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美国中期选举即将开始 美国社会仇恨弥漫

2018-11-06 21:45[国际新闻] 来源:爱语吧 浏览: 次 评论:



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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