Sunday, June 26, 2005

Greatest American Top 10

The people...or at least the people who cared enough about this popularity poll to call, text message, or log onto AOL's voting site...have spoken and these are the people chosen to be on their list of the top 10 all-time "Greatest Americans" (as presented on tonight's Discovery Channel special, which I watched out of idle curiosity having skipped all but the very first hour of this mini-series):

1 ) Ronald Reagan
2 ) Abraham Lincoln
3 ) Martin Luther King, Jr.
4 ) George Washington
5 ) Benjamin Franklin
6 ) George W. Bush
7 ) Bill Clinton
8 ) Elvis Presley
9 ) Oprah Winfrey
10)Franklin Roosevelt

It's an...eclectic...list of personalities to be sure. It doesn't really bother's not serious enough to get worked up about...but I think that their use of the word "greatest" was purposefully loaded. With about of a third of the overall top 100 list filled with athletes and celebrities (including Michael Jackson, Brett Favre, Tom Cruise, Michael Jordan, Madonna, and "Dr. Phil") it probably would have been more accurate to call this whimsical little enterprise "Most Popular Americans" (popularity and greatness do not necessarily go hand in hand.)

(In case you're interested, the rest of the top 25 were (in order): Billy Graham, Thomas Jefferson, Walt Disney, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, John F. Kennedy, Bob Hope, Bill Gates, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lance Armstrong, Muhammad Ali, Rosa Parks, The Wright Brothers (who are counted together as 1 "Greatest American"), Henry Ford, and Neil Armstrong.)


waybar said...

I posted this same subject on my blog several weeks ago. I was surprised by the comments. One person didn't like Matt Lauer and one person didn't like the Discovery Channel. Oh please... just vote for the Greatest American!

Shannon said...

Along with you I agree, greatness and popularity do not go hand in hand.

Some of the greatest men of our time were not the most popular of men due to their "radical" viewpoint.

Some of these great men died for what they believe in. Don't get me wrong I don't subscribe to the notion that just because they died for what they believe in makes them great. However I do believe that the vision of a better world and the steps they took to see that vision come to life, is what made them great. The fact that they died for their cause just means it was a life that was ended all too soon.

Tracy V said...

You can Tell who runs the discovery channel if Reagan won !!!

Obviously alot of people didn't understand the contest!

Great Blog, Thanks!


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