Greatest American elimination game (game thread)

Setup thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=550191

We have 102 nominees. What a country! In the first elimination round, as suggested by septimus, each player has ten votes to use as he or she sees fit, but can spread them around among several nominees, or even spend them all to eliminate a single nominee. All U.S. Presidents have a free pass for the first round, which will run through Fri. Feb. 12 at noon EST. You need not have participated in the setup thread to vote.

Our list of nominees:

John Adams: President, writer, statesman
Susan B. Anthony: Suffrage activist
Lucille Ball: Actress, comedian, redhead
P.T. Barnum: World’s greatest showman
Henry Bergh: Saved children, animals
Leonard Bernstein: Composer, conductor, educator
Ambrose Bierce: Author, journalist, satirist, critic
Daniel Bliss: Educator, AUB founder
John Brown: Righteous, inspirational abolitionist
James Branch Cabell: Author, marriage proponent
Andrew Carnegie: Industrialist, philanthropist
Willis Carrier: Air conditioning pioneer
George Washington Carver: Agricultural botanist
Carrie Chapman Catt: Women’s rights suffragist
Bruce Catton: Civil War historian
Joshua Chamberlain: Civil War hero
Cesar Chavez: Civil rights activist
Chief Joseph (Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt): Leader, peacemaker, tactician
John Coltrane: Musician, composer
Aaron Copland: Composer, musician
Walt Disney: Animator, entrepreneur, icon
Frederick Douglass: Abolitionist, orator
Thomas Edison: Inventor, workaholic
Albert Einstein: Scientist, activist
Dwight D. Eisenhower: President, war hero
Ralph Waldo Emerson: Philosopher, writer
John Franklin Enders: Modern vaccines pioneer
Philo Farnsworth: TV piorneer, inventor
Richard Feynman: Physicist, Renaissance man
Henry Ford: Inventor, industrialist, philanthropist
Benjamin Franklin: Scientist, statesman, inventor
Robert Frost: Greatest American poet
William Lloyd Garrison: Abolitionist, writer
George Gershwin: Prolific, versatile composer
Kurt Gödel: Mathematician, incompleteness theorem
Alexander Hamilton: Financier, economist, statesman
Robert Heinlein: Science fiction author
Jimi Hendrix: Influential musician, activist
Jim Henson: Beloved children’s programmer
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.: Supreme Court Justice
Langston Hughes: Harlem Renaissance poet
Andrew Jackson: President, general, populist
Thomas Jefferson: President, Declaration writer
Helen Keller: Redefined language, mind
Walt Kelly: “Pogo” creator, humorist
John F. Kennedy: President, “New Frontier”
Martin Luther King Jr.: Preacher, orator, humanitarian
Jack Kirby: Comics pioneer
Lewis and Clark (Meriwether and William, resp.): Louisiana Purchase explorers
Abraham Lincoln: President, emancipator, writer
Charles Lindbergh: Aviator, American hero
H.P. Lovecraft: Horror writer
Douglas MacArthur: WWII general
James Madison: President, Framer, statesman
George Marshall: General, diplomat, statesman
John Marshall: Fourth Chief Justice
Marilyn Monroe: Legendary film star
J.P. Morgan: Financial giant, tycoon
Audie Murphy: Decorated soldier, actor
Edward R Murrow: Broadcaster
Thomas Nast: Editorial cartoonist, muckraker
Richard Nixon: President, lawyer, author
Jesse Owens: Famed Olympic athlete
Thomas Paine: Political theorist, pamphleteer
George S. Patton: WWII general, orator
John J. Pershing: Top WWI general
Edgar Allan Poe: Poet, writer, critic
James K. Polk: President, statesman
Elvis Presley: Rock and Roller
Jackie Robinson: Athlete, activist, inspiration
John D. Rockefeller: Billionaire, philanthropist
Will Rogers: Humorist, social commentator
Eleanor Roosevelt: Reformer, writer, advocate
Franklin D. Roosevelt: President, reformer, statesman
Theodore Roosevelt: President, conservationist, statesman
Babe Ruth: Legendary baseball icon
Carl Sagan: Astronomer, science popularizer
Jonas Salk: Polio vaccine inventor
Margaret Sanger: Birth-control pioneer
William Seward: Diplomat; bought Alaska
Shel Silverstein: Author, humorist
Upton Sinclair: Author, muckraker
Sitting Bull: Indian leader, warrior
Tecumseh: Indian leader, uniter
Nikola Tesla: Inventor, engineer
Henry David Thoreau: Poet, naturalist, philosopher
Jim Thorpe: Native American athlete
Harry Truman: President, statesman
Harriet Tubman: Civil rights advocate
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens): Humorist, “Huckleberry Finn”
John von Neumann: Mathematician, scientist, polymath
Earl Warren: Chief Justice, governor
George Washington: President, general, statesman
Daniel Webster: Orator, advocate, statesman
Orson Welles: Writer, director, actor
Walt Whitman: Civil War poet
Eli Whitney: Inventor, cotton gin
Roger Williams: Statesman, religious leader
Frank Lloyd Wright: Prairie School architect
Orville and Wilbur Wright: Aviation pioneers, inventors
Malcolm X: Civil rights leader
Babe Zaharias: Greatest female athlete

