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Most Admirable People In The United States Today

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This is to counterbalance the other thread. We need a place to discuss people whom we admire, rather than just tearing down people we despise. And don't go listing all the Objectivist philosophers, since they're pretty much given. Try to expand your list beyond Bernstein, Brook, and Peikoff.

Some of the people I admire, despite their flaws:

Thomas Sowell

Larry Elder

Neal Boortz

Condi Rice

Bill Cosby

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A few admirable people that come to mind:

Rudy Guiliani: His response during the attacks of September 11 is the gold standard of how a leader should respond during a crisis (take note of that Ray Nagin).

Gary Sinise: One of the few Hollywood actors who supported the war to liberate Iraq from Saddam Hussein, he has quietly set up a charity for dispensing school supplies to Iraqi children. Hollywood needs more people like him.

David Horowitz: The radical left's most infamous defector. Horowitz is a former Marxist who gradually "saw the light" and has since been a very insightful political writer and critic of the radical left. His autobiography Radical Son is an important book that sheds light on the real legacy of the political activism of the 1960s.

Edited by Fenriz
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I'll definitely agree with Giuliani and Horowitz. I've always liked Gary Sinise as an actor, but didn't know anything of his politics until you mentioned it. As long as we're talking actors, I'd like to add Drew Carey.

From what I can tell about Horowitz, he's sort of on the Rush Limbaugh wing of the right wing movement, but I still respect him because of his actions. While I certainly disagree with many of his stances, his actions are dedicated pretty much entirely to ending the stranglehold that Marxism has on American universities.

I respect him in the same way I respect MLK, Jr. Despite the fact that he was a Communist sympathizer, his actions were geared towards ending racism.

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Rush Limbaugh. Yes, I know. He has his philosophical flaws and sometimes says things regarding certain issues that I don't agree with. I just simply roll my eyes on those because they are an exception to the overall context of someone who has been a big value to me over the years.

Rush's explicit philosophy may not be everything we like - but his sense of life is just fabulous and in such stark contrast with today's thoroughly abysmal and nihilistic pop culture. Listen to him talk about success and achievement sometime - it is often very inspiring. He is certainly a man of achievement himself. He rose from being an obscure, failed disc jockey to being the person who completely revolutionized and became the economic salvation of the then-dying medium of AM radio. After the Reagan Administration's repeal of the hideous so-called "Fairness Doctrine" it was Rush who single-handedly broke the back of the decades old Liberal Media Establishment and paved the way for what we now call the New Media. It was Rush who identified and created the mass audience that Fox News came along to capitalize on. Without Rush, we probably would have eventually seen the rise of websites such as the Drudge Report and the blogosphere. But it was the mass audience that Rush created and others expanded that provided them with a huge jump start.

On a personal level, Rush's wonderful and unique sense of humor has, at times, been a literal lifeline for me. I remember becoming quite depressed during the early days of the Clinton Administration. Here we had a bunch of nihilistic 1960s hippie types being appointed to high levels of the power. We had that evil creature Evita.....uhmmmm...... I mean Hillary......going around trying to socialize the entire medical system which everyone had assumed was a foregone conclusion. These evil creatures were actually gloating that they now had control over the military which they have always sought to undermine. The foreign policy implications were frightening (and would be largely realized a decade later) and, of course, the prospect of living under a medical system similar to that in Canada where people needlessly die because of it was especially frightening. Rush's response to them? He laughed at them and pointed out what pathetic and ultimately small creatures such hippies really are. I knew what Ayn Rand had said about evil being impotent and "many, small and smutty" (I am quoting from memory, so it may not be exact) and agreed with it. But sometimes knowledge like that is hard to keep in mind in the face of outrageously evil people that one can only hold with utter contempt. Rush, through his humor and caricatures demonstrated that such people are pathetic, evasive and impotent and, in doing so, enabled me to maintain my "benevolent universe premise." For that, I shall be forever grateful.

Another thing I will be forever grateful to him for. It was Rush, more than any other single person, who was responsible for the defeat of HillaryHealthCare. As I said, that we were going to have socialized medicine was a foregone conclusion in early 1993 - and, had things been the way the were a few years earlier, it would have happened. There were plenty of people in the country who would have been opposed to it. But do you think that fact would have ever been allowed to be made known by the Leftist media? There would have been silence about any genuine opposition but lots of media hype showing the crowds of cheering union thugs, professional protesters and Democratic Party activists greeting the coast-to-coast bus tour devised to sell socialized medicine to the American public. Had they been allowed to get away with it, such news coverage would have not only led politicians to believe that there was popular support for the program, it would have been very demoralizing to its opponents. It was Rush who made it known to the American people that the protesters at the very first stop on Hillary's tour vastly outnumbered the supporters and that Hillary's speech was interrupted by calls of "Whitewater! Whitewater!" when organizers turned on large fountains in order to drown out the voices of protesters. It was Rush who made people aware that there existed organized opposition to every single stop on the tour and let people know who to get in contact with. As a result, the crowds of opponents grew larger at each subsequent stop making the entire bus tour a total disaster for the Clintons. The failure of the bus tour is largely responsible for the fact that a Democratic Congress was not willing to touch HillaryHealthCare with a ten foot pole. For that, we all have Rush to thank.

