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Why Trivialize the Candidates?

December 12, 1987

To compare our presidential candidates to actors competing for a role may seem at first thought a clever, albeit none-too-original device ("Star Makers Eye the Candidates," by Deborah Caulfield, Dec. 3).

And I'm sure it seemed to someone that it would make a fun story to have casting directors analyze the debaters, but I am astounded at the irresponsible result.

Instead of focusing on the issues discussed and the candidates' response to those issues, the article trivialized and destroyed the dignity of these men.

Casting an actor in a television show or feature film doesn't require the casting director to know anything about said actor's beliefs or intentions. A professional actor's job is to present a salable persona.

Leaving aside all obvious cracks about our current Administration, I don't believe a politician's job is quite the same thing.

And while we are all aware that television has radically changed the "face" of our political campaigns, to dwell on the shallow and obvious rather than attempt true evaluation of these men is to lead us further down the pathway toward a materialistic, thoughtless society obsessed with uniformity and physical perfection.

Even if some of the comments were mildly interesting, was it necessary to feature the most obnoxious and denigrating quotes? The article, at best, was silly. At worst, it was insidious and maybe even slanderous. Personally, I find it difficult enough to decide who I think would be the best possible leader for our country--who needs this kind of help!

Yes, I am aware that Calendar may not be the place for true political evaluation--so why do the piece at all? Come on Calendar, you can do better than this.


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