The end is near, thankfully

Mark me tired.

Make that tired of politics.

Living in Iowa for nearly 40 years has a lot to do with it. Due to the Iowa caucuses, it seems like Iowans can never escape politics. One election cycle runs into the next. We will give the oath of office to a new president in January, and there likely will be a prospective 2020 presidential candidate visiting Iowa before 2017 ends.

Taking a step back, maybe it isn?t so much politics as it is this year?s presidential election. I can remember when campaigns focused on platforms, programs and plans. This year?s campaign has none of the above, or very little at best.

Instead, the campaign has focused on attacks, mud slinging and about every other negative factor you can find.

It is by far the most negative campaign I?ve ever seen, and there isn?t a close second.

Politics is something I never thought I would tire of. That?s because I grew up with it. My mother loved the stuff. I remember watching the national party conventions dating back to 1964.

In that election, incumbent President Lyndon Johnson ran roughshod over Republican Barry Goldwater. Possibly I remember that campaign because of the slogan ? ?In your heart, you know he is right? ? for the Goldwater campaign. His opponents came back with their own non-complimentary slogan ? ?In your guts, you know he?s nuts.? That may have been among the first examples of negativity in a presidential campaign, but I doubt it.

This year, I even attempted to divorce myself from national politics. I didn?t watch the national conventions nor the candidate debates. I?ll admit I spent a few hours reading news reports, but not nearly as much as I had in past years.

In past years, I stayed up well past midnight awaiting the returns. Not this year, I think the drama will elapse well before then.

The presidential election is difficult to get a handle on. Listening to the media, one would have the impression that Hillary Clinton is solidly in control. But is she?

Polls have been all over the place and looking back two years, there were a number of gaffes in the 2014 polls.

Personally, I think Donald Trump will do a lot better than people think. Good enough to win the election? Hmmm. Trump has exceeded expectations. When the GOP primaries began, he was given a slim, if any, chance of being the party?s nominee.

Throughout the primaries, he proved the polls wrong. He just kept winning.

This is not meant to be an endorsement of Trump. Given the choice, I would mark an ?x? by ?none of the above,? if that option appeared on the ballot.

From my vantage point I see two dominant themes in the presidential race. Many people will be voting against one of the candidates, instead of for their choice. Secondly, it is clearly a choice of ?pro establishment? versus ?anti establishment.? The prevailing sentiment in the above theory will produce the winner.

Due to the angst aimed at the two choices at the top of the ballot, I would expect that the Libertarian and Green party candidates to collect more than a smattering of votes. They would receive even more if there wasn?t the perception of a vote for a third-party candidate is a wasted vote.

In short, I will breathe a sigh of relief on Nov. 9, when we return to our normal programming ? whatever that may be.