David Stokes
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Poor Al Gore, December is just not his month.  First he loses a nail-biter to George W. Bush, that wound reopened slightly a few days ago with the December 12th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling that gave the presidential nod to Bush. And now, in another pre-Christmas let down, the former Vice President finds himself a mere bridesmaid again as runner up to another winner. 

Never mind an academy award for his movie “AN INCOHERENT…” …er…I mean “An INCONVENIENT Truth” – and also ignoring the fact that he is indeed a NOBEL PRIZE winner (and don’t forget his legendary invention of the internet and being the inspiration for the iconic 70’s movie “LOVE STORY”).  Apparently none of that resume enhancing stuff mattered ultimately to the folks at Time Magazine as they chose their person of the year this week.

This time Mr. Gore finds himself losing to that wacky charmer in the Kremlin, VLADIMIR PUTIN. If you venture to www.time.com you’ll see a picture of the Russian president sitting Lincoln-esque in a pose that actually defines what the absence of a smile looks like.

Time says that this annual choice is not about honor, nor is it an endorsement. They say it’s ultimately about LEADERSHIP, or as they describe it – “bold earth-changing leadership.”  And, though they never use this phrase, they might as well have, to them Putin is a great leader because HE MAKES THE TRAINS RUN ON TIME.  He’s a leader who provides STABILITY before everything else – “stability before freedom, stability before choice, stability in a country that has hardly seen it for a hundred years.”

That’s pretty much the campaign motto of all would-be TYRANTS.

In fairness to Time, they have many times selected powerful people who’ve operated outside the norms of democracy and decency to grace the cover of their magazine as big kahuna of the year. Joseph Stalin was so-named in 1939 and 1942, the second time after the Soviets became our Allies in the Second World War.  Of course, the first time the Russian dictator received Time’s ultimate notice was in the wake of his bold and manipulative non-aggression pact with Adolf Hitler.  But, then Hitler himself was the Time’s annual designee in 1938, though they couldn’t quite muster the guts to actually put his mug on the cover of the magazine at the time. 

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David Stokes

David R. Stokes is a best-selling author, pastor, columnist, and broadcaster. His latest book is a novel: CAPITOL LIMITED: A Story about John Kennedy and Richard Nixon. Based on a true story, it's about a unique moment in 1947, when Kennedy and Nixon shared