What about the mother who influences her children by sacrificing for them and giving them opportunities she didn't have? I never see her on the list. And the couple that stays together and works out their problems, rather than seeking a "no fault" divorce? Don't they influence others?
The business leader who puts principles and ethics before profit and corner cutting surely influences his or her employees. Too bad we don't read more about them in the major media. Covering only the sleazy and corrupt is a form of influence because it contributes to the general cynicism about everything from politics to capitalism. And speaking of politics, there are honest politicians, but you rarely hear about them, as much of the media prefer to focus on the crooks.
John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are on Time's list of the most influential, but only the one who wins the election will have a chance to influence us. Even then, presidents only marginally influence our opinions, most of which we already hold before they are elected. Presidents rarely influence our actions or behavior, except when we don't like what they do.
Time's newspaper ad says these "most influential people are changing the world and making history." Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie? I don't think so.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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