any further until you demonstrate you understand that by untying those nooses.
Also, the health care law is leading to a government takeover, which would be harmful to health care. No, I’m not saying all government is bad. And no, I’m not saying we need a revolution and that we should overthrow the government.