Ed provided a rundown of the Time Person of the Year shortlist last night (and you should definitely give it a look if you missed it), focusing mostly on the relative merits of the individual finalists and why they should or shouldn’t be on the list. Let’s just say you can color Mr. Morrissey unimpressed with the selections, including some of the “group awards” which might have been better assigned to an individual. I wanted to take one more crack at the list however in terms of its general theme, a topic picked up by Benny Johnson at the Daily Caller. Did you notice a trend in the basic focus of the nominees?
If there’s one to be found in the final ten, it does seem to be that they were divided primarily into two camps. The first is an army of one… Donald Trump. The other is the majority of the remaining nine, most of whom are people or groups seen as being opposed to Donald Trump.
Time Magazine has released its finalists for person of the year in 2017 Monday morning. It seems the easiest way to make the list is to be apart of the “Resistance.”
President Trump was one of the ten finalists on the list. However, the vast majority of the finalists for person of the year have something very interesting common: they are combative opponents to POTUS. At least six of the finalists on the list have gone on the record against the president for a diverse range of issues.
Among the other nine besides the President, Johnson lists seven who might fall into the #RESIST camp: Colin Kaepernick, Dreamers, Robert Mueller, Jeff Bezos, Kim Jong Un, Xi Jinping and Patty Jenkins. While I have reason to agree with Johnson’s conclusion (which I’ll get to in a moment), I don’t want to immediately jump off the ledge with him on all of these picks. We can include people and groups who either oppose Trump as a person or simply align against one or more of his policies and still have some questions here.
Kaepernick, Mueller and the Dreamers are a given for obvious reasons. But Bezos? He bought a newspaper which regularly trashes Trump, but they do that to all conservatives and Republicans and did so long before he came along. He’s personally only notable for making lots of money, as Ed pointed out last night. (And I’ll steal a line from Seinfeld here in complete sincerity… not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Kim Jong-un and Xi Jinping are the leaders of nations who have been opposing United States interests, each in their own way (one pushing for fire and brimstone war, the other in economic battle), long before Trump and will continue to do so after he’s gone from office. And just because Patty Jenkins may have been a Clinton donor, I don’t recall her as a real #RESIST warrior.
Far more curious is the fact that Johnson left the #MeToo movement off his list. Critics of the president are quick to point out that he’s had his own pack of female accusers in the past and feel he should be lumped in with the targets of that movement. If you’re going to include the dreamers, you may as well lump #MeToo in as well.
So perhaps four of the nine besides President Trump could be considered “resistance” picks. That’s still nearly half, so there’s clearly merit to Johnson’s claim as I read the tea leaves. But I would also go back to my original post on the PotY competition before we got to the shortlist. You can see how #RESIST did so well because of the 33 contenders on the long list, the #RESIST pickings were quite rich indeed. Of those who are not world leaders and other national level political figures, keep in mind that Time included the following people besides Mueller and Kaepernick:
Maxine Waters, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, James Comey, Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Kimmel.
Granted, none of them made it onto the shortlist, but that was a significant portion of those they had to pick from. Small wonder that anti-Trump contenders were featured so prominently, and mostly for little other reason than having done so. Who among them did anything in 2017 which really shook up events around the entire planet? Maybe Hillary in 2016 for coming so near to being the first female president, but that was last year. What has she done this year aside from a book tour?
Now we’ll come to the final test to see where the minds of Time’s editors are centered. There are definitely some defensible picks on that list in terms of having impacted much of the world. (Trump, Kim Jong-un and #MeToo, though that final one could have gone specifically to Ronan Farrow instead of a group award, as Ed pointed out last night.) Maybe even the new Saudi Crown Prince, though for more nefarious reasons. But if it’s anyone else this is going to look like either a direct jab at Trump or the selection of someone undeserving who did very little to move the news of the world and was only selected so they could avoid giving it to the President. (And they really didn’t need to find a reason since the only president to ever win it two years in a row was Nixon.)