Yes the candidate's a dodger, yes a well known dodger, - Yes the candidate's a dodger, yes and I'm a dodger too.
He'll meet you and treat you and ask you for your vote, - But look out boys he's a dodgin' for a note,
Yes we're all dodgin', a dodgin', dodgin', dodgin', - Yes we're all dodgin' out away through the world.
(A song popular with western farmers after the Civil War)
There's that tale about Hollywood and politics where the movie mogul Jack Warner first hears that one of his old studio actors is running for governor. "No, no, not Ron Reagan for governor. Jimmy Stewart for governor. Ronald Reagan for best friend." That's not only about the typecasting of actors, but about the way Hollywood has caused people to look at reality through the camera lens. The actual candidates for high office don't measure up to the likes of Jimmy Stewart, Robert Redford or John Travolta but they work hard to come as close to the ideal as a talented, good-looking dodger can, and hope the public will give them the nod in spite of their shortcomings.
"Anytown U.S.A." is a documentary about small-town politics and doesn't cast any actors, so it can't match the Hollywood standard as it takes you through the 2003 campaign for the Mayor of Bogota, NJ. But as you watch the three candidates on camera, you might ask yourself whether even great movie stars with big money behind the show could give the same sense of realism. There's something very real about real people. Could any ensemble of actors produce something this real?
And there are things real life dares to do that Hollywood wouldn't. Would the pros approve a script where the three candidates share four serious health problems, (blindness being the mildest condition)? Would you kill off a candidate soon after he gives his all? Is it too corny for the school football team to have a great year after a bad start?
When the leaves start turning color and falling, it's the season for the people to choose the leaders who will serve them. There's a natural drama to the story, but without the editing it wouldn't come out at you. You can imagine that the crew had quite a bit of fun shooting the campaign, but the really heavy work and artistic skill was in cutting down a vast amount of footage to tell the story briskly. It's a good story, a real story, and the way it's told (without contrivances or hoked up crises) it might even go some way to reinforce your faith in democracy.