Friday, June 03, 2005
Discovery Channel's "Greastest American"
You may have heard that the Discovery Channel was doing a "Greatest American" program with the selection criterion being the very dubious resort to direct democracy via the internet. The list of the top 100 vote getters has been out for a while and it is mostly very bad, consider that out of the 42 presidents we have had the ones selected are the four on Mount Rushmore and every president from FDR to the present minus Gerald Ford. Other "great" political figures: Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, John Edwards, Hilary Clinton, Barbara Bush, Laura Bush, Michael Moore, Rush Limbaugh, and Barack Obama. There are some people of merit on the list like Thomas Edison, Chuck Yeager, Andrew Carnegie, Walt Disney, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Henry Ford, Audie Murphy, General Patton, Jonas Salk, Nikola Tesla, Alexander Graham Bell, The Wright Brothers, Sam Walton, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Donald Trump, Frederick Douglas, and Harriet Tubman.
Counting the three acceptable to great presidents this makes 22 candidates for the title Greatest American. The other 78, minus the 22 I've already mentioned, include such "greats" as Dr. Phil, Oprah, Madonna, Tom Hanks, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steven Spielberg, Martha Stewart, Pat Tillman, Elvis, Christopher Reeve, Brett Favre, George Lucas, Malcolm X, Hugh Hefner, Michael Jackson, Billy Graham, Tom Cruise, Ellen DeGeneres, Cesar Chavez, Bill Cosby, Muhammed Ali, Maya Angelou, and Lucille Ball. Is the problem with democracy obvious enough yet?
Voting for the greatest begins June 5th and I would encourage everyone to vote as often as possible. For me, the choice is a no-brainer, I will be voting for George Washington.