Friday, March 06, 2009

Popularity Contest

A recent Harris poll rated the most popular heros. How romantic. Let's see the basics according Mr. Harris Poll:

What Makes a Hero?

The public gives multiple reasons to explain their choice of heroes. Those mentioned most often include:

• “Doing what’s right regardless of personal consequences” (89%);
• “Not giving up until the goal is accomplished” (83%)
• “Doing more than what other people expect of them” (82%)
• “Overcoming adversity” (81%), and
• “Staying level-headed in a crisis” (81%)

With that in mind, let's look at who was nominated. Again from the Harris poll:

These heroes were named spontaneously. Those surveyed were not shown or read a list of people to choose from. The Harris Poll was conducted online among a sample of 2,634 U.S. adults (aged 18 and over) by Harris Interactive® between January 12 and 19,2009.

The list below is in order of popularity. The first number after the name is their rating in 2001 and the second number after the name is their rating in 2009. For example, Obama was not on the list in 2001, but ranked #1 in 2009. Jesus ranked #1 in 2001, but got bumped to #2 by Obama in 2009. (More on that later...)

Base: All Adults Rank July 2001 January 2009
Barack Obama *, 1
Jesus Christ 1, 2
Martin Luther King 2, 3
Ronald Reagan 6, 4
George W. Bush 19, 5
Abraham Lincoln 7, 6
John McCain *, 7
John F. Kennedy 4, 8
Chesley Sullenberger *, 9
Mother Teresa 5, 10
God *, 11
Hillary Clinton 29, 12
Billy Graham *, =13
Franklin Delano Roosevelt 15, =13
Mahatma Gandhi *, 15
Colin Powell 3, =16
George Washington 13, =16
Bill Clinton 10, =16
Condoleeza Rice *, 19
Oprah Winfrey 14, 20
Sarah Palin *, 21
General George S. Patton *, =22
Bill Gates *, =22

*Less than 1% in 2001.
“=” prior to a number indicates a tie

So, it's all very interesting. And telling.

So, first, let me get this straight. Jesus and God are listed separately? Um, hello? Let's not vote for them if we don't even know who the person is, shall we?

Now that's settled, can we address the issue that God didn't even make it on the list in 2001? Wha-? I mean, was no one polled in 2001? I think it's so interesting that Jesus and God are seen as different people. I know most people don't believe Jesus is God, but still. It surprises me that God didn't make the list and Jesus did. At number one.

Now, can we talk about the qualifications for being a hero? As seen above, let's compare our #1 and #2 on just the first qualification:

• “Doing what’s right regardless of personal consequences” (89%); #1= Buzzer sound. Sorry, even the Dow Jones gives him a skunk score on this. #2 = "Ding" I'd say dying and rising for mankind qualifies Jesus as having done the right thing regardless of personal consequences.

Also, isn't it heart-warming to know that someone who wasn't even listed in 2001 has bumped Jesus to #2? Isn't it a further delight to know that this person is leading our nation? Moreover, how about the fact that Obama never disputed that he should be more popular than Jesus. Atleast, not that I can find.

Bless his honey heart. I don't want to be standing nearby when Harris poll #1 stands before Harris poll #2. It's not going to be pretty.

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