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特朗普这次真的完了

Donald Trump Is Finally Finished
特朗普这次真的完了

Whether or not Donald Trump’s hat is in the ring, he’s finished as a serious contender for high office.

无论唐纳德·特朗普是否在竞选擂台上,他作为总统职位的有力竞争者的日子已经结束了。

That’s not a line to write lightly. First, because he has been written off so often in the past — after mocking John McCain’s military record; after the “Access Hollywood” tape; after Jan. 6; after the Jan. 6 committee hearings — that it seems foolhardy to do it again. Second, because every time he is written off, his supporters seem to draw energy from their purported irrelevance. And third, because the line will surely be hung around my neck if I’m wrong.

这句话可不是随便说的。首先,他过去一次又一次被认定已经完了——对约翰·麦凯恩的军旅生涯的嘲笑;《走进好莱坞》录影门;1月6日国会暴乱;1月6日国会暴乱的委员会听证会——这时候再来说一次,似乎有些草率。其次,每次说他完了,这种声称的无足轻重似乎都会给他的支持者提供能量。第三,如果我错了,这句话肯定会给我招来骂声。
 

But I’m not.

但我没有说错。

Last week, the realization finally dawned on his devoted supporters that Trump can no longer deliver what they want most: power. Or, let me put it in language more congenial to them: Whatever purpose they believe he was meant to serve — bringing working-class voters back to the Republican fold; restoring nationalism to conservative ideology; rejecting the authority of supposed experts — has been served. Others can now do the same thing better, without the drama and divisiveness. He’s yesterday’s man.

上周,他的忠实支持者终于意识到,特朗普再也无法提供他们最想要的东西:权力。或者,让我用更贴近他们的语言来表达:无论他们认为他有什么用处——将劳动阶层选民带回共和党的怀抱;将民族主义重新注入保守派意识形态;拒绝所谓专家的权威——这些目的都已经达到了。现在,别人可以在不用上演闹剧或制造分裂的情况下把同样的事情做得更好。他已经过气了。

This is an observation made from an objective reading of political reality: Trump cost Republicans dearly in the midterms.

这是对政治现实的客观解读得出的结论:特朗普在中期选举中让共和党人付出了沉重的代价。

In key Senate and gubernatorial races, the former president proffered his endorsements based on fealty over electability. He turned election denialism into a loyalty oath. Primary victories became Pyrrhic ones. In the same states where mainstream Republicans won handily (Chris Sununu in New Hampshire, Brian Kemp in Georgia, Mike DeWine in Ohio), Trump’s candidates either underperformed or lost — a contrast that again gives the lie to the notion that Democrats somehow won thanks only to cheating, bending rules or taking advantage of early voting.

在关键的参议院和州长竞选中,这位前总统基于忠诚度提供背书,而不是根据候选人的胜任资格。他将否认选举结果变成了忠诚誓言。初选胜利变成了得不偿失的胜利。在共和党主流候选人轻松获胜的州(新罕布什尔州的克里斯·苏努努、佐治亚州的布莱恩·肯普、俄亥俄州的迈克·德温),特朗普的候选人要么表现不佳,要么输了——这一对比再次证明,民主党只能靠作弊、违反规则或利用提前投票才能获得胜利的说法是错误的。

But none of this alone would be enough to turn off Trump’s devotees — just as Republican losses of the House in 2018, the White House in 2020 and the Senate in 2021 weren’t enough. Three additional factors were required.

但仅凭这些还不足以让特朗普的追随者失望——即使共和党在2018年失去众议院、2020年失去白宫和2021年失去参议院也不够。另外还需要三个要素。

The first is shock.

首先是震惊。

Republicans expected a blowout win last week every bit as much as Democrats expected one for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Many of the polls predicted one, as did the normal ebb and flow of American politics. Joe Biden is an unpopular incumbent presiding over an inflationary economy and a border crisis. For the G.O.P. to underperform so badly is a No Excuses moment for the party, and the only coherent explanation for it is the specter of Trump.

共和党人预计上周会大获全胜,与2016年民主党人对希拉里·克林顿的预期如出一辙。许多民意调查都预测了一场胜利,这也符合美国政治正常的潮起潮落。现任总统乔·拜登不受欢迎,在他的领导下,经济通货膨胀,边境充满危机。对于共和党来说,表现如此糟糕是没有借口的,特朗普的影响挥之不去是唯一贯穿始终的解释。

The second is that Trump is finally being abandoned by many of his usually unflagging apologists and enablers in right-wing media, whose influence will be felt downstream.

