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纽约时报双语:民主党没有迎来想象中的大胜,大选揭示美国持续分裂

民主党没有迎来想象中的大胜,大选揭示美国持续分裂
Biden Says Trump Is ‘Not Who We Are.’ Do Voters Agree?
MATT FLEGENHEIMER
2020年11月4日
纽约时报双语:民主党没有迎来想象中的大胜,大选揭示美国持续分裂

From the start of his 2020 campaign, Joseph R. Biden Jr. insisted that President Trump was an aberration, his norm-breaking, race-baiting tenure anathema to the national character.

在2020年竞选活动伊始,小约瑟夫·R·拜登(Joseph R. Biden Jr.)就坚称,特朗普总统是一种反常现象,他打破常规、挑动种族矛盾的任期不会被美国的民族精神所接纳。

“It’s not who we are,” Mr. Biden often said, “not what America is.”

“我们不是那样的,”拜登总说,“美国不是那样的。”

And at the end of the 2020 campaign, an anxious, quarrelsome country is turning a question back at him: Are you sure?

到2020年竞选的尾声,这个焦虑不安、争吵不休的国家将这个问题抛回给他:你真的确定吗?

For millions of Trump supporters, the last four years have been a time when things changed for the better, when they felt they had a president who knew exactly who they were. They cheered pre-virus jobs success, shifts in the tax code, trade fights with China and the emerging rightward tilt of the Supreme Court. But they often responded more viscerally to the fury than the finer points: Mr. Trump’s eager brawls against elites and institutions, against threats to conservatives’ preferred social order, against shared enemies.

对无数特朗普支持者来说,过去四年是形势好转的四年,他们觉得有了一位真正了解他们的总统。他们为疫情前的工作岗位的增加、税法的改变、与中国的贸易战以及最高法院的明显右倾而欢呼。但他们发自内心的反应往往是对愤怒,而不是对细节:即特朗普对精英阶层和公共机构、对保守派偏爱的社会秩序所面临的威胁、对共同敌人的急切引战。

For many Democrats, the story of this White House is far uglier: division for its own sake and for Mr. Trump’s personal aggrandizement, coaxing an American backslide that harnessed the levers of government to settle scores and buoy white supremacists, international strongmen and anyone else who spoke well of the man in charge.

对许多民主党人来说,白宫的故事要丑陋得多:为了分裂而分裂,以及为了特朗普的个人野心而分裂,他诱使美国开倒车,公报私仇,支持白人至上主义者、国际政治强人和所有说这位最高领袖好话的人。

On Tuesday, this abiding conflict — over which vision of America will endure, over whether this president is more protector or destroyer — was put to the voters at last.

周二,这场持久的冲突——焦点是美国哪种愿景将会胜出,以及这位总统究竟是保护者还是毁灭者——终于被交到了选民手上。

Early returns revealed no winner but affirmed the persistence of national fissures, as Democrats who had indulged in fantasies about the instant catharsis of a sweeping victory were left once more to wonder if they understood America as well as they had assumed.

早期选举结果没有揭示赢家,但确认了国家分裂的持续性,而那些曾经沉迷于幻想大获全胜带来瞬间情绪宣泄的民主党人,再次怀疑他们是否如自己想象那般懂得美国。

But even before any final verdict was to be rendered, this election season had already supplied some answers to the question of who we are — evidence of all that Mr. Trump has changed, and all that he hasn’t, and all the work that will await Mr. Biden if his bet is rewarded.

但就算最终结论还未能得出,这个选举季已经为“我们是谁”这个问题提供了一些答案——特朗普改变了什么,和他没改变什么的证据,以及如果拜登的押注得到回报,有多少工作等待着他去做。

America is now a nation where businesses in many cities boarded up their windows in anticipation of election violence. It is a nation where partisans daydream about seeing their political opponents in jail and where the sitting president has pressed his own Justice Department to follow through. It is a nation where Black Lives Matter protesters have pressed their cause in the streets and where caravans of Trump backers have filled highways and waterways with a procession of MAGA flags.

现在的美国,是一个许多城市商家都用木板封住窗户,以防出现选举暴力的国家。在这个国家,党徒们幻想看到政治对手被关进监狱,而现任总统也逼迫自己的司法部去这么做。在这个国家,“黑人的命也是命”的抗议者在街上表达诉求,而公路和水路挤满了成群结队的特朗普支持者,“让美国再次伟大”的旗帜到处飘扬。

It is a nation where faith in institutions, already dismal, was not helped by a year in which federal authorities could not safeguard their own people against a deadly disease.

在这个国家,人们对公共机构的信心本就低落,而在这一年时间里也没有好转,联邦当局无法保护自己的人民免受致命疾病的伤害。

And it is a nation, if voter turnout levels are instructive, that was moved as never before in modern memory to stand and be counted, in defiance of contagion and ostensible suppression. Americans braved polling places in masks and gloves, hand-delivered mail ballots just in case, waited in lines that zagged and folded over themselves across whole neighborhoods — a kind of small intestines of democracy.

