As I keep repeating, my theory is that there are at least 3 major types of power in America: Popular power (the ability to win hearts), intellectual influence (the ability to win minds), and wealth (the ability to win wallets).
Popular power can be measured by various popularity contests. In my last post I focused on the Greatest American contest, but scientist and blogger Bruce Charlton was skeptical of such an unscientific poll. A rare scientific poll is the most admired man and woman survey conducted by the prestigious Gallup organization. Virtually every December since 1946, Gallup has been asking a representative sample of (non-institutionalized) American adults the following open-ended question (with no prompting or pre-selected list to choose from):
What man that you have heard or read about, living today in any part of the world, do you admire most? And who is your second choice?
The same question is then asked for the most admired women.
Because respondents are free to choose any of the billions of men and women on Earth they admire most, including family members, being the first or second choice of even 1% of Americans is an astonishing honor. It means that millions of adults, in the World’s sole superpower, rank you as the first or second man (or woman) on Earth they admire most, when they have billions of others to choose from!
For someone to admire you more than they admire over 99.9999999% of other men or women, means that they absolutely worship you. You are virtually God to them, and God, by definition, is all powerful, thus this list is a good measure of power; and indeed it would have to be when the sitting president of the United States, the Leader of the Free World, ranks number one virtually every single year. Because in a democracy, which America pretends to be, popularity = power.
The following chart shows the race of each of the most admired men as of December 2014. Because respondents were free to choose any man on Earth, several non-Americans (i.e. Pope Francis, Benjamin Netanyahu) also made the list, but I excluded them because the purpose is to see the racial distribution of America’s most popular, and how it compares with the racial distribution of America as a whole. But you can see the complete list here.
|percentage of american adults who worship this man (as of dec, 2014)||race|
|barack obama (self-made)||19||black|
|bill clinton (self-made)||3||non-hispanic, non-jewish white|
|rev. billy graham (self-made)||2||non-hispanic, non-jewish white|
|george w. bush||2||non-hispanic, non-jewish white|
|ben carson (self-made)||1||black|
|bill gates (self-made)||1||non-hispanic, non-jewish white|
|bill o’reilly (self-made)||1||non-hispanic, non-jewish white|
|george h.w. bush||1||non-hispanic, non-jewish white|
|mitt romney||1||non-hispanic, non-jewish white|
|joel osteen||1||non-hispanic, non-jewish white|
|thomas monson||0.5||non-hispanic, non-jewish white|
|donald trump||0.5||non-hispanic, non-jewish white|
|colin powell (self-made)||0.5||black|
|jimmy carter (self-made)||0.5||non-hispanic, non-jewish white|
|warren buffet (self-made)||0.5||non-hispanic, non-jewish white|
|ted cruz (self-made)||0.5||non-hispanic, non-jewish white|
|mike huckabee (self-made)||0.5||non-hispanic, non-jewish white|
|john mccain||0.5||non-hispanic, non-jewish white|
|clint eastwood (self-made)||0.5||non-hispanic, non-jewish white|
|glenn beck (self-made)||0.5||non-hispanic, non-jewish white|
|brad pitt (self-made)||0.5||non-hispanic, non-jewish white|
|newt gingrich (self-made)||0.5||non-hispanic, non-jewish white|
So as you can see, despite African Americans being 13% of America, they are 14% of America’s most worshiped men (three out of 22). Although Jews normally do spectacularly well on other measures of power (i.e. wealth and intellectual influence), when it comes to raw popular power, not single Jewish-American man is widely worshiped by Americans, nor is a single East Asian American man, or Indian American man. Only one of the 22 (5%), is Hispanic.
Now let’s look at the most admired women. Once again, several foreign women also appear (i.e. Malala Yousafzai, Princess Kate, Queen Elizabeth, Angela Merkel, J.K. Rowling, Aung San Suu Kyi) but I limited the chart below to Americans:
|percentage of american adults who worship this woman (as of Dec 2014)||race|
|hillary clinton||12||non-hispanice, non-jewish white|
|oprah winfrey (self-made)||8||black|
|condoleeza rice (self-made)||4||black|
|angelina jolie||2||non-hispanice, non-jewish white|
|sarah palin (self-made)||2||non-hispanice, non-jewish white|
|elizabeth warren (self-made)||1||non-hispanice, non-jewish white|
|laura bush||1||non-hispanice, non-jewish white|
|barbara bush||1||non-hispanice, non-jewish white|
|ellen degeneres (self-made)||1||non-hispanice, non-jewish white|
|beyonce knowles (self-made)||1||black|
|scarlett johansson (self-made)||1||jewish|
|michele bachmann (self-made)||0.5||non-hispanice, non-jewish white|
|barbara walters (self-made)||0.5||jewish|
|madeleine albright (self-made)||0.5||jewish|
Most popularity contests rank Oprah as the most worshiped woman in America, but on the Gallup poll, Oprah must settle for being the most worshiped self-made woman in America, because Hillary takes first place among women. The reason is probably because most popularity contests just ask Americans to say who they most admire regardless of gender, and Oprah is the only woman many people spontaneously name. However on the Gallup poll, Americans are forced to name a woman, so Hillary gets a lot of votes from men who would normally not name any woman at all.
The poll would have been better had they simply asked what living person do you admire, rather than asking it separately for men and women, but back in the 1940s when the poll began, probably no women at all would have been named had they not explicitly asked.
Of the 15 most worshiped women, four are black (27%) and three are Jewish (20%), and 0% are East Asian, Indian, or Hispanic.
Averaging across both America’s most worshiped men and the most worshiped women. 21% are black, 10% are Jewish, 3% are Hispanic, 0% are East Asian or Indian, and 66% are non-Hispanic White gentiles.