The 'TIME' Person Of The Year Results & The 2016 Election Share One Thing That Led Donald Trump To The Top
The TIME Magazine "Person of the Year" award signals the beginning of the end of another year, and this year it's a big reminder of all that went wrong in 2016. Donald Trump was announced as the "Person of the Year" on Wednesday, though one ironic caveat in his win is a funny dig at the reason he got the title in the first place. Just like in the presidential election, Trump lost the popular vote for "Person of the Year," but still ended up winning the coveted title anyway.
In all reality, Trump was going to win no matter what for the absolutely unprecedented and unpredictable manner in which he took a sledgehammer to American politics, but that doesn't negate the irony of his win. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi nearly tripled the amount of votes that Trump received, but an esoteric and amorphous body of appointed officials chose him as the winner anyway. Sounds familiar, right?
There are, of course, legitimate reasons why Trump ended up the winner in spite of the polling results. TIME is primarily a magazine for an American audience, so choosing the Indian PM as the "Person of the Year" wouldn't resonate much with the core readership. Also, the magazine clearly states that while the results of the poll are considered valuable for their personal insight, TIME 's editors ultimately choose the winner.
Despite Trump's undeniable effect on the news this year, it still feels like a fatal flaw for TIME to choose him as "Person of the Year." Trump has gotten so much (largely undeserved) attention this year, and it's disheartening to see that rewarded with a title as ubiquitous as this. TIME might as well have given the award to white male privilege in general, since that's the only reason that Trump is president now.
As TIME editor-in-chief Nancy Gibbs said, the "Person of the Year" isn't necessarily a saint, it's just the person who had the most influence over the news during the last 12 months. In that regard, it's absolutely undeniable that Trump is the winner — Trump was the subject of near-constant coverage on both ends of the political spectrum. Yet the way he took this award without winning it directly mirrors the election in a very troubling way. It makes you wonder when people will stop giving him things, and it sheds light on systems that are allowed to reward people who don't truly earn them.