如果选民投票率能说明什么,那就是不顾传染病和公然压制,这个国家在当代记忆中从未有过的方式出来参与。美国人民戴着口罩和手套,勇敢地置身投票站点,亲手送交邮寄选票以防万一,在整个社区排起了蜿蜒的队伍——某种程度上就像是民主制度的小肠。

“I honestly can’t say I know any institution that is working,” said Aalayah Eastmond, 19, a survivor of the Parkland, Fla., massacre and a first-time voter who has spent much of the year in Washington protesting racism and police violence. “But one thing I do know that is working is the power of the people.”

“老实说,我不知道什么机构是有用的,”19岁的阿拉亚·伊斯特蒙德(Aalayah Eastmond)说,她是佛罗里达州帕克兰屠杀案的幸存者,也是第一次参加投票,今年大部分时间都在华盛顿抗议种族主义和警察暴力。“但有一件事我很确信,那就是人民的力量在起作用。”

How much of the recent past can be undone, and how much the electorate wants it undone, is a question no campaign can resolve in full. There is danger in any sweeping assertion about the ideals of a country that narrowly chose to follow its first Black president with the man who pushed a racist conspiracy about that president’s birthplace.

有多少刚刚过去的历史还能挽回,有多少选民希望挽回,都是任何竞选没法彻底解决的问题。任何有关这个国家理想的笼统判断都是危险的,它在选出首位黑人总统之后,就勉强追随了一个就该总统的出生地推行种族主义阴谋论的人。

But in some ways, given the distinctiveness of the choices, the decision in this election will be especially revealing about how America sees itself and what it expects of its leaders.

但在某些方面,鉴于这些选择的差异,这次大选的结果尤其能够揭示美国究竟如何看待自身,及其对领导人的期望。

In interviews this fall, voters supporting each candidate described fears that the nation would soon appear unrecognizable to them, if it was not already. This campaign, they suggested, had doubled as a national X-ray, with both sides distressed about what might turn up on the scan.

在今秋的采访中,支持每位候选人的选民都表示,他们害怕这个国家很快将会面目全非——如果不是已经如此的话。他们表示,这次竞选将为全国做一次X光检查,双方都对可能的扫描结果感到忧虑。

“You learn a lot about yourself and other people and the country,” said Luke Hoffman, 36, standing outside the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia in a “Vote” mask before a recent televised forum with Mr. Biden. “The sheer polarization is terrifying.”

“你会对自己、他人和整个国家有更多了解,”在最近拜登举行电视论坛之前,36岁的卢克·霍夫曼(Luke Hoffman)站在费城国家宪法中心(National Constitution Center)外说,他戴着印有“投票”的口罩。“这种两极分化太可怕了。”

Katherine Smarch, 51, who traveled to Lansing, Mich., to see Eric Trump speak at a gravel pit last month, said that any pro-Trump sentiment she might express on social media was doomed to be met with taunting and hostility.

51岁的凯瑟琳·斯玛尔奇(Katherine Smarch)上个月到密歇根州兰辛市观看了埃里克·特朗普(Eric Trump)在一个采砾场的演讲,她说自己在社交媒体上表达任何支持特朗普的态度,都一定会面临嘲讽和敌意。

“It just feels so foreign,” she said. “This is the kind of thing that happens in a foreign country.”

“感觉真是太陌生了,”她说。“这种事好像只会发生在外国。”

Yet there is maybe some comfort, at least, in the idea that the electorate appears to be operating with mostly full information about its options.

然而,选民们似乎是在对自己的选择有充分了解的情况下投票的,这个事实至少让人感到些许安慰。

While the stakes of a Trump presidency could still seem theoretical four years ago — “What do you have to lose?” he asked his audiences — the magnitude and responsibility of the office are by now impossible to misconstrue.

四年前,特朗普当总统的风险似乎还只是理论上的——“你有什么可失去的?”他问他的听众——如今,对于白宫的重要性和责任,人们不可能产生误解。

There had once been a thought that the gravity of the job might transform Mr. Trump, that America’s guardrails would check him, that the “adults in the room” (as they often liked to call themselves) would head off his most reckless impulses.

曾经有一种想法认为,这份工作的重要性可能会改变特朗普,美国的护栏会阻挡他,“房间里的成年人”(他们经常喜欢这样称呼自己)会阻止他最鲁莽的冲动。

Little of it took. He is who he has been.

结果并非如此。他还是过去的他。

The institutions often bent to him, aided by Republicans in Congress. Advisers and aides came and went, and often never much disagreed with him anyway.

在国会共和党人的帮助下,各个机构经常屈从于他。顾问和助手们频繁更迭,通常并不会有太多与之相反的意见。

And in the run-up to Tuesday, Mr. Trump left little doubt that a second term would look like very much like the first: chaotic, retaliatory, uninterested in unity.

在周二之前的准备阶段,特朗普几乎没给人留下什么疑问,他的第二任期会与第一任期非常相似:混乱、报复、对团结不感兴趣。

Even in the shared suffering endemic to this year of virus and relative isolation, Mr. Trump presided over partisan clashes concerning once apolitical subjects like adherence to public health guidelines, fostering divisions that trickled down to the national rank and file.

