Who would be your Person of the Year?

As is our custom, after Time names its Person of the Year, we discuss our choices.  Who do you think most affected the year 2012 for better or worse?  (That’s Time‘s criteria.)  Or, if you prefer, how about just in your own life?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Kirk

    Herman Cain! No one better personified the absurdity of the current state of American politics.

  • Kirk

    Herman Cain! No one better personified the absurdity of the current state of American politics.

  • http://abitibibob.hubpages.com/ Bob Hunter

    It may be the Mayans, but we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out!

  • http://abitibibob.hubpages.com/ Bob Hunter

    It may be the Mayans, but we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out!

  • Kyralessa

    Going back to the time when Person of the Year was about the biggest newsmaker, not an “honor” for somebody…

    I’d pick The Gun.

  • Kyralessa

    Going back to the time when Person of the Year was about the biggest newsmaker, not an “honor” for somebody…

    I’d pick The Gun.

  • dan kempin

    Kyralessa, #3,

    I don’t get it.

  • dan kempin

    Kyralessa, #3,

    I don’t get it.

  • Tom Hering

    I get it. Time has picked an inanimate object before: the computer. And the gun may prove to have had the biggest impact on American culture and politics in 2012 – to have caused the most striking change in attitudes. But I emphasize “may.” America’s gun culture is as entrenched as anything can be.

  • Tom Hering

    I get it. Time has picked an inanimate object before: the computer. And the gun may prove to have had the biggest impact on American culture and politics in 2012 – to have caused the most striking change in attitudes. But I emphasize “may.” America’s gun culture is as entrenched as anything can be.

  • Kyralessa

    Dan,

    Time’s Person of the Year isn’t always a person. In 1982 it was “The Computer” (as Machine of the Year); in 1988 it was “The Endangered Earth.”

  • Kyralessa

    Dan,

    Time’s Person of the Year isn’t always a person. In 1982 it was “The Computer” (as Machine of the Year); in 1988 it was “The Endangered Earth.”

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Johnny “Heisman” Manziel, because I am biased.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Johnny “Heisman” Manziel, because I am biased.

  • dan kempin

    OK, let me rephrase: How is the “gun” the most influential person of 2012? What changed about guns in 2012 that is comparable to computers in 1982? Was there some new breakthrough in gun technology of which I am unaware? How have guns actually influenced this year?

  • dan kempin

    OK, let me rephrase: How is the “gun” the most influential person of 2012? What changed about guns in 2012 that is comparable to computers in 1982? Was there some new breakthrough in gun technology of which I am unaware? How have guns actually influenced this year?

  • SKPeterson

    Tom Hering!

    Seriously though, it has to be Lindsay Lohan.

  • SKPeterson

    Tom Hering!

    Seriously though, it has to be Lindsay Lohan.

  • Jeff

    Actual gun violence has gone down over the past twenty years. So unless you are just looking for hyperbole, I don’t think ‘the gun’ would be a good choice.

  • Jeff

    Actual gun violence has gone down over the past twenty years. So unless you are just looking for hyperbole, I don’t think ‘the gun’ would be a good choice.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    I’d pick Fonzie, for Jumping the Shark.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    I’d pick Fonzie, for Jumping the Shark.

  • helen

    Dr. Luther @ 7
    Johnny “Heisman” Manziel, because I am biased.

    I’m UT, but we’ve got to hand it to another Texan.
    ["Me against my brother, but me and my brother against the world..."]

    In the long run though, the football players who have had their lives ruined by injuries, esp. concussion, (and made the news this year), may have more effect on the game.

  • helen

    Dr. Luther @ 7
    Johnny “Heisman” Manziel, because I am biased.

    I’m UT, but we’ve got to hand it to another Texan.
    ["Me against my brother, but me and my brother against the world..."]

    In the long run though, the football players who have had their lives ruined by injuries, esp. concussion, (and made the news this year), may have more effect on the game.

