People are angry that Donald Trump is Time’s Person of the Year because they don’t understand Time’s Person of the Year

It's not awarded to who they'd fancy getting a beer with

Christopher Hooton
Wednesday 07 December 2016 14:48 GMT
Donald Trump named Time Person of the Year

TIME magazine has named Donald Trump its Person of the Year for 2016, so obviously it’s time for half of Twitter to scream in disbelief, foam dribbling from their mouth onto the keyboard.

They’re forgetting, of course, that TIME doesn’t honour its favourite person of the past year but recognises the individual(s) who have had the biggest political and/or cultural impact. As it once put it in a 2002 edition, the profile covers whichever person, group, idea or object that “for better or for worse...has done the most to influence the events of the year”.

I guess people can be forgiven for missing this clarification, but a quick look at previous winners ought to tell you it’s not about picking positive world influences - in 1938, Adolf Hitler was named Person of the Year (then 'Man of the Year'), followed the next year by Joseph Stalin.

Moreover, with a couple of exceptions, every President of the United States of America has been named Person of the Year, almost always in the year they are first elected.

Trump, who delivered one of the biggest shock election victories in history, has caused a seismic shift in politics that will be felt all around the world.

He was chosen by TIME from a shortlist that also included Hillary Clinton, Vladimir Putin, Simone Biles, Beyoncé Knowles and Mark Zuckerberg, and given the tagline 'President of the Divided States of America'.

Another thing, was that cover design a subtle dig?

Trump is set to be inaugurated on 20 January, if he can find anyone to play it that is.

Incumbent vice president Joe Biden has discussed the possibility of running against him in 2020 this week, the thinking being: "what the hell man."

TIME Editor-in-Chief Nancy Gibbs on the choice:

“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.... 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.... 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." 

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