TIME magazine has named their 2019 Person of the Year as Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who’s helped lead a wave of youth-driven climate change protests around the world throughout the year. She’s traveled (by boat) to some high-profile climate change-related diplomatic events, where she has sought to grow the pressure on world leaders to act to avert the looming possible further crisis enacted by a still-changing climate.
— TIME (@TIME) December 11, 2019
Her profile on the magazine’s website includes her perspective:
‘We can’t just continue living as if there was no tomorrow, because there is a tomorrow. That is all we are saying.’
That “tomorrow,” as she has also very publicly noted, constitutes the future for the youth of today, and those in power willing to turn a blind eye to pollution and the like are putting it on the line.
Although her mission is pretty straightforward, some on the right have complained about her anyway, and that continued after TIME‘s announcement this week.
One, uh, “free speech advocate” who goes by Count Dankula and has quite a large following mocked the award by noting that Adolf Hitler had received it as well. Conservative commentator Jack Posobiec suggested that the magazine’s choice amounted to a decision to “just screw Hong Kong,” where pro-democracy protesters have been demonstrating for months. There are plenty of similar examples from around the world — he is just moralizing.
That complaining mirrors President Donald Trump’s own past obsessing over the Person of the Year award. In 2017, he claimed that what essentially was a “you can’t fire me; I quit!” situation unfolded surrounding the award. He tweeted that the magazine had supposedly called him to offer him an interview and photo shoot because he’d “probably” be the person of the year designation recipient, but he claimed he turned them down because of their indecision. The magazine said that never happened — and that year, they named “Silence Breakers” as the “person of the year,” honoring those giving a voice to sufferers of sexual misconduct.
This year, Trump — as, remember, president of the United States — has already mocked Thunberg. In response to a clip of Thunberg at the United Nations, he mockingly quipped that she “seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.” Thunberg took the mockery in stride and added it to her Twitter bio.
Check out Twitter’s response to her award…