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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/4537/film-page-the-pathetic-charade-of-elections/

Film Page: The Pathetic Charade of Elections

January 8, 2006 by

Films on Liberty and the State

Election
(1999)

This bleak, black (and very funny) comedy has many targets but, as the title suggests, democratic politics is a chief one. Our great electoral exercises are here lampooned by focussing on elections for that most
meaningless of positions: high school student president. The earnest seriousness of the usual contestants and the nearly religious significance of the civic duty are eviscerated when Tammy (Jessica Campbell) runs on a lark. Her rousing speech to the student assembly would make the film worth it even if it wasn’t brilliant otherwise:

Who cares about this stupid election? We all know it doesn’t matter who gets elected president of Carver. Do you really think it’s gonna change anything around here, make one single person smarter or happier or nicer? The only person it does matter to is the one who gets elected. The same pathetic charade happens every year, and everyone makes the same pathetic promises just so they can put it on their transcripts to get into college.
So vote for me because I don’t even wanna go to college, and I don’t care. And as president, I won’t do anything. The only promise I will make is that, if elected, I will immediately dismantle the student
government so that none of us will ever have to sit through one of these stupid assemblies again!
[Loud cheering]
Or don’t vote for me! Who cares?! Don’t vote at all!!
[Cheering] [Standing ovation]

Rated R for sexual themes & situations, profanity. See this href="http://movie-reviews.colossus.net/movies/e/election.html">review.

{ 5 comments }

Pete Canning January 8, 2006 at 10:36 pm

A great movie.

Siggyboss January 8, 2006 at 11:14 pm

A new addition to my Netflix queue has been added. Thanks!

R.P. McCosker January 9, 2006 at 1:04 am

At the time this came out, I thought it was the best movie I’d seen made since the ’80s, and I haven’t changed my mind since. It convincingly pulls the pants down on the farce of democracy (and its retarded stepsister, public education). Don’t make the mistake of thinking this a “teen movie” — that’d be like calling *Citizen Kane* a “newsroom movie.” The main character is a middle-aged high school civics teacher — and professional spouter of the usual cant about “democracy” — whose conventionally idealistic vision of such things crumbles when he becomes enmeshed in a school election, with all its tragicomic fallout. The high school is only a microcosm of the sanctimonious farce of government and electoral politics.

The highlight of the film, IMHO, which Carson doesn’t mention, is when the principal ex post facto disqualifies Tammy as a candidate — her name is actually crossed off each and every ballot, as I recall — for speaking truths that threaten the “legitimacy” of the whole rotten system. This is the point where we look the profound evil of the State and its standard bearers straight in the eye. We suddenly know that darkness must follow throughout the remainder of the film.

The final scenes shift to Washington, DC, where we see that the central powermongering villain has taken her place as a Congressional aide, and share the teacher’s horror that such is the way of the State. The circle is complete, and we know that it’s all about something much more than Omaha or high school.

Sag January 9, 2006 at 12:01 pm

Had no idea the film was that good. I’d written it off at some teen movie Reese Witherspoon vehicle. Just added it to my Netflix. It looks good…

Aakash January 9, 2006 at 7:10 pm

I actually saw that film in the theater… I can’t say (unlike some others) that it was a waste of money.

I remember a pertinent article from LRC, from before the 2000 elections…

Ah, here it is… (and it’s by our friend Gene Healy!):
Boycott the Election: Rent “Election”

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