Really? The most influential and newsworthy person of the year currently occupies space in urban downtown areas, unless you’re on the West Coast, where you can find them hanging out at the docks, blocking traffic and making your cost of goods needlessly increase. At least that’s how Time Magazine sees it, and they get there by conflating the Arab Spring protests with the labor-driven Occupy “movement,” which is collapsing from its own meaninglessness
In 2009, Time had the same opportunity to pick “the protester” when the protests were the Tea Party and Iran’s Green Revolution, which followed from Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, and so on. Who did they pick? Ben Bernanke. When the Tea Party movement actually delivered results at the ballot box in 2010 in a historic midterm drubbing of Barack Obama’s Democrats — they lost 68 seats, the worst outing since 1938 — they could have hailed The Protester then, too. Who did they pick? Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
So they’re a little late to “the protester” story in terms of real impact. And what impact has “the protester” actually had in 2011? Has the Occupy Movement, such as it is, had any kind of ground-breaking impact on politics in the way the Tea Party did in 2010 and still does in this cycle? Not even close, and even people on the Left have begun washing their hands of the literally pointless display. The Arab Spring protesters have had somewhat more impact, but the two dictators they overthrew in Tunisia and Egypt look to be replaced by Muslim Brotherhood theocrats. In Libya, Moammar Qaddafi didn’t get taken down by “protesters,” but by an armed insurrection that combined several militia forces with NATO’s air power dropping bombs on the capital for several months. In Syria, the Assad regime is mowing down the protesters while the US and Europe stand idly by. In that sense, it’s exactly like Iran in 2009 — when Time passed on the opportunity to name the martyred Neda as their person of the year.
If I was Tim Tebow I’d be pissed. Occupy Denver is gone. The Denver Broncos are in first place.
For now anyway.