Katie O'Brien
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Katie O'Brien in Senior Content Editor,

Americans Can't Name One Member of Congress

In one of the most recent episodes of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the funny-man host's representative took to the streets to find out if anyone could actually name a member of Congress. Just one.

Reporting man-on-the-street style in the show’s segment “Lie Witness News,” the host asked random passersby if they could name one, just one, member of the United States’ Congress. Contestant after contestant came up blank.

Eventually, the "reporter" began making up names of Congressmen and women by simply stealing from pop culture references. For example, according to Kimmel, Ash Ketchum (Pokémon) and Neville Longbottom (Harry Potter) are members of the legislative branch, and convinced the participants, as well.

Although this video is hilarious and the style of “reporting” just makes it that much more funny, it also serves as a very important point about the American public.

Congressmen and women are elected officials; Americans are expected to vote for them every few years. If citizens are unaware of their representatives, they are likely not voting.

The political fabric of the United States is for the most part, always in somewhat of disarray. Both majority parties are always at each other’s throats, criticizing the other on one issue or another.

With the rise of social media, people can voice their opinion to an audience with the click of a button, sharing it around the world within seconds. Anyone with a Facebook has most likely been annoyed at some point with the political rants of a friend via social media.

With everyone having so much to say, its both surprising and not that people cannot name even one representative. How can people criticize people that they can’t even name?

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*This is editorial content and expresses the opinion of the author.