Robert's Virtual Soapbox

(or, The Sanctimonious Professional Leftist's Blog)
NOVEMBER 27, 2013 5:51PM

Edward Snowden is the person of the year

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White House, lawmakers: no clemency for Snowden

Associated Press image

Whistleblower and protester Edward Snowden is shown in a video grab from September in Moscow, where he had to flee in order to avoid political persecution and prosecution in the lawless United States of America. You can vote for Snowden for TIME magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2013 by clicking here.

So TIME magazine is taking online votes for its next “Person of the Year.” You have 42 candidates to choose from (giving the candidates only a “yes” or “no” vote), knowing that TIME’s editors will make the final decision, regardless of how the online polling goes — of which I’m glad, since Miley Cyrus leads the online polling as I type this sentence. (Whether people sincerely want her or whether the votes for her are part of a campaign, as a joke, I’m not certain.)

The 42 candidates include the famous and the infamous, including (in no certain order) Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pope Francis, the Koch brothers, the Tsarnaev brothers (the brothers accused of having perpetrated the Boston Marathon bombing), Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Angelina Jolie, and, of course, Barack Obama.

(Historically, the president of the United States has been named TIME’s “Person of the Year” about once every three years on average, for fuck’s sake. With the sole exception of Gerald Ford, every U.S. president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was named “Person of the Year” three times, has been named “Person of the Year” at least once. Two-term presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama all were named “Personal of the Year” twice, so pretty much if you are the U.S. president, you’re named TIME’s “Person of the Year” at least once a term [as long as you're not Gerald Ford...].)

TIME’s “Person of the Year” is to go to the individual who was most influential on the world stage (or at least on the American stage…), for good or for ill.

My vote for 2013s “Person of the Year,” hands down, is for patriot Edward Snowden, who revealed to the world how much we have been spied upon illegally by the U.S. government. As I type this sentence, Snowden is the third-most popular candidate for “Person of the Year” in TIME’s online polling.

My other favorites for 2013’s “Person of the Year” include Texas pol (and, hopefully, future Texas governor) Wendy Davis (who thus far is at No. 5 in the online polling) and Edith Windsor, whose lawsuit brought about the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (“DOMA”) is unconstitutional (since it is — or was, anyway).

However, Edward Snowden has had truly global significance and influence. Indeed, the United Nations next month is to consider a resolution that states “that surveillance and data interception by governments and companies ‘may violate or abuse human rights.’”

Snowden’s “crime” is that he has embarrassed the elites who unconstitutionally and illegally have spied upon Americans and others — they have directly spied illegally or they have aided and abetted such illegal spying — but which is worse: committing the crimes in the first fucking place or exposing the crimes that others have committed?

Um, yeah: The later is called “whistleblowing,” and since 2002’s “Person[s] of the Year” were “The Whistleblowers,” and since 2011’s “Person of the Year” was “The Protester,” there certainly is precedent for Edward Snowden being named TIME’s “Person of the Year” for 2013.

P.S. Since I composed the above, I read on the Los Angeles Times’ website that “A team of hackers claims it found a way to rig the [TIME magazine "Person of the Year"] poll (users are required to vote through Twitter or Facebook),” but the Times charitably adds immediately: “But Cyrus has spent the better part of the year leading the chatter on the place that matters most these days: the Internet.”

My guess is that hackers indeed were involved in putting Cyrus at No. 1, which gives me more hope for the nation…

If hackers indeed put Cyrus at No. 1, then maybe Snowden actually is in the top two, although I would think that hackers might have the desire to help Snowden out, too…

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