Time’s choice for 2011 Person of the Year—the Protester—arouses many a consideration. The first Time-nominated Man of the Year was Charles Lindbergh in 1927, before everyone forgot that, on his flight, he wore a suit and tie.
Times have changed. Hitler and Stalin were interesting Men of Their Years, and then dead ones. Time marches on. The Henry Luce era of the American century is today a memory, if that, and having lost its identity in the 1960’s, Time still somehow resists its disappearance into a digitalized haze. This latest muted assertion of relevance may be the last one from Time.
Time’s globalist abstraction conflates the Tea Party with the Occupy Wall Street exhibitionists, and these irreconcilables with the varied protesters of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Russia, and so on. The unnecessary and unjustifiable logical leaps instituted by Time reflect the very problems that the Tea Party of 2009 was organized to protest.
The Tea Party was, as its name suggests, organized to evoke some culture-specific associations that remind us of an original defiance of government. The government was the problem then, and it is the problem now, because of its magnitude and arrogance. The reaction to the Tea Party among the Talking Heads, the Beltway clerisy,...