Late to this.
Guy Gardener wrote:
He capitulated like a punkass bitch when his only act should have been to blow up the ship.
The Hirogen had him under pretty close watch, even if it was technically within his authority.
I hardly know what's more unlikely, people liking Kim if he'd gotten promoted or people thinking rank matters when Seven of Nine wasn't even in StarFleet.
But for the record, promoting Kim would have given him equal rank to Paris and Torres. Given how stubborn the character could be, hypothetically leaving simple seniority in date of commission to Paris and Torres, who were irregularly commissioned, versus a StarFleet Academy graduate? Kim was the guy who led a crew delegation to Tuvok. That's a threat of mutiny. Maybe Tuvok "logically" convinced Janeway his authority required not promoting Kim?
If the voyage home had taken so long that the older generation was gone, frankly as written, there's no way Paris could have stood up to the Kim in The Chute, Resolutions, The Killing Game, Timeless, The Disease or Endgame.