Trump’s latest lie of self importance/delusion is that he turned down Time magazine for the person of the year award because they said he “probably” won it. Time magazine quickly refuted this as a lie. This is typical of Trump and barely news worthy. Very few days go by where he doesn’t tweet something, usually a lie, to inflate his own ego.
The thing is, Trump absolutely should be Time’s Person of the Year. The criterion for the award is a person, a group, an idea, or an object that “for better or for worse… has done the most to influence the events of the year”.
Hands down, Trump fits that description if you account for “for worse”. In doing so, in many ways, he has fulfilled the “for better” part also. Here is why.
The election of Trump, his actions as President, and the reactions to his actions by his supporters, peeled away the public relations veneer of American society to reveal the termite infested rotting foundation. He has exposed the real extent of America’s racism, sexism, bigotry, hatred, fear, apathy, hypocrisy, greed, false patriotism, war mongering, tribalism, gullibility, and overall willful ignorance of everything.
Those aspects of Trumpism have spread outside of the US. Much of Europe is falling prey to the same forces who point to Trump as an example. If the “shining city on the hill” is really nothing more than a slum with a spotlight, then why should the rest of the world strive to be better? Instead, they are following our example.
I am a natural pessimist/realist. I have long felt that the US was not nearly the great society we proclaimed to be. Much more so than most people would admit when they were being honest. Even the pessimist in me has been truly shocked at how bad the situation really is. Trump has exposed it.
During Obama’s tenure, we saw many racists come out of the woodworks. We thought that was bad. Then Trump came along and tacitly endorsed it in some areas and openly spouted and encouraged it in others. Normalized it. Even the closet racists now feel emboldened to speak out as if it were the latest cliche trend. We have literal nazis marching in the streets and being called “fine people” by the President of the United States. We have people who claim to not be racist defending and supporting him for those remarks.
We have a President who openly bragged about sexually assaulting women and being a pedophile, people defended and supported him. Now we have a man running for Senate who has been accused of sexually assaulting minors, and people defend and support him. It was less than 20 years ago when a candidate was forced out of the race, and politics in general, for a single extra-marital affair.
Hate crimes against LGBTQ, religious minorities, and ethnic minorities have all spiked dramatically since Trump became the Republican nominee.
We have entered the “post-truth” era of alternative facts thanks to Trump.
We have evangelical Christians who rabidly support a president who is the living antithesis of everything Christians proclaim their religion is about. Now they are pulling out the bible to support a man accused of being a pedophile. All because they know that both men will gladly push the US to a theocracy. Moore because he wants a theocracy. Trump because he doesn’t care as long as they worship him. Those are “values voters”. The hypocrisy is out there for all to see.
Republican’s in congress are stalling and trying to squash investigations into possible collusion and treason by the President in order to push their agenda through. The party of national defense is trying to ignore potential treason, the highest crime possible, for an agenda.
They have even been emboldened to come out and say that they have to pass tax reform to satisfy their donors. It isn’t about what is best for the people or for the country, it is about keeping the money flowing to themselves. The American public has long assumed that politicians were more in it for themselves and now the politicians are admitting it. Their supporters don’t care.
Trump has stacked much of the government with industry insiders hell bent on destroying the government and selling the country to the lowest bidder. Yet his supporters believe that is “draining the swamp”.
The election of Trump exposed just how far Putin and Russia are willing to go to destabilize the west in order bring Russia back into power. The US elections aren’t the only ones they have meddled in. What we have seen though is that the US populace was the most gullible in believing the propaganda.
There have been too many instances of both people and politicians putting party before country to count. Unashamedly unabashedly putting party over country. Straight up saying that the only thing that matters is maintaining party power. Not morals, not what is best for the country, not what is good for the people, not what is the right thing to do, just maintaining party power. It has been exposed as being so bad that we can barely claim to be a country anymore when loyalty to party is considered the new patriotism.
We are seeing how many people are willfully and critically ignorant of science, politics, the world, and economics. We have a President who prides himself on being ignorant of all of those things and just making up a fantasy world instead. He is then telling people that their fantasy is just as good as facts and knowledge.
We see just how many people spent 8 years claiming Obama was a dictator turning around and begging Trump to be the authoritarian he wants to be. We see just how many people want an ugly spiteful ignorant reality show for a country.
We see how many people knew that Trump was going to make life worse for them, but voted for him anyway because they knew he would make “those people” even more miserable. That is how miserable of a society we are at the core. Trump promised to maintain and extend the societal totem pole and ensure that the shit would continue to get worse the further down the totem pole you go. So many people were more than happy to get shit on as long as they are able to shit on someone else.
The list of ugliness just keeps going on and on. That is what Trump has done. He has brought the absolute worst parts of every aspect of American society to the front. All of those bad habits that we have spent decades trying to get rid of are now front and center and as bad or worse than ever.
The good of it is that it is all out there. We now know we have a lot further to go than we thought we did. In less than a year, Trump has taken our society back decades. At the same time, he exposed the rotting core that was already there and we just didn’t want to go looking for it. Not just in America. The Trump effect has spread to expose the ugly underbelly of much of the world.
Nobody else has come close to having that much profound impact this year. Probably not in decades. The only competition to come close would be Putin. Simply because Putin had the foresight to help bring the most destructive force to western society that he could find into power.
For all of those reasons, Trump is hand’s down the “Person of the year”.