Saturday, December 10, 2011

Who Do Americans Like? Me! or Maybe You? Jesus!!

Maybe the political process is broken, and partisans all hate the other side. Who is the person that everyone likes?  Happily, everyone likes someone -- themselves.

A polling company called Public Policy Polling did the study, and found that nearly everyone likes Abraham Lincoln and Jesus -- besides themselves.  I adjusted their numbers so that only people who have an opinion are registered. For example, people who don't know who Mahatma Gandhi are not counted in the Mahatma Gandhi total.

Caravaggio's Narcissus
But people like themselves most. It is too easy to quip that Americans are narcissistic, since I suspect 99% of the world's population think highly of themselves. There are a lot of people who hate themselves too. That would be another interesting poll. 

Everyone on the list, except for yourself, is dead -- although Steve Jobs and Nelson Mandela have not been dead that long. 

Why don't we like anyone alive? Some of the answer is the rapid communication we have. Spreading information around makes us think that no one is better than anyone else.  There is always someone to knock down everyone else -- look at the way the Republican presidential candidates keep knocking each other off.  People learn quickly that their hero is just a human like them. 

Superbowl quarterback Aaron Roger does pretty well, at least in Wisconsin with 89%. 

Another interesting statistic is that Santa only has an 84% favorable rating. I will assert that Santa is not a historical person  -- sorry kids. The 21st Century Santa is more complicated than my Holiday English Toffee Recipe. He is a concoction of myth, religion, a poem, a song, and a Coca-Cola ad. He is as real as Ronald McDonald.  How real is Ronald McDonald?