Donald Trump is TIME’s Person of the Year.
The president-elect was the disruptive force of the 2016 presidential election, positioning himself as a political outsider who would take down a “rigged” system. And while many analysts predicted his opponent, Hillary Clinton, would win the election, Trump emerged victorious in the end during a bitter and divisive campaign. He won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote.
Trump has never spent a day in public office. TIME describes him as a “real estate baron and casino owner turned reality-TV star and provocateur” and notes that many people didn’t take Trump seriously at the beginning of his campaign. Now he’s poised to become the most powerful man in the world: president of the United States.
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. To his believers, he delivers change—broad, deep, historic change, not modest measures doled out in Dixie cups; to his detractors, he inspires fear both for what he may do and what may be done in his name.
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.
The publication continues:
For reminding America that demagoguery feeds on despair and that truth is only as powerful as the trust in those who speak it, 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.
The short list for this year’s Person of the Year: