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和拜登总统共进午餐后,我为什么心情沉重

My Lunch With President Biden
和拜登总统共进午餐后,我为什么心情沉重

President Biden invited me for lunch at the White House last Monday. But it was all off the record — so I can’t tell you anything he said.

拜登总统上周一邀请我在白宫共进午餐。但一切内容都不能公开——所以我不能告诉你他说的任何话。

I can, though, tell you two things — what I ate and how I felt after. I ate a tuna salad sandwich with tomato on whole wheat bread, with a bowl of mixed fruit and a chocolate milkshake for dessert that was so good it should have been against the law.

不过,我可以告诉你两件事——我吃了什么、以及吃完的感受。我吃了一个金枪鱼沙拉三明治,配番茄和全麦面包,还有一碗水果沙拉和巧克力奶昔作为甜点,太好吃了,好吃到没朋友。
 

What I felt afterward was this: For all you knuckleheads on Fox who say that Biden can’t put two sentences together, here’s a news flash: He just put NATO together, Europe together and the whole Western alliance together — stretching from Canada up to Finland and all the way to Japan — to help Ukraine protect its fledgling democracy from Vladimir Putin’s fascist assault.

我吃完后的感受是:对于福克斯新闻里那些说拜登不能把两个句子连在一起的傻瓜,给你播报一条新闻快讯:他刚刚把北约团结在一起,把欧洲和整个西方联盟团结在一起——从加拿大到芬兰一直到日本——帮助乌克兰保护其刚刚起步的民主国家免受弗拉基米尔·普京的法西斯攻击。

In doing so, he has enabled Ukraine to inflict significant losses on Russia’s invading army, thanks to a rapid deployment of U.S. and NATO trainers and massive transfers of precision weapons. And not a single American soldier was lost.

在此过程中,由于美国和北约快速部署训练员以及大规模转移精确武器,他使乌克兰能够对俄罗斯入侵军队造成重大损失。而且没有损失一个美国士兵。

It has been the best performance of alliance management and consolidation since another president whom I covered and admired — who also was said to be incapable of putting two sentences together: George H.W. Bush. Bush helped manage the collapse of the Soviet Union and the reunification of Germany, without firing a shot or the loss of a single American life.

这是自另一位我报道过并且十分敬仰的总统以来,联盟管理和团结方面出现的最佳表现。另一位也是被认为无法凑出两个整句子的总统:乔治·H·W·布什。布什参与了应对苏联解体和德国统一后的局势,没有用一枪一弹,没有损失一个美国人。

Alas, though, I left our lunch with a full stomach but a heavy heart.

唉,虽然,我吃饱了,但心情沉重地离开了我们的午餐。

Biden didn’t say it in so many words, but he didn’t have to. I could hear it between the lines: He’s worried that while he has reunited the West, he may not be able to reunite America.

拜登没有说太多话,但他不必说。我可以从字里行间听出:虽然他重新统一了西方,但他担心他可能无法重新统一美国。

It’s clearly his priority, above any Build Back Better provision. And he knows that’s why he was elected — a majority of Americans worried that the country was coming apart at the seams and that this old war horse called Biden, with his bipartisan instincts, was the best person to knit us back together. It’s the reason he decided to run in the first place, because he knows that without some basic unity of purpose and willingness to compromise, nothing else is possible.

这显然是他的首要任务,高于任何“重建更美好未來”的任务。他知道这就是他当选的原因——大多数美国人担心这个国家正在分崩离析,而这匹名叫拜登的老战马,凭借他的两党直觉,是把我们重新团结起来的最佳人选。这就是他当初决定参选的原因,因为他知道,如果没有基本的统一目标和妥协意愿,其他任何事情都是不可能的。

But with every passing day, every mass shooting, every racist dog whistle, every defund-the-police initiative, every nation-sundering Supreme Court ruling, every speaker run off a campus, every bogus claim of election fraud, I wonder if he can bring us back together. I wonder if it’s too late.

但是随着时间的流逝,每一次大规模枪击事件,每一次种族主义的狗哨声,每一次对取消警察经费的倡议,每一个分裂国家的最高法院裁决,每一个从校园逃离的演讲者,每一个虚假的选举欺诈指控,我想知道他是否能让我们重新团结起来。我不知道这是否太晚了。

I fear that we’re going to break something very valuable very soon. And once we break it, it will be gone — and we may never be able to get it back.

