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Donald Trump is Time magazine's 2016 Person of the Year

By Andrew V. Pestano

NEW YORK, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Time magazine named President-elect Donald Trump its 2016 Person of the Year on Wednesday due to his influence in the past year "for better or worse."

In November, voters elected Trump as president of the United States after a long, divisive campaign. He announced his campaign on June 16, 2015, in Trump Tower in Manhattan and delivered a speech over which he continues to receive both criticism and praise. Critics called his description of some Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals racist, while his supporters routinely chanted "build a wall!" at his campaign rallies.

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"Every year we choose the person of the year who is the individual who has had the most influence on events, for better or worse. It's hard to argue that anyone had more influence than Donald Trump over the events of this year," Time Editor-in-Chief Nancy Gibbs said in a video of the announcement. "But there is a profound argument about whether his influence was for the better or for the worse."

Gibbs wrote that, for those who thought "for the better," Trump's electoral victory "represents a long-overdue rebuke to an entrenched and arrogant governing class." For those whom his victory is "for the worse," the "destruction extends to cherished norms of civility and discourse, a politics poisoned by vile streams of racism, sexism, nativism," Gibbs wrote.

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"A lot of people think that Person of the Year, just because of the nature of the name, is an honor, and certainly there have been years where we have recognized people whose influence has been altogether unassailably worthy," Gibbs added. "Normally that's not the case. I know there are a lot of people who disagree with so much of what Donald Trump said and are very apprehensive about what his presidency means for them and for the country. I think i would challenge them to suggest that someone else this year had more influence and in a way a greater surprise than what he did in 2016."

Last year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was named Person of the Year -- the first woman to hold the title in decades.

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