Now I'm going to read you a list of people who have lived this century. For each one, please tell me if you consider that person to be one of the people you admire most from this century; a person you admire, but not the most; a person you somewhat admire; or someone you do not admire at all...Here's Gallup's list along with my ratings, using their four-point system:
1. Mother Theresa - NOT
AGAINST: An Albanian witch obsessed with suffering, and making the suffering suffer more.
READ: 'How to Help the Poor,' 'The Diabolical Works of Mother Teresa,' 'Paris Hilton or Mother Teresa' and 'Christopher Hitchens on Mother Teresa.'
WATCH: Penn & Teller on the Albanian Witch - You Tube; and Penn & Teller on the Friends of the Albanian Witch. "I would describe mother Teresa as a fraud, a fanatic and a fundamentalist ... Everything everybody thinks they know about her is false. Not just most of the things ... all the things." - Hitchens.
2. Martin Luther King Jr.- ADMIRE
AGAINST: Religionist. Big government advocate. Opened the door to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.
FOR: "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character..." Magnificent!
3. John F. Kennedy - SOMEWHAT
FOR: Faced down Kruschev and won.
AGAINST: Big government state worshipper (e.g, "...ask what you can do for your country" ... bleech!); enmired the US in the Vietnam War.
LISTEN TO: Ayn Rand on Kennedy's 'Fascist New Frontier.'
4. Albert Einstein - ADMIRE MOST
AGAINST: Minor quibbles. Move along now, nothing to see here.
5. Helen Keller - NOT
AGAINST: Dripping wet, but hardly the worst.
FOR: Inspired Annie Sullivan to become a tremendous teacher; inspired a tremendous film, 'The Miracle Worker.'
6. Franklin D. Roosevelt - NOT. AT. ALL.
FOR: Winning WWII. Dying in time so Truman could face down Stalin at Potsdam.
AGAINST: Getting into WWII by dishonesty; losing the Cold War before it began; delivering 170 million people into communist slavery; extending the Depression for a decade; permanently fucking American money; ushering in the era of bloated government; inventing the United fucking Nations. Eleanor.
7. Billy Graham - NOT
AGAINST: Fake, fraud, phoney, religionist.
8. Pope John Paul II - SOMEWHAT
AGAINST: He's a goddamned Pope!
FOR: Helped inspire resistance to end the Cold War.
9. Eleanor Roosevelt - NOT
FOR: No redeeming features. Not one.
AGAINST: A complete oxygen thief.
10. Winston Churchill - SOMEWHAT
AGAINST: Tonypandy; Antwerp; Gallipoli; Yalta; Great Depression.
FOR: Oratory; resistance to Hitler's appeasement; pugnacity; inspiring Britons in their darkest hour; Chartwell.
11. Dwight Eisenhower - ADMIRE MOST
AGAINST: Let Soviets take Berlin, ensuring fifty years of German communist enslavement; as president, did nothing to arrest growth of big government.
FOR: D-Day; liberating Western Europe; being a 'do-nothing' president.
12. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis - NOT
AGAINST: Stole Aristotle Onassis from Maria Callas, who died of it.
13. Mahatma Gandhi - NOT
AGAINST: Retarded Indian industry for nearly forty years.
14. Nelson Mandela - ADMIRE
AGAINST: Wet liberal. Racial quotas. Collapse of law and order. Winnie.
FOR: Demonstrates that looking forward with optimism achieves more than looking back with hatred. Unlike nearly every black African leader who took power in similar circumstances, didn't turn into Robert Mugabe or Idi Amin.
15. Ronald Reagan - ADMIRE MOST
AGAINST: Failed to arrest growth of big government; Reagan Doctrine helped activate Al Qaeda. Nancy.
FOR: Revived spirit of freedom in America, and spirit of optimism around the world; straight talker; infuriated socialists; Reagan Doctrine dismantled the Soviet Empire and won the Cold War.
16. Henry Ford - ADMIRE
AGAINST: Hitler sympathiser
FOR: Model A; productive genius.
17. Bill Clinton - SOMEWHAT
AGAINST: Spent too little time with his pants down, and too much on big government programmes. Hilary.
FOR: Less big government than he seemed. Rolled back welfare. Helped defeat Al Gore.
18. Margaret Thatcher - ADMIRE MOST
AGAINST: Poll tax; handing back Hong Kong (turned out better than anyone hoped, though); supported Pinochet, apartheid South Africa, and John Major; didn't notice that Nigel Lawson's rocket fuel was fucking the British economy.
FOR: Revived spirit of freedom in Britain; broke the unions' stranglehold, and rolled back Britain's suffocating state socialism; resisted big government Europeans; infuriated nearly everyone; straight talker; famously resolute; helped win the Cold War, and Gulf War I.
* * * * *UPDATE 1: So who do you vote for? My own top five?
- Ayn Rand - the twentieth century's greatest and most passionate advocate of reason, individualism and capitalism.
- Frank Lloyd Wright - produced architecture that put man in possession of the earth, while all around him for much of the century seemed intent instead on tearing it all apart.
- Duke Ellington - the twentieth century's finest composer.
- Ludwig Von Mises - no finer thinker in economics has existed in any century.
- Thatcher - picture the pit of despair into which Britain and the world had sunk in 1979 - "No Future" sang the Sex Pistols just three years earlier -- and then remember the state of Britain and the world when she left office eleven years later, and contemplate the fact that Thatcher did more to turn around the latter quarter of the century for the better than anyone else.
UPDATE 2: Let's add more heroes as you list them, for which we can all give our assessments:
- Lech Walesa
- "Don't forget young Jan Palach, he burnt a torch against the Warsaw Pact."
- Vaclav Havel
- Kemal Ataturk. George makes the case: "Beat the crap out of the Anzacs, Poms, French, Greeks, and Russians. Was in full possesion of his troops and gunline at hostilities end. Survived death sentences by reactionary government and the attentions of mad mullahs. Defeated same. United Turkey after civil war. Gave universal franchise, outlawed islamic political influence, educated his people. Gave the imans compulsory foxtrot dance lessons to get them to loosen up, or else. Kept Turkey out of future wars, gave them 90 years [and counting] of progress and improved prosperity."