Friday, December 29, 2006

Whom Americans admire pretty much says it all

The annual Gallup poll, released today, shows George W. Bush as the "most admired man" in the U.S., depsite his percentage, 13, being down from 2005 (19%) and 2004 (23%). 13% is, of course, a frightfully small number of admirers of a sitting president, but it is still a larger number than the runner-up received. That would be Bill Clinton, with 5% of the vote. After him were: Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, Billy Graham, Colin Powell, Pope Benedict XVI, Nelson Mandela, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Gates.

So bigots like Bush and and Powell and Benedict (and Obama) are admired, as are two members of the BFFE, one of whom is a liar, an idiot and an outright war criminal. Carter and Clinton are hardly two of my favorite people (though Carter was, once upon a time), but I can understand their getting votes for various reasons. Gates, too. And, of course, Mandela. The Graham vote is something I have never understood, but so be it.

The most admired woman this year was Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, with 13% of the vote (the same number she had in 2005 and 2004). The runner-up was the ethically confused animal abuse promoter Oprah Winfrey. The others were: Condoleeza Rice, Laura Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Angelina Jolie, Nancy Pelosi, Madeleine Albright, Barbara Bush, and Maya Angelou.

One assumes Jolie is on the list because of her work with children in crisis, and not for her social life. Jolie is a member of the LGBT community, however (could it be that the average poll respondent didn't know that?), so her inclusion on the list is more than interesting.

Are Americans so shallow, though, that any woman who has had a leadership role is automatically admired?

If I were compiling a list of my most admired people, I cannot imagine including most of these people. My list, I fear, would not be very popular.

8 Comments:

Please don't include me on the list of Americans who admire George Bush!!!! I'm definitely NOT on that roster.

By Blogger Starfairie, at 5:28 PM  

Collectively, we deserve the world's scorn. We're every bit as stupid and medieval as we seem. I think I'm going to puke.

By Blogger Livia, at 12:17 AM  

That is quite a disturbing list. Besides Mandela and Angelou, there is no one on those lists I admire. That's for sure. Who were the freakin people surveyed? Could they possibly represent Americans as a whole? The only connection between all the figures is power. This indicates (if it is to be taken seriously) that Americans worship power. Sad. I mean, why Madeline "I think half a million Iraqi children dead is worth it" Albright? Why Barack "I compare the heroism of slave revolts to the racist imperialist mass murder fest called the Vietnam War in a speech and everyone applauds" Obama? It is good to see Bush's number so low though.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:32 AM  

I feel the same way, and yes, Americans do worship power. And a Gallup poll tends to be representative, I'm sorry to say.

Also, Americans are ignorant. They have no idea what Albright's policies (she did nothing to stop the torture of Christians in China) were or what Obama says. If it isn't on "American Idol" or "Survivor," they don't know much about it.

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