On Wednesday, news broke that Time magazine had selected United States President-elect Donald Trump as 2016's Person of the Year, a title that last year went to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel was first woman to become chancellor of Germany and is a world leader widely considered to be one of the last strongholds of liberalism in the West.
Trump is, of course, a newly-elected world leader who campaigned on a platform of isolationism and xenophobia, insulting scores of Americans and empowering a small but vocal minority to carry out acts of bigotry and hatred in his name. In its announcement, Time dubbed Trump the "President of the Divided States of America."
Merkel and Trump couldn't have had more diverging paths to the cover. Even Trump himself — though he is loathe to deny himself any accolades — didn't think he would win Time's yearly honor.
Back in December 2015, Trump tweeted that Time's selection of Merkel, or, as he called her, the "person who is ruining Germany," meant that it would "never pick" him for the cover spot.
In the same tweet, Trump referred to himself as "the big favorite" in 2015's voting — a statement that glossed over the actual reader choice, Bernie Sanders. Indeed not even this year, with Trump set to assume the presidency in under two months, did readers find him befitting of the title. Time's reader poll showed that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was actually the "big favorite" among the magazine's readers. And Hillary Clinton won a Today viewers poll on the matter.
But it's important to note that Time's "Person of the Year" pick isn't an endorsement, or even necessarily an honor. In the Time story announcing the pick, the magazine said Trump had "remade the game," but so, arguably, did Time's 1938 "Man of the Year," Adolf Hitler.