Recently, I have listed the teachers and writers who have influenced me, along with the managers whom I admire. I now list the politicians and political activists whom I admire. Some of these led conventional political careers, others were community organizers or single-issue advocates, and yet others were spies, or were accused of being such.
Edmund Campion, Robert Persons, Robert Southwell, Thomas Aikenhead, Tom Paine, Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Sol Plaatje, Franklin Roosevelt, Ted Theodore, John Curtin, Doc Evatt, Richard Sorge, Imre Nagy, Zhou Enlai, Milada Horakova, Bram Fischer, Salvador Allende Gossens, Lyndon Johnson, Donal Lamont, Rudolf Margolius, Gough Whitlam, Helen Suzman, Andrei Sakharov, Alexander Dubcek, Nelson Mandela, Zhao Ziyang, Martin Luther King Jr, Zdenek Mlynar, Mikhail Gorbachev, Vaclav Havel, Michael Schneider, Paul Keating, Vadim Delone, Barack Obama and Rory Stewart.
Australia (5), Czechoslovakia (5), and South Africa (5) have produced more than their per capita share of political heroes, it would seem, but the distribution no doubt reflects my reading and interests. Of course, it hardly needs to be said that I do not necessarily agree with any or all the views these people have expressed or hold, nor necessarily support all their actions.