Just once I’d love to see a major candidate asked to do some mental math.
The answer to “How much is 9 times 14?” might be far more revealing than all the rehearsed rhetoric that emanates from debates. Imagine eye-rolling, stammering and head-scratching. Imagine the gasping headlines if there’s a mistake. Imagine polls plummeting.
You ought to be nimble at arithmetic if you want to run an $18 trillion economy.
Better yet would be getting candidates to face off on a series of quiz shows. Let’s see who can spell POTATO on Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? Let’s find out if they’ve ever done any shopping on The Price Is Right. Let’s test if they know how many states there are or the meaning of common phrases on Jeopardy!
Jeopardy! has had special editions with teachers, celebrities, and even a supercomputer. So why not an Election Edition with Democrat Hillary Clinton, Republican Donald Trump and Libertarian Gary Johnson?
One of them could command the nation’s nuclear trigger. Let’s at least test if they can handle a game-show buzzer.
Let’s see how well they handle categories like Foreign Leaders, Members of Congress, The Constitution, Religion, Money, The Environment and Civil Rights.
Imagine a category like “Acronyms.” Imagine if no one buzzes in on ISIS, LGBT, or NFL.
Imagine Alex Trebek gently chiding, as viewers at home comment, “You know, I’d vote for that Trebek if he weren’t Canadian.”
Of course, we’d love to see categories like Hair, Speaking Fees, Emails & Tweets, Famous Walls, Dodging Sniper Fire, Born in the USA … or Not, and Who the Heck Is Gary Johnson.
But the high road should do nicely.
When the smoke clears, and the exercise proves illuminating, the smartest response might also be a question:
Why didn’t we do this during the primaries? Or, why didn’t we do this years ago?