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Airbornelawyer
02-27-2004, 19:23
New question (not included in the other thread because it is not about Presidents).

Who were the greatest Americans never to be President?

Limit yourself to five nominees. The choices do not have to be political figures, but should be people whose influence was on the nation as a whole, and not some discrete field. The ideal nominees would be people who weren't just great Americans, but people who helped shape American society and/or what it means to be an American.

brewmonkey
02-27-2004, 20:02
Colin Powell would certainly be on the top of my list.

Benjamin Franklin
George S. Patton Jr.
Walt Disney
Alexander Graham Bell

CommoGeek
02-27-2004, 20:06
Colin Powell
Ben Franklin
George C. Marshall
Robert E. Lee

Weazle23
02-27-2004, 20:17
Martin Luther King Jr.
Elenore Roosevelt
Henry Ford
Thomas Edison
David Crockett

The Reaper
02-27-2004, 20:21
Benjamin Franklin
Alexander Hamilton
John Jay
John C. Calhoun
Douglas MacArthur

The Reaper
02-27-2004, 20:30
Not to denigrate anyones selections, but some of the responses reflect either a good sense of humor, a serious lack of historical study, or some twisted socialist-liberal slant I have not detected here before.

Success as a military leader, an industrial magnate, an inventor, an actor, or a sports hero do not necessarily imbue one with the qualities desirous in a President.

George C. Marshal was an excellent answer, and I wish I had mentioned him. Thanks CommoGeek.

TR

Doc
02-27-2004, 20:38
George C. Marshall would be the man at the top of my list. Good pick.

Henry Ford is a good pick too.

Dr Jonas Salk, inventor of Polio vaccine.

Martin L. King.

Ross Perot.

brownapple
02-28-2004, 06:24
The ideal nominees would be people who weren't just great Americans, but people who helped shape American society and/or what it means to be an American.

John Wayne

Henry Ford

Charlie Chaplin

Doolittle

Benjamin Franklin

Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett (not their actual acts, the stories told).

Lewis and Clarke


Note that perception may be at least as important as reality, and the question does not say anything about them being potentially good presidents.

Air.177
02-28-2004, 10:12
Originally posted by Airbornelawyer

Limit yourself to five nominees. The choices do not have to be political figures, but should be people whose influence was on the nation as a whole, and not some discrete field. The ideal nominees would be people who weren't just great Americans, but people who helped shape American society and/or what it means to be an American.

Since one could take Great in the above passage to mean larger than life, and since he did shape American society as a whole during his heyday, how about
Al Capone?

And since I am the son of an 18B,
how about John Browning or Richard Gatling?

Airbornelawyer
03-01-2004, 15:04
Originally posted by Air.177
And since I am the son of an 18B,
how about John Browning or Richard Gatling?
A better choice would probably be Eli Whitney. His invention of machinery for making rifles (and eventually other tools) with interchangeable parts revolutionized warfare and industry. Add in the cotton gin, and his inventions may have both helped cause the Civil War (by changing the economics of slavery) and made it deadlier (by making guns a manufactured item, rather than a crafted one).

Browning, Gatling and Samuel Colt are more limited to their discrete field, so they don't fit the criteria.

Roguish Lawyer
03-01-2004, 15:15
How about John Marshall?

DunbarFC
03-01-2004, 15:59
Sam Adams ( and not for the beer )

Thomas Paine

Barry Goldwater

Roguish Lawyer
03-01-2004, 16:01
Re John Marshall:

http://www.landmarkcases.org/mcculloch/marshalllegacy.html

Airbornelawyer
03-01-2004, 17:33
And here I was waiting to see all the responses before weighing in, and you steal one of my main ones! OK, my list:

1. Benjamin Franklin - author, publisher, scientist, inventor, diplomat. politician, America's greatest Renaissance Man

2. John Marshall - Veteran of Valley Forge; Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1801 to 1835, he is essentially the father of judicial review

3. George Mason - author of Virginia's Declaration of Rights, model for the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights; one of the fathers of the Constitution.

4. Alexander Hamilton - Another Valley Forge veteran, one of the authors of the Federalist Papers; first Treasury Secretary; stifler of Aaron Burr's political ambitions and stopper of Aaron Burr's bullet.

5. George C. Marshall - Wartime leadership, post-war diplomacy

Honorable Mentions:

Thomas Paine
John Jay
Eli Whitney
Henry Clay
Frederick Douglass
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
Salmon P. Chase (the guy on the $10,000 bill)
Thomas Alva Edison
Henry Ford
Martin Luther King, Jr.