第二个要素是,右翼媒体中许多往常不屈不挠地为特朗普辩护和支持的人抛弃了他,他们的影响会传导到选民那里。

That includes Fox News’s Laura Ingraham: “If the voters conclude that you’re putting your own ego or your own grudges ahead of what’s good for the country, they’re going to look elsewhere.” It includes Townhall’s Kurt Schlichter: “Trump presents problems and we need to face them,” he admitted. “We owe Trump nothing. He’s a politician.” It includes Victor Davis Hanson: “Will an unapologetic Trump instead now escalate his slurs, bray at the moon, play out his current angry Ajax role to the bitter end, and thus himself end up a tragic hero — appreciated for past service but deemed too toxic for present company?”

这些人包括福克斯新闻的劳拉·英格拉汉姆:“如果选民认定你将自己的自负或怨恨置于对国家有利的事情之上,他们就会转向别处。”还有Townhall网的库尔特·施利希特:“特朗普带来了问题,我们需要面对这些问题,”他承认道。“我们不欠特朗普任何东西。他是个政客。”还有维克多·戴维斯·汉森:“一个毫无歉意的特朗普现在会不会升级他的诽谤,徒劳无功地大吼大叫,他把自己在扮演的这个愤怒的埃阿斯形象推向了一个可悲的结局,于是他自己最终成为一个悲剧英雄——因过去的服务得到赞誉,但也被认为不利于现在的共和党?”

None of these are full-on repudiations, though they come close. And they bring us to the third reason Trump is finally finished: his gratuitous pre-election swipe at Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, whose 19-point victory over the Democrat Charlie Crist was one of the G.O.P.’s few unequivocal highlights of election night.

这些都不是彻底的否定,虽然也差不多。由此我们来到了特朗普最终完蛋的第三个原因:他在选举前无端抨击佛罗里达州州长罗恩·德桑蒂斯,后者以19点的优势击败民主党人查理·克里斯特,这是共和党在选举之夜为数不多的明确亮点之一。

The sin here was not that Trump violated Ronald Reagan’s famous Eleventh Commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” Trump has violated that commandment as freely as he has so many of the others. It’s that he was a loser criticizing a winner — and what Trump’s base wants most of all is a winner.

这里的罪过并不是特朗普违反了罗纳德·里根著名的“第十一条诫命”:“你不得说任何共和党同胞的坏话。”特朗普违反了这条诫命,就像许多他违反过的诫命一样。而是他是一个批评胜利者的失败者——而特朗普的支持者最想要的是一个胜利者。

A wiser Trump would have made DeSantis’s victory his own, treating the governor as his star student and designated successor. But Trump couldn’t, and can’t, help himself. And what the Republican base sees in DeSantis is everything it likes about Trump — the combativeness and self-belief and disdain for elite opinion — minus the personal baggage and habits of self-sabotage. In the battle for the affections of American conservatives, the ex-president increasingly feels like the jealous paunchy spouse, the governor like the attractive and successful neighbor.

如果特朗普聪明一些的话,他会把德桑蒂斯的胜利当作自己的胜利,将州长视为他的明星学生和指定的继任者。但特朗普忍受不了,他实际上也没有忍受。共和党票仓在德桑蒂斯身上看到的是他们在特朗普身上喜欢的一切——好斗、自信和对精英意见的蔑视——但没有特朗普的个人包袱和自我破坏的习惯。在争夺美国保守派青睐的斗争中,前总统越来越让人感觉像妒火中烧、有肚腩的配偶,而州长则越来越像那个迷人而成功的邻居。

The field of possible primary contenders might still move aside for Trump, much as Hillary Clinton mostly cleared the field the last time she ran. But with his midterm rout, Trump has proved once again that he’s toxic and can never again win a general election. He would be no match for a younger, charismatic primary candidate, just as Clinton proved no match for Barack Obama in 2008.

潜在初选竞争者的赛场可能仍会为特朗普让路,就像希拉里·克林顿上次竞选时也是基本上清除了所有对手。但随着他在中期选举中的惨败,特朗普再次证明了他是害人的,并且永远无法再次赢得普选。正如希拉里·克林顿在2008年被证明无法与贝拉克·奥巴马相提并论一样,他将无法与更年轻、有魅力的主要候选人相提并论。

The field is open for a real Republican contender. It’s time someone stepped up to the plate.

现在赛场对真正的共和党竞争者开放了。是时候有人站出来了。
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