The major contribution that American politics makes to American life is purely consumptive entertainment. After all, we only elect fewer than 1% of those who rule us, and once they get in power, they do what they want to anyway. Mostly that amounts to paying back with grants and favors those who funded their campaigns. Otherwise they have little power to change anything.

The value proposition of elections for the rest of us is to be delighted by the horse race itself. We like to follow polls the way we follow sports teams. And there is the major benefit of the debates. They still get high ratings. People still gather with popcorn and beer to watch. We yell at the screen, the fact checkers get to work, we wait in hope for gaffes, we thrill to defining moments, and so on. This is easily the most fun any of us get from elections.

Let’s pay attention to the market signals here. Why limit these contests to verbal debates only? We need more variety in these matchups. We need more ways for these people to compete, and surely we can come up with other ideas. These people are otherwise extracting vast private resources, and, if they get elected, will continue to benefit from unconscionable amounts of public largesse. The least they can do is provide us with greater entertainment during election season itself.

I propose a whole series of events, scheduled perhaps once a week for a full year. These are things most all Americans do, in one form or another. Why shouldn’t we insist that they do them too?

Spelling Bee. This would be so interesting, a real challenge that we test the depth of their understanding of the English language.

Rubix Cube. Many see this as a proxy for IQ. I’m not sure that is right, but it would be fascinating to see how well someone like Hillary Clinton does on this.

World of Warcraft. Give them all a character and see who they do in a battle.

Mario Kart. Donald Trump as Bowser. Rand Paul as Mario.

Chess. Surely they all know the rules, but can they think more than one move in advance?

Hot-Dog Eating Contest. It’s a national tradition. Go!

Lipsynching. This art is newly fashionable, and driving all ratings on late-night television.

Beer Pong. Here we have a universal bonding experience among college kids.

Go Fish. A look back at childhood. It’s unfailingly fun!

Google Pony Game. A simple and yet elegant game, easy to learn but hard to master.

Solo Dancing. This happens at every wedding party. Why not during elections?

Limbo. How low can you go?

New York Times Crossword. Another national tradition, the ultimate test of verbal intelligence.

Hackathon. Ok, it’s true. They would all be lost. None would be able to get beyond a static page.

Rock Climbing. This will test discipline, planning, and physical prowess.

What’s the Difference Game. Two similar pictures with subtle differences. Popular in every dive bar in America.

Croquet and/or Putt-Putt. Here we see mental discipline at work, and sportsmanship.

Feel free to add your own. We need another 30 or so to fill up all the time.

Imagine if this wish came true.

Wouldn’t you feel like a much more informed voter?