The way I see it, there are two possible interpretations of Gallup’s 2010 lists of the men and women most admired by Americans.
The cynic’s interpretation: A list including Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter as the most admired men is evidence that Americans are imbeciles who are prone to the servile temptation, admire ruthless power wielders, and rejoice in the expansion of government.
The idealist’s interpretation: A list including George W. Bush, Nelson Mandela, Pope Benedict XVI, Rev. Billy Graham, and the Dalai Lama testifies to the value that Americans place on the qualities of humility, religiosity, and perseverance in the face of adversity.
The only thing that I can say for certain is that Ricochet’s top 10 most admired men and women lists would drastically differ from Gallup’s. Shall we give it a go?
Name one man and one woman that you have heard or read about, living today in any part of the world, that you admire most.
My own selections: Peter Robinson and Margaret Thatcher
(Yes, I know -- naming Peter may be a tacky, self-referential, and seemingly suck-up thing to do, but my selection stands.)