TIME magazine has released their December issue, which annually features their selection for ‘Person of the Year,’ an individual they believe has had the greatest influence on the events of the year. Their selection for 2016 is none other than our President-elect, Donald Trump.
The cover features a photograph of Trump reading, “President of the Divided States of America.” TIME’s website says, “Every December, TIME names 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 Trump is how profoundly the country disagrees about the answer.”
So, perhaps Mr. President-elect wasn’t selected for good reason, or maybe he was. The fact of the matter is that the way in which he influenced the year’s events, positive or negative, is up to the viewer. But, it is clear that Trump held a great amount of influence over the year, whether it be because you believe he’s going to “make America great again” or that he’s a threat to society.
Trump said that being TIME’s Person of the Year is “a tremendous honor,” yet was not pleased with deeming him the president of the “divided state.” He said, “I think putting ‘divided’ is snarky,” and “I didn’t do anything to divide.”
Last year, Trump was a finalist for the Person of the Year, but was not the selection in the end. A year ago, the president-elect said, “I think they absolutely picked the wrong person,” regarding their selection of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. He took to Twitter to express his anger.
I told you @TIME Magazine would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favorite They picked person who is ruining Germany
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2015
In 2012, Trump criticized TIME for not selecting him on their top 100 people of 2011 list also via Twitter…
I knew last year that @TIME Magazine lost all credibility when they didn't include me in their Top 100…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2012
…and again in 2013.
The Time Magazine list of the 100 Most Influential People is a joke and stunt of a magazine that will, like Newsweek,soon be dead. Bad list!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 27, 2013
Trump claimed TIME would never select him as Person of the Year because “[he’s] not a part of the Time establishment. But, it seems the president-elect finally got his spot in the TIME limelight.
While Trump was not recognized by TIME as he feels he should have been in the past, this is not his first TIME cover. He’s been on the cover 10 times, and all but one have been within the past year. His first cover was in 1989.
TIME’s reasoning for selecting Trump as 2016’s Person of the Year acknowledges that to many, his influence has not been a good one. Judging by TIME’s other covers featuring Trump, it seems they fall into this category. They also acknowledge for others, he is viewed as a saving grace our nation needed. They stated, “Trump’s assault on truth and logic, far from hurting him, made him stronger,” and that “[his victory] taps forces far more powerful than one man’s message.”
They did mention Hillary Clinton in their article stating that, “Her popular-vote victory, while legally irrelevant, affirmed the prospect of a female Commander in Chief.” TIME named her their runner-up for this year and also stated, “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.”
So, while it may be controversial, TIME Magazine has chosen President-elect Trump as the 2016 Person of the Year. Their reasoning does not openly state whether it be for positive or negative influence, but based on the sole fact that he influenced many events this year. Period.
TIME writes, “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 Year.”