November 9, 2006

The 100 most influential Americans

The Atlantic is doing an issue on the 100 most influential Americans. You can vote (here) on which American you think has been the most influential. Things like this are always silly, but I thought about it and voted anyways.A couple of thoughts:1) The list is not very exhaustive and kind of skewed towards the founding (big props for having Marshall on the list though) and the modern day (Oprah?! who is out polling Marshall right now).2) It was refreshing to see JFK and men of his ilk absent from this list. While he was charismatic, he was not terribly influential. Too often the two are confused.3) For some reason Reagan has more votes than George Washington and Abraham Lincoln combined. Conservative blogs are probably routing readers to go vote for Reagan to mess with The Atlantic.So who did I vote for? No question about this one: Lincoln. We wouldn't have an America without him. But also, Lincoln was instrumental in defining the values that seem inherently American today (but weren't considered so at the founding).I'm sure Hammond backs me on this one.