尽管今年全国饱受病毒侵袭和相对隔绝的折磨,特朗普还是主导了一些围绕曾经与政治无关议题的党派冲突,比如遵守公共卫生指导方针,同时滋长了渗透到普通民众层面的分歧。

If the whole of Mr. Trump’s tenure has often felt like a rolling challenge to precedent, the coming days may stand as a kind of super exam, particularly if the president makes premature claims about the outcome.

如果说特朗普的整个任期经常让人感觉像是在不断挑战先例,那么接下来的几天可能会像是一场超级考试,尤其是如果总统过早宣布结果的话。

Of course, how Mr. Trump chooses to conduct himself has never been up to the American people. The tautological lesson he learned from his own rise always seemed to be this: If no one had the power to tell him no — or even bothered trying — it was a yes.

当然,特朗普选择如何行事,从来都不是美国人民说了算。从自己的崛起当中,他反复得到的经验似乎总是这样:如果没人有能力对他说“不”——甚至懒得去尝试——那么答案就是“是”。

Mr. Trump also understands well that many millions of people are with him, win or lose, holding him up as the figure girding the nation against would-be decline and leftward creep.

特朗普还清楚地知道,不管是赢是输,都会有千百万人支持他,认为他可以帮助美国抵御可能出现的衰落和左翼势力蔓延。

“We didn’t vote for him to be our pastor or our husband,” said Penny Nance, the chief executive of Concerned Women for America, a conservative Christian group. “We voted for him to be our bodyguard.”

“我们不是投票让他做我们的牧师或丈夫,”保守派基督教组织“关心美国妇女组织”(Concerned Women for America)的首席执行官潘妮·南斯(Penny Nance)说。“我们投票是让他做我们的保镖。”

Mr. Biden has presented himself as the kind of “transition candidate” capable of guiding the nation through that grappling, a bridge to whatever should come after. He outlasted a large and historically diverse primary field as the Democrat most singularly focused on removing the president and worrying about the rest later. He hammered Mr. Trump on matters of competence and integrity and asked Senator Kamala Harris to join his ticket, keeping a pledge to name a woman as his running mate and nodding to the overwhelming support Mr. Biden has enjoyed from Black voters since his election as Mr. Obama’s vice president.

拜登把自己描绘成能够带领国家渡过难关的“过渡候选人”,是通向未来的桥梁。他熬过了一场规模庞大、而且在历史上最为多样化的初选,作为民主党人,他最关注的是把总统赶下台,然后再来担心其他事。他用能力和诚信问题抨击特朗普,邀请参议员卡玛拉·哈里斯(Kamala Harris)作为搭档,信守了任命一名女性作为竞选伙伴的承诺,这也是向当选奥巴马的副总统以来从黑人选民那里获得的压倒性支持所表示的谢意。

It was not lost on his allies that Mr. Biden, a man of institutions, was offering himself up to a country that seemed to be losing its trust in them, one where crises of confidence have touched Congress, law enforcement and the courts.

他的盟友们并没有忘记,拜登是建制派,他把自己奉献给似乎正在对公共机构失去信任的国家,一个信心危机已经波及国会、执法部门和法院的国家。

The work of repair, he argued, was not as simple as removing Mr. Trump. That was merely a prerequisite. And while he has long professed affection for a bygone era of bipartisanship, Mr. Biden has also already run up against the realities of the moment, navigating progressive calls to expand the Supreme Court and watching Republican former Senate colleagues entertain misleading attacks on the Biden family.

他认为,修复工作并不只是让特朗普下台那么简单,这仅仅是一个先决条件。尽管拜登长期以来一直表示对过去的两党合作时代充满感情,但他也在同当下的现实发生撞击,应对扩大最高法院的进步派呼声,目睹共和党的前参议员同事们对其家族进行的误导性攻击。

If anything, the campaign’s final frames included often ubiquitous reminders of the rupture that will persist after the election — and perhaps only widen once the winner is clear.

不管怎么说,竞选活动的最后一幕经常是无处不在的提醒,告诉人们选举之后,分裂还将持续存在——而且在获胜者确定之后只会继续扩大。

Last week in Texas, vehicles with Trump flags and signs surrounded a Biden-Harris campaign bus and appeared to be trying to slow it down and force it to the side of the road.

上周在得克萨斯,几辆印有特朗普旗帜和标语的汽车包围了一辆拜登-哈里斯的竞选巴士,似乎是想让巴士减速,迫使它停在路边。

Mr. Trump called the drivers supporting him “patriots” who did nothing wrong. The F.B.I. said it was investigating. Mr. Biden sounded something like a disappointed parent, waiting for the collective tantrum to pass.

特朗普称支持他的这些司机是“爱国者”,他们没有做错任何事。联邦调查局表示正在对此事进行调查。拜登的口吻像是一位失望的家长,在等待集体的愤怒情绪过去。

“We are so much better than this,” Mr. Biden said over the weekend. “It’s not who we are.”

“我们做不出这种事,”拜登在周末说。“我们不是这样的人。”

For better or worse, he seemed to believe it.

不管怎样,他似乎相信这一点。

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