On Wednesday, TIME Magazine announced what everybody already knew: Donald Trump was their Person of the Year. The left, of course, had a field day comparing Trump to 1938 TIME Man of the Year Adolf Hitler (to be fair, the right made some of those same comparisons when Barack Obama was TIME Person of the Year in 2012).
But there’s something rather telling about the media in comparing and contrasting their 2016 and 2012 and 2008 People of the Year:
First off, look at the art. The 2008 Obama image is a mirror of his HOPE poster from the campaign – an upward looking Obama, gazing into history, a beacon of change and light.
The 2012 Obama image is a mirror of this famous JFK portrait that shows him contemplating his own place in history:
The 2016 Trump image mirrors the chiaroscuro of The Godfather, complete with leather chair:
So, the media are already attempting to tell their story: Obama was a wonderful, deep, shimmering image of joy; Trump is a gangster.
But even more clearly, TIME attempts to suggest that Trump is somehow indicative of a divide in America that didn’t exist when Obama was on the ballot. In 2012, they simply labeled Obama “President”; Trump, however, is “President of the Divided States of America.”
How did we get divided? Presumably, that’s due to Trump. Or at least to his supporters. Does anyone believe that if 80,000 votes in the swing states had gone the other way and Hillary graced the cover, TIME would have labeled her president of the “Divided States”? Of course not.
All of which shows why Trump regularly slapping the media worked – and continues to work. Most Americans know that the country wasn’t a paradisical place of whimsy and unity under Barack Obama – we’ve been divided for over a decade, at the very least, and Obama exacerbated that divide. Trump didn’t spring out of the ground like a demon. He’s the product of a divided America that Obama helped to divide.
But the media continue to purvey the lie that only Republicans divide the country. No wonder so many Americans don’t trust them.