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一场选举鏖战留下的困惑

来源: FT中文网     阅读:  次     收藏本文
        Whoever wins the US presidential election, two questions are going to haunt me for years to come. How did Hillary Clinton go from being rated as the most admired woman that Americans “have heard about or read about, living in any part of the world”, in the words of an annual Gallup poll that she has topped for the past 14 years, to being equated with the disgraced Richard Nixon?
        无论最终是谁赢得此次美国总统选举,有两个问题将在日后若干年继续困扰我。希拉里•克林顿(Hillary Clinton)怎么就从“美国人听说过或读到过的全世界”最受敬佩的女性(用盖洛普(Gallup)一份希拉里过去14年一直蝉联榜首的年度调查的话来说),落到被拿来与名誉扫地的理查德•尼克松(Richard Nixon)相提并论的境地?
 
        And how did Donald Trump, her opponent, go from a history of corporate bankruptcies that made others pay the cost of his business failures, and from a record of racial discrimination, exploiting illegal labour, and predatory behaviour towards women, to being a viable candidate for the presidency of the US?
        而她的对手唐纳德•特朗普(Donald Trump),又是如何从一个多次公司破产并连累他人为自己的经营失败买单的商人,从一个种族歧视、剥削非法劳工、占女性便宜的惯犯,变成了有切实可能性当上美国总统的候选人?
 
        One answer is that Mr Trump ascended through the media, not a political party or election. He was a brand, not a person, a shiny gold name on buildings, even if he did not build them, and a boss on television, even if he merely insulted and roared. During the presidential primaries, for instance, he received an estimated $2bn in free exposure from corporate media in search of ratings to attract advertising — which may be the best argument for subscription-financed media, public television, investigative reporting and the simple act of fact checking.
        一个答案是,特朗普的崛起靠的是媒体、而不是政党或选举。他是一个品牌,而不是一个人;是大楼上一块闪亮的金字招牌,哪怕这些大楼不是他建的;是电视上的老大,哪怕他只是在谩骂和咆哮。例如在党内初选阶段,一心想提高收视率以吸引广告的公司媒体(corporate media)给了他价值约20亿美元的免费上镜时间——这可能是支持付费订阅媒体、公共电视、调查性报道以及事实核查这一简单举动的最佳理由。
 
        Another reason is that even-handed coverage has created a false equivalence. Each negative question to Mr Trump was balanced by one to Hillary Clinton, and any positive about her was matched by one about him. Thus, he was artificially elevated, while she became subject to doubt. Also, in polls about why Americans support him, many equated being rich with being smart enough to run a country. In fact, Mr Trump would have been richer if he had just put his inheritance in an index fund tracking the stock market.
        另一个原因是一碗水端平的报道制造了一个虚假的对等。提给特朗普的每一个负面问题都要用提给希拉里的一个负面问题来平衡,有关希拉里的任何一条正面报道也要配以关于特朗普的一条正面报道。特朗普就这样被人为地抬高了,而希拉里却成了人们质疑的对象。此外,在关于为什么美国人支持特朗普的民调中,许多人认为富有就等于聪明到足以治理一个国家。事实上,如果特朗普当初将他继承到的财产投入一支追踪股票市场的指数基金,他会比现在更富有。
 
        I can think of only one example that is anything like this maddening race. In 2004, John Kerry, a hero of the Vietnam war and a candidate for the presidency, was attacked in television commercials that called into question his heroism as a Swift boat captain. Those ads were later discredited, but they sank his candidacy. “Swiftboating” entered the language as a word that meant attacking strength rather than weakness.
        我只能想到一个例子与这场令人抓狂的竞选多少有些类似。2004年,越战英雄、总统候选人约翰•克里(John Kerry)在一系列电视广告中遭到攻击,这些广告使得他担任快艇船长时的英雄事迹受到质疑。虽然后来证实这些广告不足取信,但它们让他的竞选泡了汤。“快艇攻击”(Swiftboating)成了固定用语,意思是攻击长处而不是短处。
 
        Clearly, Hillary Clinton has been swiftboated. According to the fact-checking website Politifact, for instance, she is more honest than any of her 2016 opponents, yet Mr Trump attacks her as “Crooked Hillary”. He is rated as accurate only 4 per cent of the time, yet he calls her more corrupt than any other presidential candidate and insists that, if elected, she should be impeached. Mr Trump believes in the “big lie”: if a falsehood is big enough, and told often enough, it will win out.
        显然,希拉里一直遭受着“快艇攻击”。举个例子,根据事实核查网站Politifact,她比2016年大选中的任何一个对手都更加诚实,却依然被特朗普攻击为“不诚实的希拉里”。在该网站针对特朗普言论所做的158次事实核查中,他的言论只有4次准确反映了事实,然而他却说希拉里比任何其他总统候选人更腐败,并坚称如果自己当选,希拉里应该被控告。特朗普对“大谎言”有信心,即:如果一个谎言足够大,重复足够多次,最终就会战胜真理。
 
        Despite all this, I find it pointless to get angry at Mr Trump himself. He is locked into his own self-obsession and condemned to look for an ever more grandiose stage. It is his fervent supporters such as Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York, and his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, who will not be taken seriously in the future.
        尽管如此,我觉得生特朗普本人的气毫无意义。他已陷入自我迷恋无法自拔,注定要不断寻找更宏大的舞台。未来不会被当一回事的将是他的狂热支持者,如前纽约市长鲁道夫•朱利亚尼(Rudolph Giuliani),以及他的竞选经理凯莉安妮•康韦(Kellyanne Conway)。
 
        Mr Trump may not have a choice, but American voters do. If Hillary Clinton survives this campaign that has so distorted who she is and always has been, she will stand for women’s rights as human rights; for economic ties and in-depth diplomacy; for women as peace negotiators; for an administration that looks like the country; and for a foreign policy that considers the status of women in other countries. As David Gergen, an adviser to four US presidents of both parties, has said, “to empower women . . . would do so much to advance the world, but it would also restore America’s moral standing”.
        特朗普可能没有选择,但美国选民有。这场选举已严重歪曲了现在和一直以来那个真实的希拉里,如果她能最终取胜,她将支持女性权利为人权;支持经济联系和深度外交;支持女性做和平谈判者;支持美国政府拿出与美国相称的样子;支持考虑他国女性地位的外交政策。正如曾为两党四位总统担任顾问的戴维•格根(David Gergen)所说:“让女性更有力量……不但会极大促进世界发展,还将恢复美国的道德地位。”
 
        If we elect a woman as our national leader for the first time in the history of the republic, eight years after electing an African-American man, we may be moving toward democracy at last.
        如果继八年前我们选出一名非裔美国人总统之后,我们又选出合众国有史以来首位女性总统,我们可能终于开始走向民主。
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