我担心我们很快就会打碎一些非常珍贵的东西。一旦我们打破了它,它就会消失——而且我们可能永远无法把它找回来。

I am talking about our ability to transfer power peacefully and legitimately, an ability we have demonstrated since our founding. The peaceful, legitimate transfer of power is the keystone of American democracy. Break it, and none of our institutions will work for long, and we will be thrust into political and financial chaos.

我说的是我们和平合法移交权力的能力,这是我们自建国以来就展现出来的能力。和平、合法的权力交接是美国民主的基石。一旦破坏了它,我们的任何机构都无法长期运转,我们将陷入政治和金融混乱。

We are staring into that abyss right now. Because it is one thing to elect Donald Trump and pro-Trump candidates who want to restrict immigration, ban abortions, slash corporate taxes, pump more oil, curb sex education in schools and liberate citizens from mask mandates in a pandemic. Those are policies where there can be legitimate disagreement, which is the stuff of politics.

我们正凝视着那个深渊。让唐纳德·特朗普和支持特朗普的候选人当选是一回事,他们希望限制移民、禁止堕胎、削减企业税、增加石油产量、限制学校的性教育,让公民在疫情中不受口罩强制令的约束。这些政策可以存在合理的分歧,这就是政治的本质。

But the recent primaries and the investigations around the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol are revealing a movement by Trump and his supporters that is not propelled by any coherent set of policies, but rather by a gigantic lie — that Biden did not freely and fairly win a majority of Electoral College votes and therefore is an illegitimate president.

但最近的初选和围绕1月6日国会山叛乱的调查显示,特朗普及其支持者发起了一场运动,它不是由任何连贯的政策推动的,而是由一个巨大的谎言所推动:拜登没有自由公正地赢得选举人团的多数票,因此他是一个非法的总统。

Thus, their top priority is installing candidates whose primary allegiance is to Trump and his Big Lie — not to the Constitution. And they are more than hinting that in any close election in 2024 — or even ones that aren’t so close — they would be willing to depart from established constitutional rules and norms and award that election to Trump or other Republican candidates who didn’t actually garner the most votes. They are not whispering this platform. They are running for office on it.

因此,他们的首要任务是安排那些主要效忠特朗普和他的大谎言——而不是效忠宪法——的候选人。他们更暗示,在2024年任何票数接近的选举中——甚至是票数不那么接近的选举中——他们将愿意背离既定的宪法规则和规范,将选举授予特朗普或其他实际上没有获得最多选票的共和党候选人。他们不是在低声谈论这个纲领。他们正在根据它进行竞选。

In short, we are seeing a national movement that is telling us publicly and loudly: WE WILL GO THERE.

简而言之,我们看到的是一场全国性的运动,它公开而大声地告诉我们:我们要做到这样的地步。

And that terrifies me because: I HAVE BEEN THERE.

这让我很害怕,因为:我也曾经历过这样的地步。

My formative experience in journalism was watching Lebanese politicians go there in the late 1970s and plunge their frail democracy into protracted civil war. So don’t tell me that it can’t happen here.

在新闻行业,对我有重大影响的一段经历就是在1970年代末看到黎巴嫩的政治人士们走到那种地步,让他们脆弱的民主体制陷入旷日持久的内战。所以别告诉我这种情况不会在这里发生。

Not when people like Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano — an election denier who marched with the Jan. 6 crowd at the Capitol — just won the G.O.P. primary to run for governor. Have no doubt: These people will never do what Al Gore did in 2000 — submit to a decision of the courts in an extremely close election and recognize his opponent as the legitimate president. And they will never do what principled Republicans running for office or acting as elections officials did after the 2020 election — accept the votes as they were tabulated in their states, accept the court orders that confirmed that there were no significant irregularities and permit Biden to legitimately take power.

宾夕法尼亚州参议员道格·马斯特里亚诺拒绝承认大选结果,他1月6日曾经前往国会大厦游行,如今他刚刚赢得共和党初选,即将竞选州长。毫无疑问,像他这样的人永远不会像阿尔·戈尔在2000年那样——在结果极为接近的选举中服从法院的裁决,承认自己的对手为合法总统。他们也永远不会像有原则的共和党人在2020年选举后所做的那样——接受其所在州的选票,接受确认没有重大违规行为的法院命令,允许拜登合法地掌权。

It is stomach-turning to watch the number of Trump Republicans running for office affirming his Big Lie, when we know that they know that we know that they know that they do not believe a single word of what they are saying. That’s Dr. Oz and J.D. Vance and so many others. Nevertheless, they are ready to hitch a ride on the Trump train to gain power. And they do it without even blushing.

