A rancorous America goes to the polls

中期选举在即,美国社会仇恨弥漫
时间:2018-11-06 单词数:6080

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导读:美国中期选举即将开始,其国内的仇恨情绪空前浓厚,而特朗普总统不会试图去平息这种情绪,只会煽风点火。

美国中期选举_英语新闻

Americans are forever described as “divided”, as though that in itself is a bad thing. It would be stranger if a democratic nation did not disagree with itself, even stridently, about the largest matters of governance.

对美国人的描述永远是“存在分歧”,就好像分歧本身是件坏事。如果一个民主国家内部在最大的治理问题上不存在分歧,甚至是尖锐的分歧,那才奇怪了。

The US, which often saves its worst quarrels for midterm elections, did so in 2010, when Obamacare was the vexed question, in 1994, when Republicans ran against government itself, and as far back as 1938, when even Franklin Roosevelt tasted the people’s wrath. What distinguishes next week’s midterms from these rancorous precedents is the principal source of the rancour. It is from the very top, President Donald Trump, that the coarsest behaviour has come.

美国通常把最激烈的争吵留到中期选举时。这种情况曾发生在2010年,当时“奥巴马医改”(Obamacare)是人们争执不休的问题;也曾发生在1994年,当时在野党正是共和党自己;而早在1938年也曾出现过类似的情况,当年,就连富兰克林·罗斯福(Franklin Roosevelt)也尝到了民愤的滋味。本周的中期选举与这些充满仇恨的先例的区别在于,仇恨的主要源头不同。最粗俗的行为来自最高层——总统唐纳德·特朗普(Donald Trump)。

Mr Trump’s enemies list, which he airs in his rallies, goes beyond Democrats to include journalists, immigrants, the intelligence services, dissident athletes and an ill-defined elite. He has proposed the non-recognition of transgender people and commissioned campaign advertisements that take some stomach to sit through. The violence of recent weeks, targeting high-profile liberals and, in deadlier fashion, Jews, cannot be blamed directly on him. But a decent president would sense the hateful atmosphere and calm it down. Mr Trump too often exacerbates it to his own end.

特朗普在竞选集会上发布的敌人名单不仅包括民主党人,还包括记者、移民、情报机构、异见运动员和定义不清的精英阶层。他提议不承认变性人的身份,并委托制作了一些令人作呕的竞选广告。最近几周发生的针对知名自由派人士的暴力事件,以及导致多人死亡的反犹暴力事件,不能直接归咎于他。但一个好总统会感受到这种仇恨的氛围,会平息它。特朗普太多时候为了自己的目的煽风点火。

His closing pitch to voters is the end of birthright citizenship and the baseless equation of a migrant “caravan” passing northwards through Mexico with Islamist terrorism. For a mighty nation in its economic pomp, it is a tawdry end to an unilluminating campaign.

他争取选民的最后一招是终结出生公民权,以及毫无根据地将经由墨西哥北上的移民“大篷车队”与伊斯兰恐怖主义划等号。对于一个经济形势一片大好的强国来说,这为一场政治观点含混不清的竞选画上了一个低俗的句号。

It is tempting to see the votes for Congress on November 6 as a chance to check the president. But the world should not expect a Democratic capture of the House of Representatives, or even the Senate, to tame him all that much. It may do for his domestic programme but his worst acts are as much rhetorical as legislative. He can continue his despoliation of the civic atmosphere with no senators at all. His most contentious doings, such as the travel ban, the militarisation of the southern border and his America First foreign policies, often spring from his executive powers.

人们很容易忍不住将11月6日的国会选举看作是一个制衡总统的机会。但全世界都不应指望民主党拿下众议院、甚至参议院,就能在很大程度上控制住他。这可能对他的国内计划起到一定的制约作用,但他的言论跟法案具有同样的破坏力。他可以在没有任何参议员的情况下继续破坏公民氛围。他做的一些最具争议的事情,如旅行禁令、南部边境军事化以及“美国优先”外交政策等,往往是凭借他的行政权力实现的。

Nor are probes into his affairs from a Democratic Congress sure to cow him. For one thing, the Democrats, knowing the public’s indifference to process, have played down talk of endless investigations, choosing to run on healthcare instead. For another, Mr Trump is a master at impugning the motives of his pursuers until their integrity is as doubted as his. He has had some success against Robert Mueller, the special counsel who is looking into Russian influence on the 2016 election. He should have no trouble repeating the trick against Congress. Nothing will change Mr Trump’s behaviour until his own voters withdraw their support from him. After two years of ample opportunities, they remain stalwart.

民主党控制的国会对他那些事展开调查也不一定能吓到他。首先,因为知道公众对调查过程漠不关心,民主党人已经不怎么说那些没完没了的调查,转而选择在竞选中打医保牌。另外,特朗普非常擅长质疑其调查者的动机,直到对方的诚信变得像他自己一样可疑。在负责调查俄罗斯干预2016年大选的特别检察官罗伯特·米勒(Robert Mueller)身上,他用这招取得了一定的成功。用同样的伎俩来对付国会,对他来说应该不是难事。除非特朗普自己的选民撤回对他的支持,否则什么也改变不了他的行为。经过过去两年的众多考验,他们仍然坚定地支持特朗普。

The midterms are as likely to deepen the rift within America as plug it. If Republicans do badly, Mr Trump will whip up a siege mentality. If they perform well — a narrow loss of the House, say, while retaining the Senate — he will credit his own campaign tactics and escalate them. At the same time, the Democrats will unofficially begin the process of choosing a candidate to run against him in 2020. Activists are likely to reward those who oppose the president most vociferously. The result could be two years of even fouler politics than the previous two.

中期选举加深美国内部裂痕的可能性跟弥合这种裂痕的可能性一样大。如果共和党表现不佳,特朗普会煽动起一种四面受敌的心态。如果他们表现出色——比方说,在保住参议院多数党地位的同时,在众议院仅以微弱差距落败——特朗普将把这一切归功于自己的竞选策略,并将其发扬光大。与此同时,民主党将非正式地开始遴选一个在2020年大选中与他竞争的候选人。民主党积极分子可能会奖励那些最高声反对总统的人。结果可能会导致今后两年的政治比前两年更加污秽。

In normal times, the head of state would at least try to pour water on the tinderbox. At this juncture of history, Americans have to look elsewhere for such leadership.

在正常时期,一国首脑至少会尝试给火药桶泼水。但在这一历史关头,美国人不得不从其他地方寻找这样的领袖。

来源:金融时报爱语吧作者:爱语吧

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