Dec 7, 2016 by Tyler Durden
One year after narrowly losing to Angela Merkel (and tied with ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi), Donald Trump has finally won the 2016 Time “Person of the Year Award”, the person – or idea – who according to the magazine has most influenced the news and the world in the past year, for good or ill.
“It’s a great honor. It means a lot,” Trump told NBC’s “Today” show. “To be on the cover of Time magazine as the person of the year is a tremendous honor,” added Trump, who in the past had predicted he would never win the honor.
Trump beat out 10 other finalists, including his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. TIME declared Clinton their runner-up.
This will be Trump’s 10th time on the magazine’s cover, and all but one have been since August 2015. His first appearance on TIME was in 1989.
The magazine has made the designation every year since 1927, when aviator Charles Lindbergh was chosen as the first Man of the Year. The title was amended to Person of the Year in 1999. Over its history, TIME has bestowed the title to many presidents, political leaders and industry trailblazers who often view the designation as an honor. However, the magazine also has selected notorious recipients in the past, including Adolf Hitler in 1938, Joseph Stalin in 1939 and 1942, and Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, because of the impact they had on the world at the time.
Since Franklin Roosevelt in 1932, every president has been named Time’s Person of the Year at least once — though not necessarily the same year as their election win.
In addition to presidents, global leaders like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Pope Francis, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have been recent winners.
As Time explains, “this is the 90th time we have named the person who had the greatest influence, for better or worse, on the events of the year. So which is it this year: Better or worse? The challenge for Donald Trump is how profoundly the country disagrees about the answer.”
A brief video lays out the reasoning behind the choice:
Here is the full Time’s logic:
It’s hard to measure the scale of his disruption. This real estate baron and casino owner turned reality-TV star and provocateur—never a day spent in public office, never a debt owed to any interest besides his own—now surveys the smoking ruin of a vast political edifice that once housed parties, pundits, donors, pollsters, all those who did not see him coming or take him seriously. Out of this reckoning, Trump is poised to preside, for better or worse.
For those who believe this is all for the better, Trump’s victory represents a long-overdue rebuke to an entrenched and arrogant governing class; for those who see it as for the worse, the destruction extends to cherished norms of civility and discourse, a politics poisoned by vile streams of racism, sexism, nativism. To his believers, he delivers change—broad, deep, historic change, not modest measures doled out in Dixie cups; to his detractors, he inspires fear both for what he may do and what may be done in his name.
The revolution he stirred feels fully American, with its echoes of populists past, of Andrew Jackson and Huey Long and, at its most sinister, Joe McCarthy and Charles Coughlin. Trump’s assault on truth and logic, far from hurting him, made him stronger. His appeal—part hope, part snarl—dissolved party lines and dispatched the two reigning dynasties of U.S. politics. Yet his victory mirrors the ascent of nationalists across the world, from Britain to the Philippines, and taps forces far more powerful than one man’s message.
We can scarcely grasp what our generation has wrought by putting a supercomputer into all of our hands, all of the time. If you are reading this, whether on a page or a screen, there is a very good chance that you are caught up in a revolution that may have started with enticing gadgets but has now reshaped everything about how we live, love, work, play, shop, share—how our very hearts and minds encounter the world around us. Why would we have imagined that our national conversation would simply go on as before, same people, same promises, same patterns? Perhaps the President-elect will stop tweeting—but only because he will have found some other means to tell the story he wants to tell directly to the audience that wants to hear it.
It turned out to be a failing strategy when Hillary Clinton, who loves policy solutions and believes in them, tried to make this race a character test, a referendum on Trump. But it was certainly understandable. He presented so many challenges, so many choices about what America values. Her popular-vote victory, while legally irrelevant, affirmed the prospect of a female Commander in Chief. In fact, she crushed Trump among voters who cared most about experience and judgment and temperament, qualities that have typically mattered when choosing the leader of the free world. Even at his moment of victory, 6 in 10 voters had an unfavorable view of Trump and didn’t think he was qualified to be President.
But by almost 2 to 1, voters cared most about who could deliver
change, and in that category he beat her by 69 points. This is his next
test. The year 2016 was the year of his rise; 2017 will be the year of
his rule, and like all newly elected leaders, he has a chance to fulfill
promises and defy expectations.
His supporters and his critics will discover together how much of
what he said he actually believes. In the days after the election,
everything was negotiable: the wall became a fence, “Crooked Hillary” is
“good people,” and maybe climate change is worth thinking about. Far
from draining the swamp, he fed plums to some of its biggest gators.
Were his followers alarmed? The critics were hardly reassured: nearly
half of Americans expect race relations to worsen, and many women fear
that his ascent comes directly at their expense. Trump prefers to talk
about the alienated workers who flocked to his rallies and believed a
billionaire could be their tribune—“I love them and they love me”—and
avers that his every action will be on their behalf. But can he devise a
New Deal for workers in the age of automation, renegotiate trade deals
and reopen factories while simultaneously elevating many of the same
people who profit from the trends he denounced?
Time’s bittersweet conclusion – it is no secret that the publication’s ideological affiliations lay elsewhere – was the following
For reminding America that demagoguery feeds on despair and that
truth is only as powerful as the trust in those who speak it, for
empowering a hidden electorate by mainstreaming its furies and
live-streaming its fears, and for framing tomorrow’s political culture
by demolishing yesterday’s, Donald Trump is TIME’s 2016 Person of the
For a brief stroll down memory lane, here are some previous winners of the “coveted” Time award, starting with Adolf Hitler…
and Ayatullah Khomeini