  • dan kempin

    Oh, wait. I’m a little slow, but I get it now. You are attempting to springboard into the whole of “guns are evil” narrative that has been taken up in the aftermath of the recent shooting. Fair enough.

    Since drunk driving kills a comparable amount of people compared to firearm homicide, can I then nominate the automobile? (Ooh! If you consider the deadly effect of car bombs in recent history, that should really make the case!)

    Besides, a far larger number of people die each year from the unsafe handling of automobiles. They are just plain dangerous!

    May I assume your agreement with the proposal of “automobile free zones” for the safety of our society?

  • dan kempin

    Oh, wait. I’m a little slow, but I get it now. You are attempting to springboard into the whole of “guns are evil” narrative that has been taken up in the aftermath of the recent shooting. Fair enough.

    Since drunk driving kills a comparable amount of people compared to firearm homicide, can I then nominate the automobile? (Ooh! If you consider the deadly effect of car bombs in recent history, that should really make the case!)

    Besides, a far larger number of people die each year from the unsafe handling of automobiles. They are just plain dangerous!

    May I assume your agreement with the proposal of “automobile free zones” for the safety of our society?

  • Joe

    I would pick the Ben Bernanke or the Fed, itself. After all there is no requirement that the Person of the Year do something good. They just have to have a large impact.

  • Joe

    I would pick the Ben Bernanke or the Fed, itself. After all there is no requirement that the Person of the Year do something good. They just have to have a large impact.

  • CRB

    J.R.R. Tolkien because he still influences culture.

  • CRB

    J.R.R. Tolkien because he still influences culture.

  • Kyralessa

    Dan,

    This thread is not about that issue. I will merely say that “Person (or Thing, or Machine, whatever) of the Year” refers, in Time magazine’s judgment, to whatever had the most influence on the year. I think the gun had a lot of influence this year and will have even more in the future, whether in violence or in legislative acts to prevent that violence. That is why I posted it. I hope that answers your serious questions. (I will ignore your sarcastic questions.)

    You are, of course, free to disagree and say that the gun was entirely inconsequential in the past year and will remain so.

  • Kyralessa

    Dan,

    This thread is not about that issue. I will merely say that “Person (or Thing, or Machine, whatever) of the Year” refers, in Time magazine’s judgment, to whatever had the most influence on the year. I think the gun had a lot of influence this year and will have even more in the future, whether in violence or in legislative acts to prevent that violence. That is why I posted it. I hope that answers your serious questions. (I will ignore your sarcastic questions.)

    You are, of course, free to disagree and say that the gun was entirely inconsequential in the past year and will remain so.

  • Abby

    Dan @13: I’m with you on the “automobile free zones.”

  • Abby

    Dan @13: I’m with you on the “automobile free zones.”

  • dan kempin

    Kyralessa,

    Sorry for the sarcasm. I understand that there is a large disagreement in the public arena about firearm policies, and I think it is a debate worth having. It does annoy me, though, when the actual debate is sandbagged by talking about inanimate objects, which is what your comment seemed (well, seems) to do.

  • dan kempin

    Kyralessa,

    Sorry for the sarcasm. I understand that there is a large disagreement in the public arena about firearm policies, and I think it is a debate worth having. It does annoy me, though, when the actual debate is sandbagged by talking about inanimate objects, which is what your comment seemed (well, seems) to do.

  • Kyralessa

    By the way, Dan, I agree with you and Abby: More automobile-free zones would be a good thing!

  • Kyralessa

    By the way, Dan, I agree with you and Abby: More automobile-free zones would be a good thing!

  • DonS

    Mohammed Morsi of Egypt. The Middle East hangs in the balance.

  • DonS

    Mohammed Morsi of Egypt. The Middle East hangs in the balance.

  • Kirk

    Actually, I like Don’s.

  • Kirk

    Actually, I like Don’s.

  • Tom Hering

    TIME’s choice for person of the year is made by the managing editor. Seriously. No voting, no committee. So the precedent is there for the manner in which Cranach’s person of the year could be selected. How about it, Dr. Veith?

