Outside of hardcore Hillary Clinton supporters, nobody is surprised Donald Trump is Time’s ‘Person of the Year.’ With most political prognosticators (including yours truly) predicting Trump would flop in the primaries once the voting started, Trump upended the entire process, winning in areas nobody thought he would do well. People who accurately predicted the election results the last 4-5 cycles got this one way wrong. People predicted a popular and electoral college sweep for Hillary and Trump won.
There’s no second guessing here at all. Love Donald Trump or hate him, he deserved to be Time’s ‘Person of the Year.’ Here are some snippets from the Time story:
For nearly 17 months on the campaign trail, Trump did what no American politician had attempted in a generation, with defiant flair. Instead of painting a bright vision for a unified future, he magnified the divisions of the present, inspiring new levels of anger and fear within his country. Whatever you think of the man, this much is undeniable: he uncovered an opportunity others didn’t believe existed, the last, greatest deal for a 21st century salesman. The national press, the late-night comics, the elected leaders, the donors, the corporate chiefs and a sitting President who prematurely dropped his mic—they all believed he was just taking the country for a ride.
The starting point for his success, which can be measured with just tens of thousands of votes, was the most obvious recipe in politics. He identified the central issue motivating the American electorate and then convinced a plurality of the voters in the states that mattered that he was the best person to bring change. “The greatest jobs theft in the history of the world” was his cause, “I alone can fix it” his unlikely selling point, “great again” his rallying cry.
Everything he did, defied conventional wisdom in a way not seen before. Trump managed to tap into the economic anxieties of people, especially in the Midwest that saw him win states Republicans had not won since 1984 (Wisconsin), and the holy grail of states Republicans could never see to grab, Pennsylvania. He also stunned people by winning Michigan. Trump didn’t just win Ohio. He trounced Hillary in Ohio and won Iowa easily as well.
That Trump won is not an endorsement of him or his policies. People too often confuse ‘Person of the Year’ with ‘The Greatest Person of The Year’ and it’s not about that. On the cover, Time manages to poke at Trump saying he’s the President of the ‘Divided States of America.’ They didn’t do that to Barack Obama.
Again, whether you’re a fan of Trump or not, it’s hard to make the case for anybody else besides him.