Time Magazine has named its finalists for its annual “Person of the Year,” a title it has been awarding since 1927. The magazine describes the winner of the title as a person, people, or object that “for better or for worse…has done the most to influence the events of the year”
This year’s finalists were first announced on ABC’s Today:
Chinese President Xi Jinping
This year the Xi Jinping secured an unprecedented third term as General Secretary of China’s Communist Party, and has tightened his grip on power. In recent weeks his leadership has faced its biggest test in years, as violent protests over the Communist Party’s authoritarian “Zero-Covid” policy have erupted in cities around the country.
In previous years, billionaire Elon Musk has been known mostly for his leadership over electric car company Tesla. However, in recent days the world’s richest man is arguably better associated with his purchase of Twitter and commitment to free speech and transparency on the social media platform. If Musk were to secure the title of Person of the Year, he would join a small list of individuals to receive the honor two years in a row.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Ron DeSantis is riding high after securing a second term as Florida’s Governor, an election he won by nearly 20-points over his opponent Charlie Crist. DeSantis is considered by many as amongst the most conservative governors in America and is seen as the most likely challenger to former president Donald Trump for the 2024 GOP Presidential nomination.
Protesters in Iran
The Islamic Republic of Iran has been rocked by protests which began in September of this year. The mass demonstrations were a response to the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini at the hands of the nation’s morality-police for allegedly wearing her hijab “improperly”. Numerous demonstrators have been killed, wounded, and arrested in subsequent months, demanding government reforms and calling for an end to the Islamic republic’s human tights violations.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Comedian turned Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has become one of the most recognizable figures on the international stage, leading his nation during arguably its worst crisis since the fall of the Soviet Union. He has become an important symbol of resistance to his people and a foil to aloof Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Rep. Liz Cheney
Over the past several years Congresswoman Liz Cheney has made a name for herself as one of the most vocal anti-Trump Republicans, using her membership on the January 6th congressional committee as a bullhorn to attack the former president. Cheney was defeated in her primary back in August and will leave office in January.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has presided over an economy plagued by high gas prices and inflation. Yellen previously served as the 15th chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018.
The United States Supreme Court
This year the Supreme Court has tackled a number of controversial issues including abortion rights, affirmative action, gun control. Its most influential decision was announced earlier this year when it overturned the longstanding Roe v. Wade, determining that the right to an abortion is not protected by the U.S. Constitution. This year also saw the elevation of the first black woman to the high court, justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.
Gun Safety Advocates
Time Magazine is considering “gun safety advocates” for its award after a year that saw a number of high-profile mass shootings including a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, and the deadly school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott
Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife MacKenzie Scott made headlines this year after making a $122.6 million donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. She also revealed in November that in this year alone, she has donated nearly $2 billion to 343 organizations focused on the support of underserved communities.