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Negative ads linger on


You know, in all of the excitement, I kind of lost track of who got elected. But considering that I’ll probably soon have the right to carry a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, I guess the question is: Are all of my sidewalks going to get heated, punk?

Sorry. I’ve never channeled Dirty Harry before, but this past election cycle did something to my thought process. It usually feels as if you’re getting over the flu when the knife-fighting ends, but this time – you know that feeling you get when you’re sprayed by a skunk, and then you fall in a tar pit, and then you realize you’re completely out of Honey Nut Cheerios? It’s like that.

Maybe these extremes aren’t healthful. And if campaign ads taught us anything (skeptical sound effect), it’s the power of negative thinking. Let’s just stick with that.

(1) Assume that your adversaries are pure evil. (2) Assume you’re always right. (3) But when the odds are clearly stacked against you, jump on the bandwagon.

All of the research indicates that human beings have only the shakiest grasp on the difference between facts and guesswork – at least, I think I read that somewhere – so let’s go negative on reasoning skills and just get things done.

I didn’t even know until late in the campaigning that heated sidewalks were at stake. Just another reason to spend more time on www.concretepouring.com. (Actually, there is no such site, but the domain name is available for $1,538.90. No, seriously. Check for yourself.)

The folks who brought up this topic seemed to see it as a bad idea, but it sounds great. Who wouldn’t want our sidewalks to remain clear of snow and ice all winter long?

Apparently we have to pick between convenient walking or adequately staffed public schools, but with this new self-oriented viewpoint, it’s an easy choice. Determined young people can educate themselves with books and stuff; falling on ice really hurts.

Next issue: Iowa is among a dwindling number of states that don’t allow citizens to carry guns with no restrictions. In this new era, we can expect a push at the Statehouse this winter. Rather than weigh the pros and convicts, I’m embracing the entrepreneurial spirit that made this country great – stumbling onto a few million acres of lightly used land also helped – and starting a holster business. If only Palin would get back to me on that endorsement idea.

On the national scene, the Republican winners are universally against the health-care act passed last spring. Not a problem. Every time I wind up in the emergency room, somebody pays for it, so either way is fine with me.

Also, candidates scored with a suggestion to dismantle the Internal Revenue Service. I would say this sounds like a fantastic idea. Maybe, some say, we could finance the country instead with a 25 percent sales tax. I would say thank God for the Internal Revenue Service.

No, that was a slip backwards; if the people who have seized control want to ax the IRS, let’s plunge ahead. If we opt for the big sales tax, I’ll just stay alert for bargains and sign up for one of those adult ed classes on shoplifting.

Before we move on, it’s important to note that this philosophy, or worldview, or “dealio” also applies to everything outside of politics.

Your business, for example.

Let’s say you’re an authorized dealer for Yaktrax, the handy traction-enhancing accessories that fit over shoes and winter boots. You have a Democratic congressman who somehow survived the election. He sponsors a bill to fund heated sidewalks, and you set out to get him impeached.

Actually, in that case, I would ask you not to be so negative. I really, really want those heated sidewalks.

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