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这场大选最大的输家是美国

There Was a Loser Last Night. It Was America.
这场大选最大的输家是美国

We still do not know who is the winner of the presidential election. But we do know who is the loser: the United States of America.

我们还不知道谁是总统大选的获胜者。但我们都知道输家是谁:美利坚合众国。

We have just experienced four years of the most divisive and dishonest presidency in American history, which attacked the twin pillars of our democracy — truth and trust. Donald Trump has not spent a single day of his term trying to be president of all the people, and he has broken rules and trashed norms in ways that no other president ever dared — right up to Tuesday night, when he falsely claimed election fraud and summoned the Supreme Court to step in and stop the voting, as if such a thing were even remotely possible.

我们刚刚经历了美国历史上最分裂、最不诚实的四年总统任期,民主制度的两大支柱——事实与信任——遭到了攻击。唐纳德·特朗普(Donald Trump)在任内没有花过一天时间努力成为一个所有人的总统,他以其他总统想都不敢想的方式打破了规则、破坏了规范——直到周二晚上还是如此,他谎称选举存在舞弊,要求最高法院介入并停止投票,就好像这种事真有那么一点点可能似的。
 

“Frankly, we did win this election,” Trump declared, while millions of ballots remained to be counted in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada.

“坦率地说,我们已经赢下了这次大选,”特朗普宣布,当时威斯康辛州、密歇根州、宾夕法尼亚州、佐治亚州、亚利桑那州和内华达州还有数百万张选票有待清点。

“We’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Trump added, without explaining how or on what basis. “We want all voting to stop.”

“我们要上美国最高法院,”特朗普还这样说,并没有解释如何或根据什么这么做。“我们要停止所有投票。”

We want all voting to stop? Really?

我们要停止所有投票?真的吗?


But if Joe Biden wins — and we may not know for days — it may be by just a sliver of votes in several key battleground states. Although he’ll likely win the popular vote, there will be no landslide, no overwhelming majority telling Trump and those around him that enough was enough: Be gone with you and never bring that kind of politics of division back to this country again.

如果乔·拜登(Joe Biden)获胜——我们可能几天内都不会知道结果——靠的可能只是几个关键摇摆州的微弱优势。尽管他很可能赢得普选,但不会有压倒性的胜利,不会有绝对的多数票告诉特朗普和他身边的人,大家已经受够了:你们走吧,永远不要再把这种分裂政治带回这个国家。

“Whatever the final vote, it is already clear that the number of Americans saying, ‘Enough is enough’ was not enough,” said Dov Seidman, an expert on leadership and author of the book “How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything.”

“无论最终投票结果如何,已经很清楚的是,说自己‘受够了’的美国人还不够多,”多夫·塞德曼(Dov Seidman)说,他是领导力方面的专家,著有《为何我们如何做事最重要》(How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything)一书。

“There was no blue political wave,” he noted. “But, more importantly, there was no moral wave. There was no widespread rejection of the kind of leadership that divides us, especially in a pandemic.”

“没有出现蓝色政治浪潮(指民主党大胜——编注),”他指出。“但更重要的是,也没有道德浪潮。特别是在疫情之下,人们并没有普遍反对那种分裂我们的领导方式。”

We are a country with multiple compound fractures, and so we simply cannot do anything ambitious anymore — like put a man on the moon — because ambitious things have to be done together. We can’t even come together to all wear masks in a pandemic, when health experts tell us it would absolutely save lives. It would be so simple, so easy and so patriotic to say, “I protect you and you protect me.” And yet, we can’t do it.

