Editorial Column: Thankfully, the end is very near

By now, you've probably seen the video of Abigael Evans, 4, of Fort Collins, Colo., breaking down in tears because she's tired, tired, tired of hearing about "Bronco Bamma" and Mitt Romney on the news.

Truth indeed comes from the mouths of babes. For two years we've been hammered with this contest, from the exploratory probes to the straw polls to the Republican primary, which had more installments than the "Friday the 13th" and "Nightmare on Elm Street" franchises combined (and was consistently scarier), to the actual Campaign Season Blob That Ate Our Brains, and - to top it off - waaayyyy more Donald Trump than is safe for anyone not currently employed by TMZ.

In Arizona, of course, our own private hell is the Invasion of the Senate Ads from Jeff Flake and Richard Carmona. If there was more time left, I would audition cute kids for a tear-soaked appeal to "Feff Flake and Richie Carbona" to please stop scaring the children.

But I digress.

Why do we do it? Why do we subject ourselves to this increasingly rancid process every four years, this ridiculous circus that takes billions to put on and leaves nothing but anger and exhaustion in its wake?

Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi blames the media, and to a degree he has a point. These campaigns are big business to a lot of large media outlets, giving them a vested interest in pumping up the vitriol, stirring the controversy pot and making sure that anyone who tunes in "knows" that choosing the head of a single branch of government is, without a doubt, the Most Important Decision You Will Ever Face to Define Your Generation, even though those were the stakes four years ago, and four years before that, and so on.

What we end up with is the ultimate reality show, something along the lines of "Survivor" meets "The Amazing Race." (By the way, I hear C-SPAN is developing a reality show called "America's Got Talking Points!" Okay, not really.)

We tune in for the fireworks.

We like to think we're rational human beings who weigh both sides of issues, consider the facts, work through the logic and come to reasonable conclusions. But we don't. We're not Vulcans. We are volatile, emotional, instinctive creatures who occasionally employ reason but usually follow the directions of our lizard brains, even if we're able to gloss over irrationality with plausible-sounding explanations.

It's the contest, the strife, the fighting we like. We want a hard-fought match, be it in the boxing ring, on the gridiron or at the ballot box. We want heroes and villains, people to root for and despise, and like any action movie - James Bond flicks are a good example - the heroes have to overcome big odds and the villains must be powerful and despicable.

Hence, you have the vision of Obama as a gay Muslim fascist socialist Manchurian candidate who's going to tank the economy and then let armies of illegal immigrants and terrorists run amok and sell crack and meth and heroin to people forced to be on welfare, which is funded by borrowing from the Chinese, who eventually seize our armed forces and nuclear arsenal as collateral and then use it to blow us all up.

Or, you view Romney as an evil cyborg controlled by banking satellites to suck up money like an industrial vacuum so he can carpet his 228 mansions with it and roll around in moolah while feasting on foie gras and caviar with other billionaires who enjoy hunting the unemployed for sport and mount stuffed homeless human trophies on their walls, stopping the party only to relieve themselves into gold-and-diamond toilets that dump sewage into the peasants' water supply.

Folks, that's not how this works. When the votes are counted, a wealthy, well-educated American will be president, and he'll have a brutally hard job to do.

On Tuesday, no matter how the votes come down, remember - it's not the end of the world.

That, according to the ancient Mayans, happens next month.