My list (from the other thread) - one vote each:

We have too many writers, please eliminate five:

Ambrose Bierce: Author, journalist, satirist, critic
James Branch Cabell: Author, marriage proponent
Robert Heinlein: Science fiction author
H.P. Lovecraft: Horror writer (Poe is more important)
Shel Silverstein: Author, humorist

Two who just don’t measure up:

Carl Sagan: Astronomer, science popularizer; Cosmos was big, but what did he contribute as a scientist?
Jim Henson: Beloved children’s programmer competing head-to-head with Walt Disney. Sorry, Jim.

Screw them:

Charles Lindbergh: Aviator, American hero, and Nazi sympathizer.
Richard Nixon: President, lawyer, author, crook.
Nikola Tesla: Inventor, engineer, crank, wasted vast amounts of other people’s money.

Exempting presidents, eh? Shoot, I was going to vote for Adams three times. Instead, I’ll go with:

Lucille Ball
PT Barnum
Ambrose Bierce
James Branch Cabell
Bruce Catton
Joshua Chamberlain
Robert Heinlein
HP Lovecraft
Shel Silverstein
John von Neumann

OK, here’s my breakdown of the categories, again (editorial comments from previous posts snipped). Some people are listed twice, eg. Thomas Paine as a writer and activist.

Politicians and activists:

US Presidents and other political leaders:

Presidents (13):

John Adams: President, writer, statesman
Dwight D. Eisenhower: President, war hero
Andrew Jackson: President, general, populist
Thomas Jefferson: President, Declaration writer
John F. Kennedy: President, “New Frontier”
Abraham Lincoln: President, emancipator, writer
James Madison: President, Framer, statesman
Richard Nixon: President, lawyer, author
James K Polk: President, statesman
Franklin D. Roosevelt: President, reformer, statesman
Theodore Roosevelt: President, conservationist, statesman
Harry Truman: President, statesman
George Washington: President, general, statesman

Other leaders (9):

Benjamin Franklin: Scientist, statesman, inventor
Alexander Hamilton: Financier, economist, statesman
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.: Supreme Court Justice
George Marshall: General, diplomat, statesman
John Marshall: Fourth Chief Justice
William Seward: Diplomat; bought Alaska
Earl Warren: Chief Justice, governor
Daniel Webster: Orator, advocate, statesman
Roger Williams: Statesman, religious leader

Native American leaders (3):

Chief Joseph (Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt): Leader, peacemaker, tactician
Sitting Bull: Indian leader, warrior
Tecumseh: Indian leader, uniter

Activists:

Women’s rights/suffrage (3):

Susan B. Anthony: Suffrage activist
Carrie Chapman Catt: Women’s rights suffragist
Margaret Sanger: Birth-control pioneer

Civil Rights/Abolitionists (10):

