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March 08, 2006
Play Along!

Let's Play Jeopardy!

Weíve got a fellow running the country now who is undoubtedly unfamiliar with a limitless number of scholars of all political stripes. Iím here to say that hasnít worked out so well. Maybe we need people who know things.

That would be a nice change.

(For the record, no, I didn't even get close to 15. But then, I'm not marketing myself as a candidate for public office, either. Unlike some folks, I know the limitations of my ignorance.)

Posted by AnneZook at 06:12 PM


Comments

I'm a pretty well educated person, and I don't know that I got the actual answers to more than about 8 of those. However, I can tell you why most of them are important, those that are, and which ones are interesting but basically trivia....

I still think I'd be a better candidate than most of the people running in my neck of the woods.

Posted by: Ahistoricality at March 8, 2006 07:29 PM

So, don't be coy. :) Which ones are basically trivia and which ones should I make a mental note to learn about?

Posted by: Anne at March 8, 2006 07:43 PM

Any question about who wrote what political tract (which nobody reads anymore) or who founded what school (mostly now defunct) or who the assistant secretary of anything was (probably important at the time, just as it is now, but ultimately not the buck-stoppers).... trivia.

Important stuff.... wait, I think I just classified everything but the Beatles question as trivia. I'm sorry, I never could get excited about cliques masquerading as "schools of thought" and political insider trading cards.

Posted by: Ahistoricality at March 9, 2006 01:29 AM

Hey, I got the Beatles question! (And more, but clearly that's the important one.)

Frivolity aside, I don't think there's anything wrong with the premise beind the article, While you or I might not have chosen that particular list of questions, I do think it would be nice to be governed by people who had some idea of the roots of our democracy. Some understanding of the philosophical underpinnings. Some concept of how the system has changed and evolved in the last 200+ years.

Posted by: Anne at March 9, 2006 10:16 AM

Yeah, I know, and I mostly agree. But this list really wasn't about that, was it? It was about the insider games and back-and-forth public tension over labels. Governance is not Jeopardy: it's multiple choice with the right answer usually hidden behind "none of the above"....

Posted by: Ahistoricality at March 9, 2006 12:11 PM

I agree with you about this particular list. While I'm no genius, or political science/philosophy wizard, I would certainly have expected to see questions on the test that I could see the relevance of.

(All of this actually leads me to wonder just when it became seen as a virtue to be a "Washington outsider" instead of someone familiar with government?

Because I'm suspecting that that might correspond to the time when the disgust of USofA citizens with corruption in government climbed over 50%.

And now, as this country seems to do, we've taken it to ridiculous extremes and not only elected people unfamiliar with the process but those who are raising ignorance of the issues to an art form.)

Posted by: Anne at March 12, 2006 11:29 AM