"There sure is a lot of hate speech in the news lately. It makes a person wonder whatever happened to civility and polite political dialogue."
I was talking to Uncle Spud as we filled out our four-page 2010 census forms and applied for federal stimulus money to pay our 2009 income taxes.
"It's not that bad," Spud insisted. "There's just lots of high emotion about the recently passed health care bill. Both sides are slinging mud and accusing each other of dirty politics."
"So what's the problem?" I asked.
"To quote our president, you can put lipstick on a pig, but she's still just a pig. Obama is running around the country with a big tube of lipstick, trying to paint a happy face on the health care pig."
"You can't be serious."
"It's pretty bad," the Spudster insisted. "It's a 2,000-page deal cooked up behind closed doors with special provisions for political friends, illegal aliens and politicians who sold their votes. The bill has no bipartisan support, only a third of the American people support it, it creates massive new federal debt and there are fines for people who choose not to participate. It will ruin the private insurance industry, put bureaucrats in charge of health care, and it's probably unconstitutional. If that isn't enough, the people who rammed this down our throats have exempted themselves and their families from having to live with it. Somehow that doesn't seem fair to me."
"Obama is trying hard," I insisted. "He killed abortion coverage by executive decree."
"The whole bill is an abortion," Spud growled. "Let's pray the Supreme Court sucks it all down the sink."
"You sound like one of those hateful tea party people," I told him.
"Thomas Jefferson said resistance in the face of tyranny is virtue," Spud insisted.
"I'll bet you're one of the guys who shouted the 'N' word at the Washington tea party," I smiled.
"I am," Spud admitted. "My 'N' word was 'Never', as in I'll never sit still for this crap. Those black congressmen said the 'N' word was a racial slur. That's what they said, but 'No way' and 'Not while I'm alive' are the only 'N' words the cameras picked up, and there were lots of cameras there."
"Nancy Pelosi said she feared for her safety when she walked through the tea party crowd carrying her 15 pound, John Henry health care gavel."
"That was a blatant provocation," Spud said. "There's a tunnel connecting the capitol and the executive office buildings that Pelosi and friends use every day.
"Walking through the tea party crowd was probably the first time she ever crossed from one building to the other out in the sunshine like that. She was obviously trying to provoke an incident, and it didn't happen."
"Did you hear any death threats?"
"No," Spud insisted. "Besides, death threats are unnecessary when politicians commit political suicide. Just wait till November."
"So what would you do about health care," I asked. "Some people say you shouldn't criticize unless you have another plan."
"No problem," Spud spouted. "I do have a health care plan. It's real simple and it doesn't take 2,000 pages of lawyer double-speak and a trainload of political sausage to get it done."
"What do you propose?"
"Get government out of health care. Get lawyers out of health care. Let insurance companies compete on an open playing field. Close the borders and deport about 20 million illegal aliens. Do those things and we can cut health care costs in half and we can do it without adding another two trillion to the national debt or adding 17,000 new IRS agents to compel compliance.
"Hmm, lets see, you just said that you're an anti-government weirdo. You hate our laws and have no respect for those who administer the law. You're in bed with the big insurance companies and thereby you impose pain and injustice on the poor people of America. You're a bigot and a racist because you want to close the borders. You are so cruel and callous you would deny 30 million people health care just to save a few measly dollars, and you have contempt for the IRS. No wonder Nancy Pelosi was afraid to carry her righteous gavel of justice across the Washington Mall while you were there."
"Hate speech is a terrible thing," Spud agreed.