John Brown: Righteous, inspirational abolitionist
Cesar Chavez: Civil rights activist
Frederick Douglass: Abolitionist, orator
William Lloyd Garrison: Abolitionist, writer
Langston Hughes: Harlem Renaissance poet
Martin Luther King Jr.: Preacher, orator, humanitarian
Jackie Robinson: Athlete, activist, inspiration
Eleanor Roosevelt: Reformer, writer, advocate
Harriet Tubman: Civil rights advocate
Malcolm X: Civil rights leader

Other Activists (5):

Henry Bergh: Saved children, animals
Daniel Bliss: Educator, AUB founder
Thomas Nast: Editorial cartoonist, muckraker
Thomas Paine: Political theorist, pamphleteer
Upton Sinclair: Author, muckraker

Scientists and inventors (15):

Willis Carrier: Air conditioning pioneer
George Washington Carver: Agricultural botanist
Thomas Edison: Inventor, workaholic
Albert Einstein: Scientist, activist
John Franklin Enders: Modern vaccines pioneer
Philo Farnsworth: TV piorneer, inventor
Richard Feynman: Physicist, Renaissance man
Benjamin Franklin: Scientist, statesman, inventor
Kurt Gödel: Mathematician, incompleteness theorem
Carl Sagan: Astronomer, science popularizer
Jonas Salk: Polio vaccine inventor
Nikola Tesla: Inventor, engineer
John von Neumann: Mathematician, scientist, polymath
Eli Whitney: Inventor, cotton gin
Orville and Wilbur Wright: Aviation pioneers, inventors

Businessmen and industrialists (7):

P.T. Barnum: World’s greatest showman
Andrew Carnegie: Industrialist, philanthropist
Walt Disney: Animator, entrepreneur, icon
Thomas Edison: Inventor, workaholic
Henry Ford: Inventor, industrialist, philanthropist
J.P. Morgan: Financial giant, tycoon
John D. Rockefeller: Billionaire, philanthropist

Generals and soldiers (7):

Joshua Chamberlain: Civil War hero
Dwight D. Eisenhower: President, war hero
Andrew Jackson: President, general, populist
Douglas MacArthur: WWII general
Audie Murphy: Decorated soldier, actor
George S. Patton: WWII general, orator
John J. Pershing: Top WWI general

Writers (17):

Ambrose Bierce: Author, journalist, satirist, critic
James Branch Cabell: Author, marriage proponent
Bruce Catton: Civil War historian
Ralph Waldo Emerson: Philosopher, writer
Robert Frost: Greatest American poet
Robert Heinlein: Science fiction author
Langston Hughes: Harlem Renaissance poet
Helen Keller: Redefined language, mind
H.P. Lovecraft: Horror writer
Thomas Paine: Political theorist, pamphleteer
Edgar Allan Poe: Poet, writer, critic
Will Rogers: Humorist, social commentator
Shel Silverstein: Author, humorist
Upton Sinclair: Author, muckraker
Henry David Thoreau: Poet, naturalist, philosopher
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens): Humorist, “Huckleberry Finn”
Walt Whitman: Civil War poet

“Show biz” (7):

Lucille Ball: Actress, comedian, redhead
P.T. Barnum: World’s greatest showman
Walt Disney: Animator, entrepreneur, icon
Jim Henson: Beloved children’s programmer
Marilyn Monroe: Legendary film star
Edward R Murrow: Broadcaster
Orson Welles: Writer, director, actor

Musicians and composers (6):

Leonard Bernstein: Composer, conductor, educator
John Coltrane: Musician, composer
Aaron Copland: Composer, musician
George Gershwin: Prolific, versatile composer
Jimi Hendrix, musician and activist
Elvis Presley, rock-and-roller

Comics (3):

Walt Kelly: “Pogo” creator, humorist
Jack Kirby: Comics pioneer
Thomas Nast: Editorial cartoonist, muckraker

Athletes (5):

Jesse Owens: Famed Olympic athlete
Jackie Robinson: Athlete, activist, inspiration
Babe Ruth: Legendary baseball icon
Jim Thorpe: Native American athlete
Babe Zaharias: Greatest female athlete

Miscellaneous (3):

Lewis and Clark (Meriwether and William, resp.): Louisiana Purchase explorers
Charles Lindbergh: Aviator, American hero
Frank Lloyd Wright: Prairie School architect

Didn’t notice that you’d pardoned Tricky Dick in advance for the first round. Throw my final vote on

Marilyn Monroe

Walt Kelly
Walt Kelly
Walt Kelly
Walt Kelly
Jack Kirby
Jack Kirby
Jack Kirby
Jack Kirby
James Branch Cabell
Lucille Ball

OK, round 1, time to thin out the ranks.

