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The Demographics of Admiration
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The results from the annual Gallup survey of the top 10 men and women Americans admire most tracks fairly closely to the demographics of the country itself. Blacks are overrepresented, Hispanics underrepresented, whites and Asians proportionally so.

If we count Pope Francis as white, which we probably should since he is a second-generation Italian immigrant to Argentina, we get a list that is 65% white. The country is 60% non-Hispanic white. The adult population is a bit whiter still, so that 65% is almost perfectly representative of the country as a whole.

If we count Barack Obama as black, which is what almost everyone perceives him to be, and Kamala Harris as black, which is the racial identity she now tends to lead with, we get a list that is 25% black. Without Harris’ inclusion, the list is 20%. The country is 13% black, so either way blacks are overrepresented.

As is often the case, Hispanics are unambiguously underrepresented. Without stretching to make room for Pope Francis, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the sole Hispanic inclusion. While the list is only 5% Hispanic, the country is 19% Hispanic.

If instead of counting Harris as black we count her as (South) Asian, the list is 10% Asian. If she stays in the black column, the list is 5% Asian. The country is 6% Asian, so like the white figure, the list is in broadly in line with the demographics of the country.

Bernie Sanders is the lone Jewish inclusion. Technically that still qualifies as Jewish overrepresentation, since Jews constitute 2% of the nation’s population, but from a list of 20 it is as diminutive a representation as can be achieved without being entirely absent.

Where there is staggering overrepresentation is by occupation. Those working in politics utterly dominate the list, garnering 11 of the 20 spots. The only inventors to make the cut are Bill Gates and Elon Musk. The rest are religious figures or celebrities.

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  1. No Kyle Rittenhouse? When did they compile this data? What month?

  2. Anon[240] • Disclaimer says:

    Problem is, the respondents to the poll apparently needed to know, in advance, the name of the person. The poll is thus tantamount to “Name some really famous people in public life other than Kardashians.” Now, suppose the pollster supplied the possible names. Here’s a phrasing that would elicit the #1 pick: “Chen Shih-Chung, Taiwan’s Health Minister during Covid; 23 million population, 7 deaths.”

  3. Talha says:

    It is obvious what must be done; the star child of Trump and Michelle O must be sired…America demands it!

    So this guy…with more melanin:


    • Replies: @Daniel Williams
  4. Nodwink says:

    Every time this poll comes up, it infuriates me. It does confirm my model of human psychology: garbage in, garbage out. It might have been better to ask ‘Who is the person you have seen most on the TV this year?’ or ‘Name the first famous person who pops into your head’.

  5. @Daniel Williams

    Good damn question, Daniel, but here’s your answer. I’ve been polled recently, and let me tell you, there are no open-ended questions like “who do you admire”? If they don’t give you the choice, then “Kyle Rittenhouse” will not appear in the results.

    Not only do they not give you many choices, but the choices are stupid for most questions, because the questions themselves are stupid. In 45 minutes of answering questions, there was only ONE for which I could give a useful answer.

    This explains why only 2 results of the survey Mr. AE discusses here are not politicians. Who admires politicians to begin with?


    PS: Kyle Rittenhouse would be right on up there for me too.

    • Agree: Realist
    • Replies: @Neuday
  6. Neither Gates nor Musk are credited with inventing anything. Both are scammers, annointed by the Establishment and richly rewarded while actually contributing nothing of real value.

    • Agree: Adam Smith
  7. @Anon

    You write this as though all governments were given the same circumstances and asked to make choices, and the Taiwanese chose wisely. To the contrary, Taiwan (1) is a relatively homogenous population with a strong national identity that is used to living under threat and (2) is a not especially large island and (3) experienced SARS 1 and planned ahead and (4) was monitoring and distrustful of China from the outset. If “USA” was in the same position, “Fauci” and “Trump” would have made similar decisions.

    • Replies: @Dumbo
  8. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the sole Hispanic inclusion.

    This demonstrates that you are identifying a coincidence, not a pattern of racial/ethnic bias in answers. AOC is beloved of white leftists, not the general Hispanic population. My guess is that many Mexicans can’t even say who she is. If anything, they are probably responsible for getting the godforsaken Pope on the list rather than AOC. The black overrepresentation suggests that the list is a product of name recognition due to media fawning and not much else.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  9. @Talha

    he star child of Trump and Michelle O must be sired

    Wow, the American Kwisatz Haderach. We should insist that this occur.

    • LOL: Talha
    • Replies: @Twinkie
  10. Twinkie says:

    This demonstrates that you are identifying a coincidence, not a pattern of racial/ethnic bias in answers. AOC is beloved of white leftists, not the general Hispanic population.

    Similarly, Kamala Harris, a half-“Asian”, is hardly admired by those who are, say, Americans of East or Southeast Asian descent. Moreover, the names on the list are simply current and recognizable to “the average person.”

    Normally AE’s formulations have good quantitative basis, but this is really beyond stretching it.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  11. Twinkie says:
    @Daniel Williams

    Wow, the American Kwisatz Haderach. We should insist that this occur.

    Alas, like Jessica, Trump mated with someone else already and sired another. I guess that makes Don Trump, Jr. Muad’Dib.

