A poll was released by the USA Today newspaper that asked Americans whom they most admired. (Note: I'm sure they didn't say "whom"). The answer came back thusly:
Barack Obama - 34%
George W. Bush - 5%
John McCain - 3%
This poll tells me two things:
One, five percent of Americans can be sold anything and like it. That's why people still smoke cigarettes and Oprah is popular. Who still admires Bush? Do they know what admire means?
Two, the poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent. That means that it's statistically conceivable (Kimmy) that nobody admires John McCain. That, I can believe.
I don't know what happened to the other 58%. Chances are, it was split up between Sarah Palin, Jesus and Satan. 19.33% each.
I've never been polled, except for that time several years ago that I was called and asked about my television viewing habits. That one took a while. I'm not sure whom I'd say I admired, especially if I had to pick someone living from a list of celebrities or politicians. I have a difficult time admiring somebody I don't know. I like a lot of celebrities, athletes and politicians, but there's a big difference between liking someone and admiring them.
I'd guess that most people answered someone they know, like their mother or father or the person who runs the company they work for. If you allowed those types of answers, Obama wouldn't stand a chance. My mother has had a much more difficult road in life than him, and she's managed to live 84 years, mostly on her own, without having to declare bankruptcy or sue somebody.
When she was a kid, a nurse dropped ether in her eye and her eyesight was forever altered. Today, there would be a lawsuit and your health care premiums would increase because the hospital had to fork over a half million dollars in some accident claim. In 1935, it was called an accident.
In 1967, her husband died after a long illness. She hadn't worked since the war years when she was a stamper in a shirt factory, back when the size of a shirt was stamped on the tail. She supported a house with a child by cleaning other people's houses, and later got jobs in local factories making things like padded toilet seats and chairs.
She still manages to get around, better than most people half her age, and works a few hours a day at a local grammar school herding kids in and out of the cafeteria. She doesn't make much, but she gets bigger raises than I do and the job keeps her moving around and so far, she's still healthy enough to do for herself.
Those are the kind of people you admire. You don't admire the son of a president who had his road paved for him. You don't admire a guy who went to prep school and followed his father and brother into a military academy, got shot down and used that experience to catapult him into politics.
Those are the kind of people you feel sorry for, because they didn't make something better of themselves.