Tony Blair - I am sure this man has views in many areas that I would consider to be quite hideous. But I consider the man's support of the United States in our war effort to be profoundly admirable. I also heard second hand on the radio that he recently made some critical remarks of the Kyoto Treaty on the same stage as Bill Clinton at a gathering of the Leftist intellectual types. Now that takes GUTS, if true. If one considers the fact that Blair is the head of the pinko socialist Labor Party and that he is a head of state in a European context - well, that means the man has no choice but to have to deal with evasive and evil people all of the time and has many such people as constituents. Whatever flaws he has in his views, for someone in his position to speak out and stand up for some of the things he has requires lots of moxie and integrity.

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Those are good points about Rush Limbaugh, although his religious conservatism is enough to make me sick.

And I, too, admire Tony Blair. I know little of his politics, but I do know that he has been staunch in his willingness to wage the War on Terror. Then there was that God-forsaken deal with Africa he had a couple months ago, but I think his stance on terror outweighs his weakness on foreign aid.

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Those are good points about Rush Limbaugh, although his religious conservatism is enough to make me sick.

My way of looking at Rush's religious conservatism is to look at it from the perspective of how intense it is compared with others on the Right, especially in talk radio. Sean Hannity, for example, is much more of a religious conservative than is Rush. For awhile there was a national program carried by the local talk station I listen with a host named Mike Gallagher who is MUCH, MUCH, more of a religious conservative than is Rush.

A couple of weeks ago when the approach of Hurricane Rita was big news here in the Fort Worth/Dallas area, a local host threw out as the topic of his program the following question: "Do Hurricanes Katrina and Rita mean that God is angry with the United States?" I kid you not. The host was initially asked that question by his twelve year old son and he thought the question was profound and worthy of consideration. People actually called in on both sides of the issue. I was just waiting to hear: "And up next, we have a caller on satellite phone from an undisclosed location near the Pak-Afghani border. Welcome to the David Gold program on WBAP, Osama - what is your opinion on whether God is angry with the United States?"

One would NEVER hear something like that on Rush's program.

Rush certainly does talk about things from a religious conservative perspective from time to time. But I have noticed that is usually only in response to such issues being in the news. He usually does not set about promoting such an agenda so much as he happens to agree with it. I would characterize Rush as primarily an economic conservative who happens to have no serious philosophical disagreement with the religious conservatives. For example, I have never heard Rush suddenly, out of the blue, start talking about his relationship with God and go on about it for a long period of time. I have heard him out of the blue start talking about economic opportunity and how people should live up to their full potential and go on about it for a long period of time.

I also guess part of it depends on where one lives. I live in Texas - so I know lots of religious conservatives and am used to being around them. Now, if I go up to Massachusetts and find myself among people who think Ted Kennedy and Benedict Arnol..... er, I mean, John Kerry.... are simply wonderful and sane, well, that is something I am not used to dealing with and find extremely grating.

Ultimately, I miss Dr. Peikoff's radio program. It was always interesting from a philosophical standpoint, of course But towards the end, his abilities purely from the standpoint of being an effective and engaging broadcaster really evolved and, I think, had he been able to continue with the program, it would have eventually found itself in successful syndication.

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My vote's for Margaret Thatcher. Longest serving PM in the UK's history (besides Blair now that he's been voted in for a third time)

Here's something of what Wiki had to say about Maggie's politics called Thatcherism:

Thatcherism is characterised by a free market economy perhaps more closely associated with Victorian Liberalism in the United Kingdom, monetarist economic policy, privatisation of state-owned industries, low taxation, opposition to trade unions, nationalism, centralism, as well as checks on the size of the Welfare State and local government. Thinkers closely associated with Thatcherism include Keith Joseph and Milton Friedman. Thatcherism may be compared with Reaganomics and Rogernomics.

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thatcherism

And here's some quotes:

If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.

Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and importance, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.

Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.

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ad·mire ( P ) Pronunciation Key (d-mr)

v. ad·mired, ad·mir·ing, ad·mires

v. tr.

1. To regard with pleasure, wonder, and approval.

2. To have a high opinion of; esteem or respect.

3. Chiefly New England & Upper Southern U.S. To enjoy (something): “I just admire to get letters, but I don't admire to answer them” (Dialect Notes).

