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Was it that he had, in the end, sold out his ideals simply to gain political power? Was it the broader, more tragic notion of how powerless the individual person can be against the lurching machinery of party politics?

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Those are all part of the story, definitely—and you could make a good case for each. For me, though, none of them came through terribly strongly, as messages or takeaways or, yep, evidence of satire. He sold out, a little, definitely … not that much? And all that in addition to the fact—and this was my greatest source of confusion—that none of the stakes in this election ever seemed that high. If so, of course, that would make The Candidate , as many of you pointed out in nominating the movie for discussion in the first place, urgently relevant today.

It was too subtle for that. Possibly too nuanced. But either way they make The Candidate revealing. I pretty much take it for granted, today, that to be a retail politician will require—implicitly—some degree of selling out; I take it for granted, too, that politics and spectacle are, at this point, pretty much inextricable from each other. Could the difference simply be that people of previous generations, in the post and pre-Watergate years, simply expected more—and, in another way, less—of their politicians?

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Very possibly. There is something perverse and puritanical in the way many liberal Americans regard the political system. If a candidate wants to win, he must be suspect. Ambition in itself is bad. We put great store by the kind of modesty that insures defeat and that, only then, is revealed to be a form of arrogance. This is the Catch of American politics. We all know that men who run for public office hoping only to improve the tone of the campaign, to raise the real issues, usually fail—and look terrible on television, which may be even worse.

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What a great line. My sense is that the American public, writ large, has largely given up even on the notion of modesty in politicians. And that we have also given up, largely, on the notion of idealism—particularly now, as the public anticipates the post-Obama years. A lot of us now simply assume, I think, that an election is a pragmatic choice between two not-terribly-appealing options.

And that corruption is simply part of the game—a part, indeed, that we, the public, are complicit in. In the age of social media, after all, we are all part of the partisanship that we are so fond of bemoaning.

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The Candidate anticipates all that. It emphasizes cameras and flashbulbs and TV screens; it explores the performativity of politics. It definitely does. My main question is: How does it do that showcasing? And what can we learn from comparing the notion of political satire to the version? The people have spoken.

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Thanks to everyone who cast their ballots! McKay Melvyn Douglas. Lucas gives McKay a proposition: since Jarmon cannot lose and the race is already decided, McKay is free to campaign saying exactly what he wants. McKay accepts in order to have the chance to spread his values, and hits the trail.

With no serious Democratic opposition, McKay cruises to the nomination on his name alone. East Coast time. Dave is Cinderella, basically, only with a bulletproof limo instead of a bedazzled pumpkin.

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And the films we watch except for Dave , which pretty much nominates itself will depend on you. The American President? Smith Goes to Washington? Democracy depends on the consent of the losers. For most of the 20th century, parties and candidates in the United States have competed in elections with the understanding that electoral defeats are neither permanent nor intolerable.

The losers could accept the result, adjust their ideas and coalitions, and move on to fight in the next election.

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Ideas and policies would be contested, sometimes viciously, but however heated the rhetoric got, defeat was not generally equated with political annihilation. The stakes could feel high, but rarely existential. In recent years, however, beginning before the election of Donald Trump and accelerating since, that has changed.

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Some people covet their cabin time. Others meditate in a studio or head for the hills.

I frequently travel solo and have noticed a big increase in restaurant patrons dining alone. Many of them are sitting across the table from their dinner companion, who is sending text messages or scrolling information on a smartphone. Home All Sections Search. Log In Welcome, User.

Robert Redford's Napa Valley vacation house is for sale

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