I am thrilled with Time’s choice of the journalists who have become the symbols of international persecution of their craft to be the magazine’s Persons of the Year.
It’s an inspired choice. They’re called “The Guardians.” I said so in an earlier post on this blog.
However, let’s talk about the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump Sr. Could the president have deserved such a designation? Yes, by all means.
Trump had bloviated something a few days earlier about how he deserved to be Time’s Person of the Year. Then again, would he want to read Time’s explanation of why it bestowed him with such an “honor”? Oh, I forgot: He doesn’t read.
Then again, consider something. Time’s criteria include those who make the biggest difference in the nation and the world, for better or worse. It has put Josef Stalin on the cover, as it did the Ayatollah Khomeini. Adolf Hitler got the nod one year. Those men all made a profound difference.
I am not equating Trump with those monstrous despots. However, his presidency has continued to spiral out of control. He has sought to redefine the parameters we set for presidential success and/or failure. The chaos that continues to swirl around him provides an astonishing display for all to see.
He has lied continuously and gratuitously. He lies when he doesn’t need to lie. He has redefined the way presidents and other public figures communicate through his use of Twitter.
He has fired at least two Cabinet members this year alone. He has burned through his second chief of staff in less than two years. He alienates himself and, therefore, this nation he leads from allies around the world. He has launched trade wars with economic powers and longtime trading partners.
Yeah, this guy has been “consequential” as president. He has made a difference in the nation and the world. Trump sought to made the case for his own significance as an international figure. He did so with typical Trumpian inarticulateness.
If only Time had seen fit to put this guy on its cover . . . and then sought to explain it to the rest of the world. It would have been a hell of a good read.