看到有那么多参与竞选的特朗普派共和党人在重申他那个弥天大谎,让我觉得胃不舒服,我们知道他们知道我们知道他们知道他们压根也不相信他们嘴里吐出的任何一个字。他们中包括奥兹博士、J·D·万斯等等。但他们还是准备搭特朗普的便车去获取权力。他们脸都不会红一下。

It reached its nadir, in my view, when House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, so obsessed with becoming speaker of the House at any cost, actually lied about telling the truth.

在我看来,这一切的最低点是众议院少数党领袖凯文·麦卡锡为了不惜一切代价得到众议院议长之职,连自己说过真话的事都要撒谎。

McCarthy publicly denied the fact that immediately after Jan. 6 he explicitly (and on tape) told his Republican colleagues that he expected Trump to be impeached for inspiring the insurrection and that McCarthy intended to tell him he should resign.

麦卡锡公开否认在1月6日之后他立即明确(且留下了录音)告知共和党同僚,他预计特朗普会因为教唆暴动而遭到弹劾,并且他打算建议特朗普辞职。

Who in your life have you ever encountered who lied about telling the truth?

哪辈子能见到一个人居然自己说真话的事都不肯承认呢?

And this brings me back to my lunch with Biden. It clearly weighs on him that we have built a global alliance to support Ukraine, to reverse the Russian invasion and to defend core American principles abroad — the right to freedom and self-determination of all peoples — while the G.O.P. is abandoning our most cherished principles at home.

这就让我回到了与拜登的午餐上来。我们建立了一个支持乌克兰的全球联盟,扭转了俄罗斯军队的入侵攻势,在国外捍卫了美国的原则——人人享有自由和自决的权利——然而共和党却在我们本国摒弃了我们最珍视的原则,这一点显然让拜登十分痛心。

That is why so many allied leaders have privately said to Biden, as he and his team have revived the Western alliance from the splintered pieces that Trump left it in, “Thank God — America is back.” And then they add, “But for how long?”

这就是为什么,当拜登和他的团队让被特朗普撕碎的西方联盟起死回生时,有如此多盟国领导人私下里对他说,“感谢上帝——美国回来了。”接着又说,“但能持续多久?”

Biden cannot answer that question. Because WE cannot answer that question.

拜登无法回答这个问题。因为,我们无法回答这个问题。

Biden is not blameless in this dilemma, nor is the Democratic Party — particularly its far-left wing. Under pressure to revive the economy, and facing big-ticket demands from the far left, Biden pursued expansive spending for too long. House Democrats also sullied one of Biden’s most important bipartisan achievements — a giant infrastructure bill — by making it hostage to other excessive spending demands. The far left also saddled Biden and every Democratic candidate with radical notions like “defund the police” — an insane mantra that would have most harmed the Black and Hispanic base of the Democratic Party had it been implemented.

在这个困境中,拜登并非全无责任,民主党也是这样——尤其是极左翼。在经济复苏的压力下,面对极左那些代价高昂的要求,拜登的大规模支出持续太久了。众议院民主党人还以其他的过度支出要求为要挟,破坏了拜登的最重要两党成就——一项庞大的基础设施法案。极左那些“取消警察经费”之类激进的想法——一个疯狂的口号,一旦付诸实施,将给黑人和西语裔中的民主党票仓造成最大的损害——成了拜登及所有民主党候选人的负担。

To defeat Trumpism we need only, say, 10 percent of Republicans to abandon their party and join with a center-left Biden, which is what he was elected to be and still is at heart. But we may not be able to get even 1 percent of Republicans to shift if far-left Democrats are seen as defining the party’s future.

要击败特朗普主义,我们只需要10%的共和党人抛弃他们的党,改投中左派的拜登,他是中左派立场当选的,至今仍是骨子里的中左派。但如果民主党的未来是由极左派在定义,那么我们可能连1%的共和党人都说不动。

And that is why I left my lunch with the president with a full stomach but a heavy heart.

这就是为什么我和总统共进午餐后,是带着一个满足的胃和一颗沉重的心离开的。
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