Sam Burnham, Curator
Gallup's most admired polls have been talked about a lot in recent days. There has been a lot of to-do over former President Obama being named Most Admired Man while Hillary Clinton was named Most Admired Woman. This has really had me thinking about admiration and how why we admire people.
First, I have to address one thing. The vote tallying process. This actually gave me a little more faith in America. The thought that Presidents Obama and Trump are the most admired men in America was a little disappointing. Then seeing that Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, and Oprah Winfrey are the three most admired women, I'm noticing a pattern here. But then look at the numbers. President Obama picked up 17% of the vote and President Trump 14%. So the two "most admired" men didn't get 1/3 of the vote combined. Pope Francis came in third with 3%. And folks gripe about the Electoral College. Among the women, Clinton topped the list at 9%, Michelle Obama received 7%, and Winfrey 4%.
Why this predictable list? Why is it that polarized politics drive politicians toward the top of the list? And is it really accurate to describe such paltry support as being "most admired?"
Forget it. We can do better and should.
Here's a (ruthlessly abridged) list of folks we admire in 2017:
Brandon Chonko: Farmer, Carpenter, Hog Smoker
Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire