When you see the results of a new poll of thousands of students in 37 countries, you might be shaking your head in disbelief as you wonder what the world is coming to. Or, possibly, you’ll find the results of the survey confirm your suspicion that ideology and ignorance are shaping the opinions of a rising generation of young people who seem to have a very weak grasp of history as well as the nature of true evil.
The Daily Mail has shared the results of an opinion poll of some 7,000 young men and women, identified as university students with an average age of 23. Researchers who conducted the wide-ranging study reportedly asked the students to rate on a scale from 1-7 their feelings, positive and negative, about well-known figures and events.
When the scores were tallied for George W. Bush, the study found that the 43rd President of the United States came in fourth among history’s all-time “villains.” Just behind Adolf Hitler, Osama bin Laden, and Saddam Hussein, Bush was said to be among the most evil, most hated of historical figures.
As the following table shows, the students surveyed identified their top-ten “heroes” as well, citing Jesus Christ as #6 on the list.
According to The Daily Mail article on the surprising survey, the researchers who conducted the poll say “the impact of time” is at least partly responsible for the results that show President Bush to be a bigger “villain” than Stalin, Mao, or Lenin — each of whom was directly responsible for untold numbers of deaths within their own countries. Mao Zedong, for example, is thought by human rights advocates to have been responsible for an estimated 40 to 70 million deaths through starvation, forced labor, and executions.
“Religious idealists” and “Secular Idealists” had strongly negative views towards Osama, Saddam, and Hitler.
“Religious Idealists” and “Political Realists” thought positively of religious leaders such as Buddha and Jesus.
“Historical Indifferents” didn’t have a strong feeling for anyone, apart from George W Bush who they disliked.
The only figure that all four groups disliked was Bush, the study found.
What one might find equally interesting from the results of the survey is that Barack Obama is nowhere to be found on the students’ list of “heroes” or among the “40 historical figures rated in terms of popularity.”
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth