Answers we should know

By: 
Patrick Fisher, New Prague Timesi

Every once in a while some group, or for entertainment purposes, someone brings up how there are questions we should know the answers to.

As I was growing up I would see this done on TV shows where they tested people’s general knowledge about U.S. history, events and people who had recently been in the news and sometimes relatively simple questions about how our government worked. I saw this on programs such as Candid Camera where they would ask people who is this person. During President Ronald Reagan’s tenure they asked who was George H. W. Bush. Another one was when Jay Leno helmed The Tonight Show and had a segment called Jay Walking. More than once they had a photo of someone who was well known and then a picture of a fictional character. Once they had a photo of General Norman Schwarzkopf, when he was the lead commander of the 1991 Persian Gulf War. There were those people who couldn’t name him, but could name cereal mascot Captain Crunch. While funny, it was a little discomforting. I also hoped they went through a lot of people before they found the ones they featured.

Recently one of the news services asked people questions about the Constitution and how the government is set up to be run. Among the questions were to name the three branches of our government. Congrats if you remembered it’s executive, legislative and judicial or the president, congress and the courts. Again, I hoped they had to go through several people who knew the answer. Other questions were how many members are there in the House of Representatives. That one I would have a hard time answering. I knew it was more than 200. It is set at 435 members.

Some may argue why does it matter? Perhaps it doesn’t matter that we know how many representatives there are in Congress. Then again, perhaps it should matter that we know who represents us. Are they willing to speak up against the crowd when the easy thing is to say yes? Are they willing to speak truth when others want to push a fabrication that has no basis? Are they willing to stand for all of us and an ideal that all are created equal? While we should understand how our government works we should also be concerned that we know the answers to those last few questions.

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