Donald Trump Is Rightfully 'TIME' Person Of The Year Because We Live In Westeros Now
For the plurality of voting Americans who did not choose Donald Trump to be the next president, we’re going to have to get used to a minor but brutal truth: Trump is going to be on the cover of a lot of magazines. With the announcement Wednesday morning that Trump has been named TIME’s Person of the Year, there were groans, grumbles, and a few angry barks. But here’s the thing: Trump is the perfect addition to TIME’s gallery of rogues, trendsetters, and world-changers (not to mention a few abstract panders).
But mostly, the reveal of Trump as PotY came with a chorus of “duhs:” “Donald Trump Is Time’s Person Of The Year, To No One’s Surprise,” read the headline in the New York Times; the Washington Post offered a rejoinderwith “Donald Trump is (finally) named Time’s Person Of The Year.”
Because TIME isn’t looking to give out awards. Editor-in-Chief Nancy Gibbs described the distinction as being for the “individual who has had the most influence on events for better or worse.”
“It’s hard to argue that anyone had more influence than Donald Trump over the events of this year,” she said, adding that “A lot of people think that ‘Person of the Year,’ just because of the nature of the name, is an honor,” but noting that normally this is not the case.
There’s a worthwhile argument to be made that giving Trump more attention is exactly what he wants. We certainly know that Trump fixates on being on magazine covers, and whined about not getting Person of the Year in 2015. It’s unclear that any of the alternate picks would have been “better” (whatever that means). Runners-up included the controversial president of Turkey, biologists at the forefront of DNA-based cancer research, and lefty heartthrob Beyoncé, and, I’m going to say it, Hillary Clinton.
And while there would have been an undeniable satisfaction in watching Trump squirm (probably publicly) at the diss, there’s something honest about recognizing that, at this moment in the history of America (and the world, really), so much of what’s going on is refracted through the golden prism of Trump. While there is absolutely a case to be made for making Clinton Person of the Year — I continue to assert that it is valuable to constantly reiterate that more people voted for her — we can’t do what Sansa Stark did to Ramsay Bolton, and exile Trump to obscurity. We need Trump to know that the world is watching his every move.
For those upset by Trump’s PotY naming, I say this: if TIME existed in Westeros, the Persons of the Year would be the Ramsays and the Cerseis, never the Sansas or the Jon Snows. All we can say for sure is that winter is coming — whether it lasts four years or eight is up to us.