Somehow, if you think that the American political system doesn't have enough pageantry or drama, the only possible place for you to turn are the movies. You can find a campaign movie for just about every level of politics. For the most part, they all tell the same story. You have your candidate, and there's an election going on, and from high school to the presidency, there's going to be a debate on using negative campaigning, a starry-eyed speech about sticking to your ethics, and then some sort of sex scandal. Sounds about right.Election (1999)
It seems that the chance for a person to put their horrible, world-crushing ambition to use comes a bit sooner than adulthood. In Election we follow politics on a high school level, which really, in most respects, is worse in its tendency to destroy lives and devour souls. As high school troubadours MXPX
once said: "Teenage politics, they're too confusing, politics schmolitics, it's too confusing."
In the film, a mild mannered civics teacher (Matthew Broderick
) finds himself caught in the middle of a cut-throat three-way election between an over-ambitious wench, a thoughtless quarterback, and his outcast little sister. It's been said that the film parodies the 1992 presidential campaign between Bush 1.0
, Bill Clinton
, and H. Ross Perot
. Aside from the fact that Perot wasn't a fifteen-year-old lesbian, the movie does make for an interesting parallel. This high school election has more lying, sex and cheating than any major political campaign in history. It just makes you wish more elections were like this one. If all our local congressmen slept with underage girls, think of the voter turnout! Write your local congressperson today.