我们是一个裂痕错综复杂的国家,所以我们根本不能再做任何雄心勃勃的事情——比如把人送上月球,因为宏大事业必须合力完成。在疫情中,我们甚至不能就所有人戴口罩的问题达成一致,哪怕卫生专家告诉我们这么做绝对能拯救生命。“你保护我,我保护你”这话说起来很简单、很容易也很爱国。然而我们就是做不到。

This election, if anything, highlighted the fault lines. The president, using many different dog whistles during the campaign, presented himself as the leader of America’s shrinking white majority. It is impossible to explain his continued support, despite his unprecedented poisonous behavior in office, without reference to two numbers:

如果说这次大选有什么不同的话,那就是它突出了这些分崩离析。在竞选中,这位总统使用了各种暗语,把自己标榜为美国正在萎缩的大多数白人的领袖。如果不参考以下两个数字,就不可能解释为何他在任期内的恶劣行径前所未有,却一直能获得支持的原因:

The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by the middle of this year, nonwhites will constitute a majority of the nation’s 74 million children. And it is estimated that by sometime in the 2040s, whites will make up 49 percent of the U.S. population, and Latinos, Blacks, Asians and multiracial populations 51 percent.

美国人口普查局(U.S. Census Bureau)预计,到今年年中,非白人将占到美国7400万儿童的大多数。它还预计,到本世纪40年代的某个时候,白人将占美国人口的49%,拉美裔、黑人、亚裔和多种族人口将占51%。

Among many whites, particularly white working-class males without college degrees, there is clearly a discomfort with the fact, and even a resistance to it, that our nation is in a steady process of becoming “minority white.” They see Trump as a bulwark against the social, cultural and economic implications of that change.

许多白人,尤其是没有大学学历的工薪阶层白人男性,显然对我们国家正处于变成“白人占少数”的稳定进程这一事实感到不安,甚至抵触。他们把特朗普看作是对抗这种变化所带来的社会、文化和经济影响的堡垒。

What many Democrats see as a good trend — a country reckoning with structural racism and learning to embrace and celebrate increasing diversity — many white people see as a fundamental cultural threat.

许多民主党人认为这是一种良性趋势——美国是一个正视结构性种族主义,并学习拥抱和庆祝日益增长的多样性的国家。但许多白人却认为这是一种对基础文化的威胁。

And that is fueling another lethal trend that this election only reinforced.

这就助长了另一种致命趋势,而这次大选只是强化了这种趋势。

“Many Republican senators and congressional representatives — like Lindsey Graham in South Carolina and John Cornyn in Texas — won by hugging Trump,” said Gautam Mukunda, author of “Indispensable: When Leaders Really Matter.” “That means that Trumpism is the future of the G.O.P.

“许多共和党参议员和国会众议员——比如南卡罗来纳州的林赛·格雷厄姆(Lindsey Graham)和得克萨斯州的约翰·科宁(John Cornyn)——都是靠着拥抱特朗普而获胜的,”《不可或缺——当领导人真正很重要的时候》(Indispensable: When Leaders Really Matter)一书的作者高塔姆·穆昆达(Gautam Mukunda)说。“这意味着特朗普主义是共和党的未来。

“The tactically unique thing about Trumpism is that it never even tries to get the support of the majority of Americans. So the G.O.P. will continue with the strategy of using every legal, but democratically deeply harmful, way to control power even though most Americans vote against them — like the way they just crammed through two Supreme Court justices.”

“特朗普主义在战术上的独特之处在于,它甚至从未试图获得大多数美国人的支持。因此,尽管大多数美国人投票反对他们,但共和党仍将继续使用一切合法但对民主非常有害的方式来控制权力——就像他们强行通过两位最高法院大法官那样。”

That means all the stresses on the American system of government will continue to grow, Mukunda added, because in our antiquated electoral system, Republicans theoretically can control both the White House and the Senate despite the desires of a large majority of the American people. “No system can survive that kind of stress,” he concluded. “It will break at some point.”

穆昆达还说,这意味着美国政府体系面临的所有压力将会继续增加,因为在我们陈旧的选举制度中,共和党人理论上可以不顾大多数美国人的愿望,继续控制白宫和参议院。“没有一个体系能在那种压力下生存,”他总结道,“它会在某个时候崩溃。”

Nothing has happened, even if Biden wins, that suggests Republicans will fundamentally rethink this political strategy that they perfected under Trump.

