Well, well. A Republican made it to the top of TIME Magazine's iconic "Person of the Year" ranking. President-Elect Trump adorns the outlet's latest cover with a photo that projects strength... and his back turned to the reader. Oh, and it's juxtaposed with an undermining sub-caption that reads: "President of the Divided States of America."
A far cry from the two TIME covers featuring President Obama when he was ranked the outlet's Person of the Year:
When TIME featured Obama, he was either lionized by a propaganda photo or featured in a pensive pose without additional commentary.
The feature story is likewise, is wrought with smug condescension:
The revolution he stirred feels fully American, with its echoes of populists past, of Andrew Jackson and Huey Long and, at its most sinister, Joe McCarthy and Charles Coughlin. Trump’s assault on truth and logic, far from hurting him, made him stronger. His appeal—part hope, part snarl—dissolved party lines and dispatched the two reigning dynasties of U.S. politics. Yet his victory mirrors the ascent of nationalists across the world, from Britain to the Philippines, and taps forces far more powerful than one man’s message.
Author Nancy Gibbs laments "what our generation has wrought by putting a supercomputer" into everyone's hands, including President-Elect Trump's.
"Perhaps the President-elect will stop tweeting," she hopes, "but only because he will have found some other means to tell the story he wants to tell directly to the audience that wants to hear it."
Gibbs continued to get her digs in, touting Hillary Clinton's love of "policy solutions" and "she believes in them." Likewise, Gibbs couldn't let go of the idea that Clinton's "popular-vote victory ... affirmed the prospect of a female Commander in Chief."
If only Clinton's popular vote numbers weren't made so by intelligible voters.
"In fact, she [Clinton] crushed Trump among voters who cared most about experience and judgment and temperament, qualities that have typically mattered when choosing the leader of the free world," Gibbs pines on.
"Even at his moment of victory, 6 in 10 voters had an unfavorable view of Trump and didn’t think he was qualified to be President"
This is the 90th time we have named the person who had the greatest influence, for better or worse, on the events of the year. So which is it this year: Better or worse? The challenge for Donald Trump is how profoundly the country disagrees about the answer.
It’s hard to measure the scale of his disruption. This real estate baron and casino owner turned reality-TV star and provocateur—never a day spent in public office, never a debt owed to any interest besides his own—now surveys the smoking ruin of a vast political edifice that once housed parties, pundits, donors, pollsters, all those who did not see him coming or take him seriously. Out of this reckoning, Trump is poised to preside, for better or worse.
For those who believe this is all for the better, Trump’s victory represents a long-overdue rebuke to an entrenched and arrogant governing class; for those who see it as for the worse, the destruction extends to cherished norms of civility and discourse, a politics poisoned by vile streams of racism, sexism, nativism.
Yes, the end is nigh, Gibbs. The internment camps are being built and the crosses poised to be burned, as I type this.
To Gibbs, Trump reminded America "that demagoguery feeds on despair and that truth is only as powerful as the trust in those who speak it." For this reason, she states, "for empowering a hidden electorate by mainstreaming its furies and live-streaming its fears, and for framing tomorrow’s political culture by demolishing yesterday’s, Donald Trump is TIME’s 2016 Person of the Year."