Marilyn Monroe
Jimi Hendrix
Jim Henson
Robert Heinlein
H.P. Lovecraft

Kurt Gödel
Shel Silverstein
Carl Sagan
Malcolm X
James Branch Cabell

This isn’t a dis on Happy, who is using the rules as stated, but is it wise to allow someone to pile on votes like this? I don’t mind someone icing Walk Kelly, but I can see someone piling ten votes on Ben Franklin right now and knocking him out. I don’t think that’s what we’re after here.

Just saying.

Jimi Hendrix-2 votes
Elvis Presley-1 vote
Babe Zaharias-2 votes
James Branch Cabell-4 votes
Lucille Ball-1 vote

I kind of agree with this. How about a two vote maximum. I’ll change my votes accordingly.

Also, Walt Kelly is a great satirist. He shouldn’t go out in the first round.

nm

My idea was that the votes could be used as plus or minus, and piled on to save a candidate. I think it makes less sense to pile on to eliminate.

By the way, if tallying votes becomes a headache, I’ll volunteer to help. I have lots of practice doing tedious manipulations. :smiley:

I will split my votes accordingly:

Henry Ford
Henry Ford
Henry Ford
Henry Ford
Henry Ford

Malcolm X
Malcolm X
Malcolm X
Malcolm X
Malcolm X

I’m wondering if the Lucille Ball voters realize the degree to which she was a producer and TV innovator, in addition to an actress. Much more impressive to my mind than Marilyn Monroe.

Fie on you voters of Jim Henson! I mean, if it were just *The Muppet Show *I could understand it. But how many generations of Americans have grown up under the benevolent influence of Sesame Street?

Anyhoo, here’s my lot for elimination:

Willis Carrier
John Coltrane
Robert Frost
Marilyn Monroe
J.P. Morgan
Audie Murphy
John D. Rockefeller
Shel Silverstein
Daniel Webster
Babe Zaharias

We have 102 nominees. The field must be winnowed. If someone wants to knock out somebody with all ten of his or her votes, so be it (although I wouldn’t do it myself).

Let’s knock out:

Daniel Bliss
James Branch Cabell
Willis Carrier
Bruce Catton
Robert Heinlein (if Asimov’s not here, why leave him in?)
Jack Kirby
H.P. Lovecraft
J.P. Morgan (I hated Match Game :D)
Babe Ruth (too drunk)
Malcolm X (I prefer the other civil rights leaders)

Yeah but, I don’t think you can credit the educational / cultural impact of Sesame Street to the account of Jim Henson. While his puppets were critical to the success of the show, it was not his drive, goals or ideals that brought the show into existence. The muppets, while a significant part of the show, are not what makes the show important. I would argue that the curriculum presented through the muppets, cartoons and live-action segments is what makes the show important.

In a way, this is tougher than the President Elimination Game, because it’s more personal. It’s tough both to see your own choices slated for elimination and to have to knock out someone else’s presumably well-thought-out selections. So to “share the poverty”, as it were, I’ll avoid shooting my wad on any individual, and thus give these ten one vote each:

Daniel Bliss
James Branch Cabell
Bruce Catton
Joshua Chamberlain
Richard Feynman

Robert Heinlein
Jack Kirby
H.P. Lovecraft
Carl Sagan
Shel Silverstein

In this round, I’m trying to concentrate on significance, and thus begrudgingly retaining some people whose impact I consider negative on balance, but undeniably seminal.

I think the Shel Silverstein nomination (not mine, BTW) was inspired as he’s one of the coolest people ever to walk the Earth.

It makes me wish I had nominated Tom Lehrer.