没有任何迹象表明共和党人会从根本上重新考虑他们在特朗普领导下完善的这一政治策略,即使拜登获胜。

But Democrats have a lot to rethink, said Michael Sandel, a professor at Harvard and author of “The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good.”

但哈佛大学教授、《唯才是举的暴政——公共利益的现状》(The Tyranny of Merit: What’s gone of The Common Good)一书的作者迈克尔·桑德尔(Michael Sandel)表示,民主党人有很多东西需要反思。

“Even though Joe Biden emphasized his working-class roots and sympathies,” Sandel told me, “the Democratic Party continues to be more identified with professional elites and college-educated voters than with the blue-collar voters who once constituted its base. Even so epochal an event as a pandemic, bungled by Trump, did not change this.

“尽管乔·拜登(Joe Biden)强调了他的工人阶级出身和同情心,”桑德尔对我说,“但民主党仍然更认同专业精英和受过大学教育的选民,而不是曾经构成其基础的蓝领选民。即使特朗普在大流行这样划时代的事件中搞砸了,这一点也没有改变。”

“Democrats need to ask themselves: Why do many working people embrace a plutocrat-populist whose policies do little to help them? Democrats need to address the sense of humiliation felt by working people who feel the economy has left them behind and that credentialed elites look down on them.”

“民主党人需要问问自己:为什么许多工薪阶层会拥护一个政策对他们帮助甚微的民粹主义富豪?民主党需要解决劳动人民的屈辱感,他们觉得经济把自己甩在了后面,有资历的精英看不起他们。”

Again, while Biden made small inroads with working-class voters, there seems to be no huge shift. Maybe because many working-class Trump voters not only feel looked down upon, but they also resent what they see as cultural censorship from liberal elites, coming out of college campuses.

同样,虽然拜登在争取工人阶级选民方面取得了一些小小的进展,但似乎没有什么大的变化。也许是因为许多工薪阶层的特朗普选民不仅觉得自己被轻视,而且还对他们认为的大学自由派精英文化审查感到不满。

As Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, wrote in an Oct. 26 essay, “Trump is, for better or worse, the foremost symbol of resistance to the overwhelming woke cultural tide that has swept along the media, academia, corporate America, Hollywood, professional sports, the big foundations, and almost everything in between.”

《国家评论》(National Review)的主编里奇·洛里(Rich Lowry) 在10月26日的一篇文章中写道,“无论好坏,特朗普都是抵抗席卷媒体、学术界、美国企业、好莱坞、职业体育、大基金会,以及几乎所有领域之内压倒性的觉醒文化潮流的最重要象征。”

“To put it in blunt terms,” he continued, “for many people, he’s the only middle finger available — to brandish against the people who’ve assumed they have the whip hand in American culture. This may not be a very good reason to vote for a president, and it doesn’t excuse Trump’s abysmal conduct and maladministration.”

“坦率地说,”他继续说道,“对许多人来说,他是唯一可以举起的中指——用来对抗那些自认为可以在美国文化中挥舞鞭子的人。这可能不是投票给总统的好理由,也不能为特朗普的糟糕行为和管理不善开脱。”

I confess that the hardest conversations I had Tuesday night were with my daughters. I so badly want to tell them that all is going to be OK, that we’ve been through bad patches as a country before. And I hope that will turn out to be the case — that whoever wins this election will draw the right conclusion that we simply cannot go on tearing one another apart.

我承认,周二晚上,最艰难的对话是和我的女儿们进行的。我非常想告诉她们,一切都会好起来,我们作为一个国家也曾经历过糟糕的时期。我希望,无论谁赢得这次选举,都能得出正确的结论,那就是我们不能再继续分裂下去了。

But I could not, in all honesty, tell them that with any confidence. I am certain “the better angels of our nature” are still out there. But our politics and our political system right now are not inspiring them to emerge at the scale and speed that we so desperately need.

但是,老实说,我不能满怀信心地对她们说这些。我确信“人性中的善良天使”仍然存在。但是现在,我们的政治和政治体系并没有激励它们以我们迫切需要的规模和速度出现。
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