The Most Surprising Name On 'TIME's Person Of The Year List Is Actually Similar To Donald Trump
Wednesday morning on the TODAY Show, TIME magazine's managing editor, Nancy Gibbs, announced TIME's 2016 Person of the Year (PoTY), President-elect Donald Trump. Even though the results of the election came as a surprise to many, especially the news media, it's pretty obvious for Trump to be POTY, especially since a number of American presidents have received the title. What wasn't as expected was when TIME also announced the "short list,"— and the most surprising person on TIME's runner-up list is the man who should have made this American election shock less surprising: Nigel Farage.
While we could've seen President-elect Trump, Farage is, perhaps, certainly more surprising. I would also wager that a significant chunk of Americans would not recognize him. However, one can argue that Trump's political success is not only comparably tied to the same forces that has led to the rise of Farage, he's also a business-person-turned-politician.
Farage is Mr. Brexit, or as TIME described him, "the face of the successful campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, positioning the referendum as the start of a global populist wave against the political establishment." Farage devoted himself to encourage Great Britain to break apart from the European Union, focusing on immigration, nationalism, and dog-whistle politics as a way to take the lead. Does that sound familiar to another politicians Americans know (perhaps, all too well)?
Farage said he saw Trump's success coming, as he explained in an interview with TIME after the U.S. election. Farage called Brexit "the first brick that was knocked out of the establishment wall... A lot more were knocked out last night. This is Brexit times three. It is a bigger country, it is a bigger position, it is a bigger event... Brexit is a story that had so many parallels with what happened in the U.S. and it is something, very wisely, that Team Trump cottoned on to very early.”
And it likely isn't stopping there: Italy's Five Star movement and France's National Front movement are picking up steam. The former is led by Matteo Renzi, who has been compared to Trump. Farage certainly seems to think this wave of anti-foreign, pro-nationalist sentiment is just the start. He told TIME, “I don’t think it is finished yet, I think this phenomenon is set to sweep other parts of Europe over the course of a couple years.”