  • Tom Hering

    TIME’s choice for person of the year is made by the managing editor. Seriously. No voting, no committee. So the precedent is there for the manner in which Cranach’s person of the year could be selected. How about it, Dr. Veith?

  • SAL

    I’d suggest the Person of the Year should have been between these three:

    Mario Draghi
    Hu Jintao
    Angela Merkel

  • SAL

    I’d suggest the Person of the Year should have been between these three:

    Mario Draghi
    Hu Jintao
    Angela Merkel

  • DonS

    Another option: Chris Stevens

  • DonS

    Another option: Chris Stevens

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Thilo Sarrazin

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Thilo Sarrazin

  • Grace

    The person of the year is: My husband.

    The person who effected the worst this year – Obama

  • Grace

    The person of the year is: My husband.

    The person who effected the worst this year – Obama

  • Hanni

    I agree with the Ben Bernanke choice. We may not realize how powerful his influence has been until we must exit fromhis policies. He has taken unprecedented Fed actions, and many think they will be bad for our future. IMO, these have only been taken to boost the stock market. Everytime he has more “quantitatie easing” the market blips upward, soon to sink again, but that blip is what they arelooking for.

  • Hanni

    I agree with the Ben Bernanke choice. We may not realize how powerful his influence has been until we must exit fromhis policies. He has taken unprecedented Fed actions, and many think they will be bad for our future. IMO, these have only been taken to boost the stock market. Everytime he has more “quantitatie easing” the market blips upward, soon to sink again, but that blip is what they arelooking for.

  • helen

    Perhaps we should be nominating Ayn Rand,
    supposedly she is the excuse for Greenspan, Bernanke
    and the whole “GREED IS GOOD” crowd. :(

  • helen

    Perhaps we should be nominating Ayn Rand,
    supposedly she is the excuse for Greenspan, Bernanke
    and the whole “GREED IS GOOD” crowd. :(

  • SKPeterson

    helen – Bernanke is no Randian. He’s a Keynesian thru and thru.

  • SKPeterson

    helen – Bernanke is no Randian. He’s a Keynesian thru and thru.

  • Michael B.

    @dan kempin@13

    “Besides, a far larger number of people die each year from the unsafe handling of automobiles. They are just plain dangerous!”

    I’d like to own a grenade launcher, as well as an adequate supply of fragmentation grenades. The number of deaths in the USA from grenade launchers is far less than that of shotguns or pistols and other legal firearms. Can I count on your support?

  • Michael B.

    @dan kempin@13

    “Besides, a far larger number of people die each year from the unsafe handling of automobiles. They are just plain dangerous!”

    I’d like to own a grenade launcher, as well as an adequate supply of fragmentation grenades. The number of deaths in the USA from grenade launchers is far less than that of shotguns or pistols and other legal firearms. Can I count on your support?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Tom, maybe next year we could have a Cranach person of the year! If he gets re-elected, it will probably be Matt Harrison. (The earlier LCMS president was a Texan who came and went with George W. Bush. Harrison came in with Obama, promising hope and change. . . .)

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Tom, maybe next year we could have a Cranach person of the year! If he gets re-elected, it will probably be Matt Harrison. (The earlier LCMS president was a Texan who came and went with George W. Bush. Harrison came in with Obama, promising hope and change. . . .)

  • Dan Kempin

    Michael B,

    “I’d like to own a grenade launcher . . . Can I count on your support?”

    Of course. Grenades will be far more effective during a zombie apocalypse. As it is, current laws only allow for this:

    http://www.hornady.com/in-the-news/latest-news/zombie-max-ammunition

  • Dan Kempin

    Michael B,

    “I’d like to own a grenade launcher . . . Can I count on your support?”

    Of course. Grenades will be far more effective during a zombie apocalypse. As it is, current laws only allow for this:

    http://www.hornady.com/in-the-news/latest-news/zombie-max-ammunition


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