    • LOL: Daniel Williams
  12. Wyatt says:
    @Daniel Williams

    Kyle “Disarming Leftists One at a Time” Rittenhouse
    Kyle “Empty the Mag on an Antifag” Rittenhouse
    Kyle “Making Pedos Dead-o’s” Rittenhouse
    Kyle “The Kenosha Kid” Rittenhouse
    Kyle Cleaninghouse
    Kyle of Duty
    Kyle “Click” Rittenhouse
    Kyle “Lead Minor” Rittenhouse
    Kyle “The 17 in 1776” Rittenhouse
    Kyle “Bullet Socialist” Rittenhouse
    Kyle “Just Doin’ God’s Work” Rittenhouse
    Kyle “5.56 if You Look at Kiddy Pics” Rittenhouse
    Kyle “Pedo Commie Jew Cleanup Crew” Rittenhouse

    • Troll: Audacious Epigone
  13. @Daniel Williams

    Are spree shooters worthy of Admiration now?

    I suppose Elliot Rodger had an intriguing manifesto. Honorable mentions to Misters Brevik & Tarrant as well.

    • Troll: Cloudbuster
  14. nebulafox says:

    I’m skeptical Harris is admired by anybody outside her own social milieu, race aside.

    • Replies: @RSDB
  15. nebulafox says:

    For the sake of novelty, Roger Penrose isn’t on the list, either. And he finally got his Nobel this year for the neat contribution of creating a stick to beat off anti-general relativity cranks on the Internet with.

  16. The only inventors to make the cut are Bill Gates and Elon Musk.

    What has Bill Gates ever invented?

  17. Dumbo says:

    Any way you look at it, it’s a pretty depressing list…

    I don’t know if this is because people have become numbed by celebrity-worship, and “being a lot of time in TV or the news = admirable”, or that really there are not that many options in the contemporary world in terms of admirable people.

    I don’t find anyone admirable in that list, and some are pretty despicable, except perhaps the Dalai Lama, and only because he said “Europe for Europeans” (or something to that effect).

  18. Dumbo says:

    “Fauci” and “Trump” would have made similar decisions.

    No they wouldn’t. Fauci and others medical bureaucrats like him are not on the people’s side:

    “These guys have an agenda, which is not the one we would like them to have”:

    Please note that this was recorded much before the current “Covid” “pandemic”, but during a similar scam, about Aids.

  19. Neuday says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Pollsters don’t allow open-ended questions because neither the people recording your answer nor the people entering your answer into the database can spell. AE would look at the data and wonder “Who the hell are Coil Westinghouse, Carl Wittenhose and Daryl Riddenhorse?”

    • LOL: Achmed E. Newman
  20. dfordoom says: • Website

    I’m shocked that Caitlyn Jenner didn’t make the list. Has anyone in history done more for women than Caitlyn Jenner?

    • Replies: @Adam Smith
  21. @dfordoom

    No one in history has done more for women than Caitlyn Jenner.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  22. @Anon

    Cambodia. Zero deaths from Covid. Uncountable deaths from basic lack of hygiene and other problems of a totally chaotic country. Tourism, especially Chinese tourism (from Wuhan), is also their main industry.

  23. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Adam Smith

    What a gal!

    People scoffed at the idea that a woman could win the men’s decathlon Olympic gold medal but Caitlyn proved the scoffers wrong. Girls can compete on equal terms with men! Girls can do anything!

    • Replies: @Adam Smith
    , @Dumbo
  24. anon[206] • Disclaimer says:

    The problem with the most admired person polls is that most people are stupid and will just mention the first famous person that comes to mind that they last heard mentioned on the televitz.

  25. @dfordoom

    Caitlyn shattered that glass ceiling!
    So inspirational!

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  26. RSDB says:

    Kamala Harris is supported by people from her ancestral village near Mannargudi in Thiruvarur:


    As far as I know Mannargudi is best known for the “Mannargudi mafia”, a political clique in the Tamil Nadu state government a few years back.

  27. @Supply and Demand

    Why did you capitalize admiration? Genuinely curious.

  28. Dumbo says:

    You laugh, but a recent BBC list of “100 best films directed by women”, includes “The Matrix” (1999), directed by “the Wachowski sisters”.

    Neither of them had even “transitioned” at the time, and I doubt that they fully did it even today (i.e. actually cutting their male organs).

    As trangendermania increases, I’m sure that in the future women will do even greater things…

  29. @Brian Reilly

    Gates invented a way to get himself paid for a mediocre operating system. What, did you believe inventors had to create value for others?

    Musk occasionally Twitter trolls a bit. That takes a certain inventiveness. 😉

  30. @Supply and Demand

    As one of the few people on earth to have read all those manifestos (okay only part of Breivik’s, which runs to hundreds or thousands of pages depending how it is formatted, and was mostly borrowed from elsewhere), I have to give top marks to Tarrant’s, a masterpiece of the post-modern, hovering incongruously between minutely documented cri de coeur and epic leg-pull.

    Rodger’s manifesto indeed had some intriguing vignettes of life Born Among the Top 1%: Hollywood Edition, but it ultimately foundered under the weight of solipsism, self pity and possible mental health indications.

    Also, we can’t really call the non-manifestoed Rittenhouse a “spree shooter” since he was literally running away from confrontations and only shot men who were actively trying to murder him.

  31. @Brian Reilly

    The operating software for the PC, battery-powered induction motor-driven transportation and travel into orbit is nothing? For whom? An imbecile?

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