Every year, TIME magazine names a Person of the Year. And every year they feel the need to remind us that the recognition is hardly an honor. While the list includes inspirational figures like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., it also includes the likes of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. The title is simply given to the person (or persons, or thing, or idea) that has, for better or worse, most influenced the events of the year.
However, there are still some who think of the title as a “Greatest Person of the Year” award. Donald Trump is one of those people. In 2015, when the magazine selected Angela Merkel for Person of the Year, Trump tweeted: “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”
Before that, when he didn’t make the Top 100, he tweeted: “I knew last year that @TIME Magazine lost all credibility when they didn’t include me in their Top 100…”
Trump’s obsession with being featured on the cover of TIME magazine goes so far that he even has a completely fake cover hanging on the wall of at least five of his golf clubs. After “winning” the award in 2016, he’s hedging his bets for this year, recently tweeting: “Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named ‘Man (Person) of the Year,’ like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!”
Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named “Man (Person) of the Year,” like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2017
TIME responded via Twitter to set the record straight: “The President is incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year. TIME does not comment on our choice until publication, which is December 6.”
While they won’t comment on their choice until they announce it on December 6th, we can definitely speculate on who they’ll pick. Here are the odds for a handful of the front-runners, plus some Trump-centric props.
In the wake of the Weinstein scandal, a flurry of prominent figures within entertainment, media, and politics have been exposed and accused of sexual harassment. The backlash has been strong and widespread, and punishment has been swift. The so-called Weinstein Effect is perhaps best captured by the #MeToo hashtag, which has prompted victims across the world and from all walks of life to expose their abusers.
Xi Jinping, the President of China, recently re-wrote his nation’s constitution to allow him to rule indefinitely. According to some, he is now the most powerful Chinese leader since Chairman Mao. With an iron grip over the second-largest economy in the world and a nation of almost 1.4 billion people, he will be a major figure for decades to come.
Richard Nixon is the only person to ever be named TIME Person of the Year in consecutive years, and there are some glaring similarities between Mr. 45 and Mr. 37. Trump may have a warped understanding of what it means to be Person of the Year, but he’s still undeniably a favorite for the title. Can you think of a news story this year that didn’t involve him in some way?
Emmanuel Macron trounced far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in a runoff election to become the youngest President in the history of France. But he’s been battling a low approval rating ever since. He’s one of the strongest and most ardent supporters of the European Union and has fought tooth and nail to preserve it.
From the alleged election meddling in the US to the Syrian Civil War, Vladimir Putin has influenced some of the most significant events of the year. Russia is a key player on the international stage, and Putin is comfortably at the helm. His influence on the events of the year have been forceful and widespread.
Given the impact he’s had on the world this year and his uncanny ability to insert himself into every news story and world event, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Trump named Person of the Year again. Especially if he manages to finish his term (or is even elected for a second), we’ll be hearing a lot more about him in the years to come.
Trump no longer needs to hang fake TIME covers on his walls. He already has quite a few real covers to choose from. Granted, not all of them paint the President in a positive light. We can expect to see plenty of him on our television screens, in our news articles, and on our TIME covers for years to come.
The Weinstein Effect has been broad and widespread, but Donald Trump has been largely immune to it. Despite a long and detailed list of allegations, Trump has managed to deflect accusations and has simply dismissed his accusers as liars. Who knows, perhaps the #MeToo campaign will finally reach the top.
The threat of impeachment lacks any bite as long as the Republicans control Congress. Unless the Democrats sweep the midterms in 2018, Trump is safe barring something truly earth-shattering emerging. Even then, the Republicans may stand by their man.
The walls are closing in on Don Jr. and Jared Kushner as the Special Counsel investigation sets its sights on them. But even if charges are filed against the Trump kids, it’ll be a long, drawn-out process.
Donald Trump has always had a tenuous relationship with the truth, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him display a fake TIME cover instead of one that actually exists. The fake cover on display at his golf courses proclaims: “TRUMP IS HITTING ON ALL FRONTS… EVEN TV!” and “The ‘Apprentice’ is a television smash!”
If the headlines are not to the President’s liking, he simply writes his own. #FakeNews?
Featured image: Donald Trump (Mike Licht (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode])
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