Time’s Person of the Year decision is always a fun one. In the weeks leading up to it, people begin to speculate.
Those guesses range from politicians to activists to pop music stars. Taylor Swift is almost always mentioned (And one day, by golly, she will get it!).
Then, in the days leading up to it, Time releases its finalists. The field always contains at least one highly controversial figure. Believe it or not, Donald Trump was a finalist, and he still wasn’t even the most questionable of the bunch.
That distinction belonged to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS. Time describes its Person of the Year as a person or group that “for better or for worse … has done the most to influence the events of the year.” So I guess that works.
If they wanted to make a splash, maybe they could have went with the head of ISIS. Or Taylor Swift. But instead, the magazine went with a much safer, less controversial choice: German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Merkel, the head of Germany since 2005, became the de facto leader of the European Union during the Greek debt crisis, and set an example for the world by opening her arms early in the Syrian refugee crisis to welcome migrants across her borders.
Europe’s seen a lot of crises this year, hasn’t it?
But anyway, I think what made Merkel such a poplar and tempting choice for Time is that she represents how far Germany has come. Just 75 years ago, the nation was committing genocide of millions of people because of their faith, making for one of the most darkest episodes in world history.
In the decades that followed World War II, Germany was divided by a wall to the east and west, neither of which had any real influence or leadership. Eastern Germany was in essence the biggest pawn of the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
In other words, Hitler really screwed up Germany for a long time. And although Merkel is the third chancellor of Germany since the country reunified in 1990, she’s become the face of a new set of ideals that the nation now stands for.
Angela Merkel on the cover of Time Magazine may not be as appealing as Pamela Anderson on the cover of the final nude issue of Playboy, but, uhh … there is no final part of this sentence. It was just a fact. I will buy that issue of Playboy, but I will not buy Time Magazine.
Although, Angela Merkel does sort of have that grandmotherly, helmet haircut thing going — no. No. I can’t even joke.
But before I go, it’s worth giving one more update on Trump. The backlash from his comments about Muslims on Monday continues to grow. Maybe not among Republican voters, unfortunately, but in the United Kingdom, Parliament will actually debate the possibility of banning him from their country because of his “hate speech.”
And it’s all because of a petition that’s been signed, as of 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night, by more than 371,000 people.
Hmm, if only we could start a petition to ban Donald Trump from ever becoming president.
Oh wait, there is. It’s called a ballot.
Do the right thing, America.