4. Archaic. To marvel or wonder at.

Upon some introspection, I don't "regard with pleasure, wonder, and approval" anyone. I don't have a "high opinion of; esteem or respect" anyone who you would know. And I certainly don't "marvel or wonder at" anyone of note today.

Joel. Joel is my best friend and of great help to me in hammering out my plans. That is the only man I admire.

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Upon some introspection, I don't "regard with pleasure, wonder, and approval" anyone. I don't have a "high opinion of; esteem or respect" anyone who you would know. And I certainly don't "marvel or wonder at" anyone of note today.

Wow, that must really suck. Admiration is one of the great joys in life.

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One would NEVER hear something like that on Rush's program.

You are right. Rush doesn't believe in things like that. Also, Rush is not a Bible thumper. In fact, I get the impression that's an anathema to him.

Rush certainly does talk about things from a religious conservative perspective from time to time. But I have noticed that is usually only in response to such issues being in the news.

I really think that Rush has become stronger in pushing religion of late than he used to be. I remember listening to him in the 1990s and you'd rarely hear him talk about Christianity or god. Now it's become a regular theme. I don't know, but his brother may have had something to do with it, since he wrote a book on how Christianity is under attack in America (I hope!).

I've always has the impression that Rush was implicitly a capitalist in the good sense more than the vast majority of conservatives. You can tell that he really values achievers and achievement. He thinks other conservatives are on board with him on this, but I strongly suspect they are not. Their passions lie elsewhere. Alas, the religion Rush upholds is poison to the pro-capitalist ideas he promotes and it is this side of him that is exhibiting a stronger influence of late.

Still, all of the positive virtues you mention are true and I've often take great value from that. His line before commercials "Time for another obscene profits break" always brings a smile to my face. You just don't hear that any where else. Could you imagine Bill Bennet saying that? How about George "I'm an altruistic weenie" Bush?

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He did say, "anyone you would know" . . .
And he did say "Upon some introspection, I don't "regard with pleasure, wonder, and approval" anyone." I don't know him personally, but what I was trying to get at is that perhaps a lack of admiration for anyone (excluding one's self from the people denoted by "anyone") stems from a lack of admiration for one's self. I know personally that I found more people worth admiring once I identified the reasons I esteem myself.

I am the standard by which admiration is set. I guess I "admire" myself in the same way one can measure a ruler using itself.
I'm not too sure what you mean here. Are you arbitrarily setting yourself as the standard for admiration, or are there reasons outside and independet of your person in particular that are applicable to all men and that grant one the status of admirable? Any thug can arbitrarily say he's the standard of admiration, and so any thug can say that asking him if he esteems himself is silly because he is the standard of admiration.

Discover the reasons why you esteem yourself, if you do indeed esteem yourself in a non-arbitrary fashion, and perhaps you will find other men that possess these qualities.

Let me toss in Jack Welch, former CEO of GE who turned that company 180 degrees toward profitability.

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I'm going with Pancho Villa on this one. Someone I admire is my roommate. He is a pre-med student with a 3.5+ GPA, who is also a captain of the football team, and an officer in the corps. By contrast, he has befriended me because I refuse to let anything like race get in the way of a good friendship. I'm white, he's black. We're in South Carolina, racism is present. I was appalled and insulted when one of my southern friends said everyone was a racist to some degree. My roommate finally found a white person who doesn't look down on him because he is "ghetto" or his priorities lie with the football team.

My best friends are the ones who make me a better person, and the ones who I make a better person.

As for celebrities, I will add Richard Branson. His youthful enthusiasm for his work is an inspiration that anyone can look up too.

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Generals H. Norman Schwarzkopf and Tommy Franks. Scharzkopf was a decorated (purple heart and silver star among others) veteran of Vietnam in addition to successfully running Gulf War I. Franks is also a Vietnam veteran and was a "soldier's soldier" from what I hear. I don't know anything about their politics or personal lives, but both men excelled at being and commanding soldiers.

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I'm not too sure what you mean here. Are you arbitrarily setting yourself as the standard for admiration, or are there reasons outside and independet of your person in particular that are applicable to all men and that grant one the status of admirable? Any thug can arbitrarily say he's the standard of admiration, and so any thug can say that asking him if he esteems himself is silly because he is the standard of admiration.

Discover the reasons why you esteem yourself, if you do indeed esteem yourself in a non-arbitrary fashion, and perhaps you will find other men that possess these qualities.

Ahh, no discussion between Objectivists is complete without a "Why? How? What for?" bull session.

This is a good point, I think, but I have this question for Felipe: even if people possess objectively good qualities, do you admire them if they don't have them more than yourself? I would say, emphatically, no, apart from one exception: you can admire members of the opposite sex that are your equals, because their being a potential mate adds a bit. :) Otherwise, you might like them, but you're hardly going to look up to them.

So, the things that you admire people for are objective, but who you will admire is determined by your own qualities.

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