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GHFOAT: Thomas Jefferson vs. Benjamin Franklin

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Great Eight

Thomas Jefferson
24
77%
Benjamin Franklin
7
23%
 
Total votes : 31

Postby The_Dude » Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:42 am

VaderFin wrote:Hearing so many people bitch about 2 of the greatest Americans to ever live I thought this one was going to be alot closer.


I don't understand how these are the two greatest Americans to ever live - the supporting evidence that has been offered is extremely thin.

There is no supporting evidence for Franklin excepting public nostalgia.

TJ should take this in a stomp, because he has a much more impressive public resume. However, his accomplishments were decidedly limited when it came to the framing of the Constitution. The biggest thing he has going for him is the formation of a party of opposition to the Federalists, who were a bit too imperialistic for his tastes, his opposition to the new Constitution, which led to a compromise (which Madison actually wrote) called the Bill of Rights, and the Louisiana Purchase (which happened under his watch, but was more of a political mistake by the French than anything else).

So, the question is, what is importance?

By any objective criterion of accomplishments, and in particular, political accomplishments, TJ lags behind Washington, Madison, Hamilton, Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. (and probably FDR, but I'm sure that will elicit responses from my right-wing-zealot friends here at the cafe, so I won't go so far as to suggest it).
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Postby knapplc » Fri Feb 17, 2006 12:47 pm

The_Dude wrote:
VaderFin wrote:Hearing so many people bitch about 2 of the greatest Americans to ever live I thought this one was going to be alot closer.


I don't understand how these are the two greatest Americans to ever live - the supporting evidence that has been offered is extremely thin.

There is no supporting evidence for Franklin excepting public nostalgia.

TJ should take this in a stomp, because he has a much more impressive public resume. However, his accomplishments were decidedly limited when it came to the framing of the Constitution. The biggest thing he has going for him is the formation of a party of opposition to the Federalists, who were a bit too imperialistic for his tastes, his opposition to the new Constitution, which led to a compromise (which Madison actually wrote) called the Bill of Rights, and the Louisiana Purchase (which happened under his watch, but was more of a political mistake by the French than anything else).

So, the question is, what is importance?

By any objective criterion of accomplishments, and in particular, political accomplishments, TJ lags behind Washington, Madison, Hamilton, Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. (and probably FDR, but I'm sure that will elicit responses from my right-wing-zealot friends here at the cafe, so I won't go so far as to suggest it).

Sit down, Duder - I agree with you. Martin Luther King, Jr. should be in these finals before either Jefferson or Franklin, as should Lincoln.

Like I said earlier, this bracket was messed up from the very first vote.
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Postby VaderFin » Fri Feb 17, 2006 1:06 pm

knapplc wrote:
The_Dude wrote:
VaderFin wrote:Hearing so many people bitch about 2 of the greatest Americans to ever live I thought this one was going to be alot closer.


I don't understand how these are the two greatest Americans to ever live - the supporting evidence that has been offered is extremely thin.

There is no supporting evidence for Franklin excepting public nostalgia.

TJ should take this in a stomp, because he has a much more impressive public resume. However, his accomplishments were decidedly limited when it came to the framing of the Constitution. The biggest thing he has going for him is the formation of a party of opposition to the Federalists, who were a bit too imperialistic for his tastes, his opposition to the new Constitution, which led to a compromise (which Madison actually wrote) called the Bill of Rights, and the Louisiana Purchase (which happened under his watch, but was more of a political mistake by the French than anything else).

So, the question is, what is importance?

By any objective criterion of accomplishments, and in particular, political accomplishments, TJ lags behind Washington, Madison, Hamilton, Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. (and probably FDR, but I'm sure that will elicit responses from my right-wing-zealot friends here at the cafe, so I won't go so far as to suggest it).

Sit down, Duder - I agree with you. Martin Luther King, Jr. should be in these finals before either Jefferson or Franklin, as should Lincoln.

Like I said earlier, this bracket was messed up from the very first vote.


The majority of the people disagree. Everyone has different opinions but I bet if you surveyed a random group of 1000 people and asked them to name the 5 greatest Americans both Franklin and Jefferson would probably make 90% of the lists. YOU may not like that but YOU would be in the minority. I'm not going to argue if majority makes right or not but to be surprised that the majority of people voted for these guys is silly.
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Postby knapplc » Fri Feb 17, 2006 1:16 pm

VaderFin wrote:
The majority of the people disagree. Everyone has different opinions but I bet if you surveyed a random group of 1000 people and asked them to name the 5 greatest Americans both Franklin and Jefferson would probably make 90% of the lists. YOU may not like that but YOU would be in the minority. I'm not going to argue if majority makes right or not but to be surprised that the majority of people voted for these guys is silly.

Right. I'm not saying they're wrong for their opinion, I'm just saying I disagree. I'm not trying to denigrate their opinion. I will, however, say that I think many of these votes are based off of the homogenized version of U.S. history we're all fed in High School/College and not necessarily off of actual fact.

To further that point, I'd be willing to bet that if you surveyed a random group of 1000 people and asked them to name the last ten presidents 90% of them would get them wrong. Lack of knowledge by the majority does not make the majority opinion right, just equally misinformed.

That's all I'm saying. ;-D
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Postby VaderFin » Fri Feb 17, 2006 1:31 pm

knapplc wrote:
VaderFin wrote:
The majority of the people disagree. Everyone has different opinions but I bet if you surveyed a random group of 1000 people and asked them to name the 5 greatest Americans both Franklin and Jefferson would probably make 90% of the lists. YOU may not like that but YOU would be in the minority. I'm not going to argue if majority makes right or not but to be surprised that the majority of people voted for these guys is silly.

Right. I'm not saying they're wrong for their opinion, I'm just saying I disagree. I'm not trying to denigrate their opinion. I will, however, say that I think many of these votes are based off of the homogenized version of U.S. history we're all fed in High School/College and not necessarily off of actual fact.

To further that point, I'd be willing to bet that if you surveyed a random group of 1000 people and asked them to name the last ten presidents 90% of them would get them wrong. Lack of knowledge by the majority does not make the majority opinion right, just equally misinformed.

That's all I'm saying. ;-D


We are asking people to vote on something and then 1. Not giving them any info on it other then a couple blurbs 2. Assuming they have any knowledge on the subject.

Take 1 and 2 and it gives you a popularity contest. Why anyone would be surprised by the results of a popularity contest I don't get.
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Postby knapplc » Fri Feb 17, 2006 1:51 pm

VaderFin wrote:

We are asking people to vote on something and then 1. Not giving them any info on it other then a couple blurbs 2. Assuming they have any knowledge on the subject.

Take 1 and 2 and it gives you a popularity contest. Why anyone would be surprised by the results of a popularity contest I don't get.

My amazement comes from the ease with which information on these subjects can be gained here, hereand here, but is apparently not used. This is more of an observation on my part than any sort of condemnation of the voters.
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Postby VaderFin » Fri Feb 17, 2006 8:17 pm

Thomas Jefferson wins 22-7.
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