Trump named Time’s person of the year, making history along with Hitler and Stalin
This year felt like straight up garbage to a lot of people, but now that Donald Trump is Time’s Person of the Year it’s official: 2016 was terrible. Seriously, the last thing any American (or anyone in the world) needed was another reason for Trump and his supporters to pat themselves on the back. I assume Trump has ordered stacks of copies so he can sign them for friends and visitors, lest they forget how “great” he is. That being said, being Time’s person of the year doesn’t necessarily mean someone has done something good. It’s not the Nobel Peace prize. It’s just about who made an impact.
The shortlist included Hillary Clinton and Vladimir Putin, along with Simone Biles, Beyoncé, and Mark Zuckerberg. But none of them have ripped an entire country apart and possibly ushered in a new era of white supremacy, so the choice was pretty “straightforward,” as Time managing editor Nancy Gibbs put it. “When have we ever seen a single individual who has so defied expectations, broken the rules, violated norms, beaten not one but two political parties on the way to winning an election that he entered with 100-1 odds against him,” she said.
“I don’t think we have ever seen one person operating in such an unconventional way have an impact on the events of the year quite like this,” Gibbs added. That’s a nice way to put it.
On the cover, Trump sits in an oversized leather chair in his customary red tie, with the caption “President of the Divided States of America.” It will surely be an image we’ll all come to remember. For the record, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin (along with Trump’s bestie Putin) have also been Time’s Person of the Year once upon a time, too, so it’s almost a formality that we mark the end days with a cover like this one. It was time.
Over the course of the presidential election, Time has featured Trump on the cover a few times. First, with a close-up of his face and “deal with it” as the caption. Then, as it looked like he and his campaign might be in trouble, as nothing more than a cartoon-ish depiction of his hair in varying states of despair. It could have been that even if Trump hadn’t won the election, he would still be Person of the Year, just because of all the nonsense he’s managed to stir up to the surface in American culture.
Of course, it seems unlikely that Trump understands the nuance of being called Person of the Year. If only the media had paid a little more attention to what Trump (and his “inner circle,” included in a photo spread in the issue) could do to this country, maybe this magazine cover wouldn’t seem so ominous.