Jeopardy op-ed

Logan Mercer ‘19

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

There should be a Jeopardy game in place of a presidential debate. Fight me.

Jeopardy was added to Netflix recently. Well, only two collections of the over 7000 episodes spanning over 35 seasons dating back to 1964. But I’ll take what I can get. Over Thanksgiving break I ran through the both collections, eyes pasted on the screen, fangirling over the great Alex Trebek. After finishing the two collections I began surfing Youtube and found a couple videos covering IBM’s Watson absolutely crushing the best mankind can offer at the trivial game. Although I was genuinely terrified for a future shared with these all-knowing supercomputers, I know that we already have too much on our plate to think about that right now. And now for something completely different.

What if there was a designated time during the presidential cycle—whether an independent event or a side event of an already scheduled debate—for the candidates to have a bit of fun and play a game of Jeopardy. The riddles can either be Constitution related and test the candidates’ knowledge on the job they’re running for OR (I think this will be the more popular one) the American people pick a series of their favorite subjects and hints to give the presidential candidates just to see what funny stuff comes out of their mouths. I think this will fix a series of problems that are commonplace throughout an election cycle:

  1. Elections are stressful. This will ease not only the lovely contestants but also the viewers at home. Who likes old white people taking constant shots at each other?! No one. I may be overly optimistic here but this could fix our polarization problem in politics. Who knows, crazier things have happened.

  2. Elections are filled with old, unrelatable career politicians who don’t really care about us. There is a common saying that the person elected president will be the person that the average American can see having a beer with. What is more likeable than being on a gameshow? Nothing. Hell, Ninja was on family feud once and look at him.

  3. Elections are boring. Game shows are not. The possibilities are endless. Why stop at Jeopardy? To spice things up, why not bring the whole family along for the ride and get the potential next First Families up there for a good old fashioned game of Family Feud. I bet Steve Harvey would be on board. (If Steve Harvey ends up running for president himself, easy fix, stay with me here… two words: Jeff Goldblum)

Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read this all the way through. If you aren’t convinced, I’m sorry, there’s something wrong with you and there’s nothing anyone can do. In all seriousness, I highly recommend watching the show whether you like nerdy game shows or not. The games are fast paced and you may learn something along the way… or not and only realize how much you don’t remember from AP Euro (<— Me).