End the duopoly

‘Boys State’ is riveting look at politics, youth

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“Boys State,” on Apple TV+ Friday, is a hugely entertaining glimpse at politics, youth and our future.

Sadly, it’s a given that the condition of the body politic in America is a cesspool of lies, deceit and power-grabs. Is this really what we want passed down to our kids? “Boys State,” the absorbing documentary from Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss, asks this question and more as the couple infiltrates a longstanding high school tradition known as Boys State. Begun in 1935 by the American Legion, the one-week exercise in governance has evolved into a breeding ground for future politicians by providing an opportunity for carefully selected 17-year-olds in each state to devise and execute a fictional democracy, complete with party conventions, primaries and final elections.

Past participants include Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney, Samuel Alito, Cory Booker and Rush Limbaugh. So who you see here may well be someone you’ll be seeing a lot more of on the Supreme Court or in Congress or even the White House. Of the more than 1,100 teens we watch descend upon Austin, McBaine and Moss — along with their seven camera operators — narrow their focus to a handful of participants who are clearly the […]

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