Among the things that matter less to the general public in the 21st Century than it did in the 20th, unless it is to complain about the choice: TIME magazine’s Person of the Year, started back in 1927, in part “to remedy the editorial embarrassment earlier that year of not having aviator Charles Lindbergh on its cover following his historic trans-Atlantic flight.”
The magazine annually awards the title to an individual or group who, for better or worse, has had the biggest impact on the world and news over the course of the past year. The list has included every US President elected after Calvin Coolidge.
I recall the tremendous backlash TIME received as a result of naming Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 as what was then Man of the Year, even though it was totally justified after the Iran hostage crisis. They’d picked controversial figures before: Adolf Hitler (1938), Joseph Stalin (1939 and 1942), and Nikita Khrushchev (1957).
In 2001, Time’s Person of the Year, following the September 11 attacks, was New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani, although, arguably Osama bin Laden was a more likely choice.
In 2015, Senator Bernie Sanders won the Readers’ Poll for TIME Person of the Year, and some people were all indignant that he wasn’t one of TIME’s eight finalists. I LIKE Bernie Sanders, and I’ll probably vote for him in the Democratic primary for President in April 2016. Perhaps he hasn’t had as much of an impact because much of the media has decided he can’t win the nomination.
TIME’s editors have narrowed the 2015 list down to eight candidates. When I voted Tuesday morning, with 159,124 VOTES cast, these were the readers’ results:
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, 36% – Leader of ISIS.
Vladimir Putin, 29% – President of Russia (Ukraine, war on DAESH).
Donald Trump, 15% – Frontrunner for Republican presidential nomination.
Travis Kalanick, 10% -CEO of Uber.
Black Lives Matter activists, 7% – protested inequality towards African Americans.
Angela Merkel, 2% – German chancellor (economic strife in Eurozone, Europe’s ongoing migrant crisis).
Caitlyn Jenner, 1% – coming out as a transgender woman.
Hassan Rouhani, 0% – president of Iran.
One could make the case for al-Baghdadi, certainly, or Putin. But Angela Merkel is a reasonable choice.
Of course, the most unreasonable Donald Trump was having none of that. If a journalist of my Facebook acquaintance hadn’t verified it, I would have thought the item at the top of this page was made up.
I’ve tried to ignore the Donald, I really have. But he keeps saying outrageous things, and his voting base keeps eating it up. Even before his latest blathering, I found myself with several interesting links.
The Political F-word: When and how should we talk about fascism? and Donald Trump and others are proving it: we can’t handle the truth and Is Trump Actually a Narcissist? Therapists Weigh In!, and Why One Political Science thinks he could actually win.
After Donald Trump’s comments demanding Muslims be barred from entering the country, based on a misleading poll, we’ve discovered DT’s Bottomless Bottom. “The GOP front-runner is tapping into a brutal xenophobia that’s at once un-American and uniquely American.” He could be the US equivalent to Marine Le Pen, the head of the far-right party in France.
One article is titled We Are No Longer Entertained. I haven’t been entertained for weeks, myself. Exasperated by people who I know to be intelligent, yet apparently contemplating supporting DT for President, I find him most unfunny.
Not that he cannot be skewered by comedy. The Borowitz Reports spoofs Trump Supporters Disappointed He Only Wants to Ban One Religion. Plus this cartoon, Donald Trump, super villain. Plus the all-too-true bit from the Onion: ‘This Will Be The End Of Trump’s Campaign,’ Says Increasingly Nervous Man For Seventh Time This Year. That sounds a lot like me.
The Washington Post opines Why Christians must speak out against Donald Trump’s Muslim remarks. And I have.
Of course, suddenly almost EVERYONE is distancing themselves from Trump NOW, even
Darth Vader Dick Cheney. The Republicans want the Donald’s enthusiastic voters, but not him. And they fear that if he isn’t treated “fairly” by the GOP, he’d consider a third-party challenge.