NousDefionsDoc
03-01-2004, 17:55
My Dad (he got up and went to work every day at a crappy job without complaining once or taking a sick day - still does at 69)

Every American POW/MIA from every war

Any American that would rather work at anything than accept 10 cents of welfare because they are able bodied.

Any American single mom working two or more jobs to keep from going on the dole and still raises a respectful contributing future member of society.

Any American that served voluntarily in the military or public service despite knowing they "could do better".

Any "challenged" American that overcomes the odds.

Ok, I did six. FTFSI

Honorable Mention - not Americans
Kurds
Sweatshop workers
:D

Airbornelawyer
03-01-2004, 18:21
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
Any American that served voluntarily in the military or public service despite knowing they "could do better". I believe the phrase you may be looking for is "I had other priorities than military service"; now that the BS brouhaha over President Bush's service seems to have run its course, look for VP Cheney's words to come back to haunt him and the ticket.

I like Kurds and sweatshop workers, but for non-Americans having the greatest influence on America, the clear winner is the French. They helped us immeasurably in our Revolution and then showed us in theirs what not to do when creating a new order.

But that is getting away from the choosing of an individual. The non-American individual who probably most influenced (and continues to influence) what it means to be an American, though, was also French - Alexis de Tocqueville.

NousDefionsDoc
03-01-2004, 18:25
No, I meant more money or didn't need help with college.

Sacamuelas
03-01-2004, 18:39
As far as the "others", I would say any American that pays taxes without cheating, votes, obeys and respcts the rule of law, helps others whenever he/she can, supports/defends our country against all other nations, and who follows NDD's other guidelines if they happen to fall into that specific catagory in life.

honorable mentions:
-oppressors of the peasants in foreign lands
-Any and all Iragi people who are actually helping our troops
-Businesses exporting low skill jobs to prepare our economy for the next generation of innovation and technology.
:p

NousDefionsDoc
03-01-2004, 18:45
Ayn Rand moment - Can you truly be an American if you don't cheat on your taxes at least a little bit?:D

Kurd Oppresser. Sweatshop Enabler. Bourgeoisie assassin.

Sacamuelas
03-01-2004, 20:34
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
Kurd Oppresser. Sweatshop Enabler. Bourgeoisie assassin.


Well, at least I don't have a funny looking smiley skull in my avatar. You compesino's don't have photoshop in Colombia?

Here for God's sake.. use this one. LOL :D

Sacamuelas
03-01-2004, 20:52
or maybe this one since it is more of an "operator"....
:p


edited per Reaper's mod list below. I can do no justice to the bling bling in the "grill" as it is simply to small to show up the gold. Operator's like NDD can't be replicated in avatar unless I do a full body with gucci boots and nomex suit. LOL

The Reaper
03-01-2004, 21:02
Originally posted by Sacamuelas
or maybe this one since it is more of a "operator"....
:p

a) The flash goes over the left eye (socket).

b) That is starting to look like NDD.

c) Shouldn't you be focused on your patients rather than board topics? As a patient who once had some work done while the female dentist griped to the assistant about her "worthless POS ex-husband" the whole time, that can be a bad thing. Our demo man pulled the wrong tooth on an indig once, but the patient said, no problema, that one hurt too, now try again.

d) What, no gold teeth?

Good work, Tooth Puller!

TR

echoes
03-01-2004, 21:28
Originally posted by The Reaper
Success as a military leader, an industrial magnate, an inventor, an actor, or a sports hero do not necessarily imbue one with the qualities desirous in a President.

TR

Okay...I nominate, "The Reaper"...for a "Quiet Professional" would make an exceptional CIC.

Holly

Sacamuelas
03-01-2004, 22:20
Originally posted by The Reaper

c) Shouldn't you be focused on your patients rather than board topics?
TR

I would never really allow my distractions to alter my work.. But my staff gets tired of me ignoring them when I am trying to type a response while they want to tell me about their weekend. HAHA

alphamale
06-14-2005, 11:28
Good topic Airborne Lawyer.

From modern times, I'd pick the person whose analysis and insight affects us all, Alan Greenspan. He sneezes and markets move. I wish he could just keep chugging along forever. Don't look forward to seeing his role of stewardship of the US Economy passed on to anyone else.

FrontSight

jon448
06-14-2005, 19:39
This is an awesome topic especially considering some of the trash that have been on the Discovery Channel show that our fellow Americans have been voting for.

My top 5 in no real order is:
Ben Franklin
Alex Hamilton
Thomas Paine
John Marshall
Henry Clay

lksteve
06-14-2005, 21:22
Patrick Henry
Jim Beam
Jack Daniels
Harlan Sanders... :munchin