In 1960, Gore Vidal wrote The Best Man, a play about two politicians vying for their party's nomination for president, in addition to the sitting president's endorsement. Both men can be seen as stand-ins not only for the political figures of Vidal's day (John F. Kennedy and Adlai Stevenson in this case), but also for the political archetypes that American voters have come to expect. Watching (or reading) The Best Man today reveals the timelessness of Vidal's perspective on American politics and the familiarity of the style of politics he portrayed.
Jon Robin Baitz's Vicuña is populated with characters even more thinly veiled than Vidal's were 60 years ago. Although Baitz wrote the play during the 2016 election—and later appended it with a new prologue and epilogue after the results—if he'd written it even five years ago, it might have seemed too outrageous and farcical in certain parts to be believable. The line between the familiarly louche brand of politics Vidal portrayed in Best Man and the brow-furrowing shock of Vicuña is only navigable by the map 2016 laid out.