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纽约时报双语:我们并不是比特朗普更好的人

我们并不是比特朗普更好的人
How Will I Ever Look at America the Same Way Again?
弗兰克·布鲁尼
2020年10月30日
纽约时报双语:我们并不是比特朗普更好的人

It’s always assumed that those of us who felt certain of Hillary Clinton’s victory in 2016 were putting too much trust in polls.

人们总是认为,我们这些在2016年觉得希拉里·克林顿(Hillary Clinton)必胜的人太过信任民调了。

I was putting too much trust in Americans.

我是太信任美国人了。

I’d seen us err. I’d watched us stray. Still I didn’t think that enough of us would indulge a would-be leader as proudly hateful, patently fraudulent and flamboyantly dishonest as Donald Trump.

我看到我们错了。我看到我们迷失了方向。不过,我依然认为,我们当中没有那么多人会允许出现唐纳德·特朗普那样以仇恨为荣、公然作假、极度不诚实的未来领导人。

We had episodes of ugliness, but this? No way. We were better than Trump.

我们有过一些丑陋的插曲,但是这一次?绝对不会。我们是比特朗普更好的人。

Except, it turned out, we weren’t.

但事实证明,我们不是。

Never mind that the Russians gave him a boost. Or that he lost the popular vote. Some 46 percent of the Americans who cast ballots for president in 2016 picked him, and as he moved into the White House and proceeded to soil it, most of those Americans stood by him solidly enough that Republicans in Congress didn’t dare to cross him and in fact went to great, conscience-immolating lengths to prop him up. These lawmakers weren’t swooning for a demagogue. They were reading the populace.

用不着担心俄国人给了他助力。或者他输掉了普选。在2016年的总统选举投票中,大约有46%的美国人选他,当他进入白宫,并且继续玷污那个地方的时候,这些美国人大都坚定地站在他身边,以至于国会中的共和党人不敢跟他作对,事实上,他们还付出了良心上的巨大代价来支持他,这些议员并不是为一个煽动者而倾倒。他们只是读出了大众的心思。

And it was a populace I didn’t recognize, or at least didn’t want to.

我不认识这些民众,或者至少说我不想认识他们。

What has Trump’s presidency taken from us? I’m reasonably sure that many Americans feel the same loss that I do, and I’m struggling to assign just one word to it.

特朗普的总统任期从我们身上夺走了什么?我有理由相信,许多美国人都和我一样若有所失,很难用一个词来形容它。

Innocence? Optimism? Faith? Go to the place on the Venn diagram where those states of mind overlap. That’s the piece of me now missing when I look at this beloved country of mine.

天真?乐观?信念?是这些心理状态的交集。当我看着这个我深爱的国家时,这就是现在的我心中缺失的部分。

Trump snuffed out my confidence, flickering but real, that we could go only so low and forgive only so much. With him we went lower — or at least a damningly large percentage of us did. In him we forgave florid cruelty, overt racism, rampant corruption, exultant indecency, the coddling of murderous despots, the alienation of true friends, the alienation of truth itself, the disparagement of invaluable institutions, the degradation of essential democratic traditions.

特朗普逼得我虽然偶尔怀疑,但却真真切切地相信,我们只能变得如此低劣,只能原谅这么多。和他在一起,我们变得更加低劣——或者至少我们当中很大一部分人变得更低劣了。在他身上,我们原谅了华丽词藻堆砌的残忍、公然的种族主义、猖獗的腐败、狂热的下流行为、对凶残暴君的纵容、对真正朋友的疏远、对真理本身的疏远、对宝贵制度的贬低、以及基本民主传统的退化。

He played Russian roulette with Americans’ lives. He played Russian roulette with his own aides’ lives. In a sane and civil country, of the kind I long thought I lived in, his favorability ratings would have fallen to negative integers, a mathematical impossibility but a moral imperative. In this one, they never changed all that much.

他用美国人的生命玩俄罗斯轮盘赌。他用自己助手的生命玩俄罗斯轮盘赌。如果是在一个理智而文明的国家,也就是我长期以来认为自己生活的那种国家,他的支持率会降至负数,这在数学上是不可能的,但在道德上却是必须的。而在这个国家,他的支持率并没有改变太多。

Polls from mid-October showed that about 44 percent of voters approved of Trump’s job performance — and this was after he’d concealed aspects of his coronavirus infection from the public, shrugged off the larger meaning of it, established the White House as its own superspreader environment and cavalierly marched on.

从10月中旬开始的民意调查显示,大约44%的选民认可特朗普的工作表现——这是在他向公众隐瞒了他感染新冠病毒病情的某些方面、无视其更大的意义、将白宫本身变成超级传播环境并且漫不经心地继续前进之后。

Forty-four percent. Who in God’s name are we?

百分之四十四。上帝呀,我们到底是什么样的人?

I’m not forgetting pre-Trump American history. I’m not erasing hundreds of years of slavery, the internment of Japanese Americans, the many kinds of discrimination that have flourished in my own lifetime, all the elections in which we Americans made stupid choices and all the presidents who did “un-American” things. We’re a grossly imperfect country, our behavior at frequent odds with our ideals.

我没有忘记特朗普之前的美国历史。我不会抹去数百年的奴隶制、关押日裔美国人、在我有生之年盛行的各种歧视、所有我们美国人做出愚蠢选择的选举,以及所有做了“不美国”的事情的总统。我们是一个非常不完美的国家,我们的行为经常与我们的理想相悖。

But for every abomination, I could name a moment of grace. For many of our sins, stabs at atonement. We demonstrated a yearning to correct our mistakes and, I think, a tropism toward goodness. On balance we were open, generous. When I traveled abroad, people from other countries routinely complimented Americans for that. They experienced us as arrogant, but also as special.

但是每当想起一件令人厌恶的事,我都能说出另一个美好的时刻。我们的许多罪恶刺激了我们去赎罪。我们表现出纠正错误的渴望,我想,还有一种追求善的倾向。总的来说,我们是开放的、慷慨的。当我出国旅行时,其他国家的人经常会因此而称赞美国人。他们觉得我们很傲慢,但也非常特别。

Now they just pity us.

现在他们只是同情我们而已。

How much of this can we pin on Trump? Not as much as we try to. And oh, how we’ve tried. This obsession of the news media and his detractors with every last eccentricity and inanity isn’t just about keeping a complete record, I’ve come to realize. It’s also a deflection, an evasion: If he gets the whole of the stage, then Americans’ complicity and collaboration are shoved into the wings.

我们能在多大程度上将这归咎于特朗普?没有我们想的那么多。哦,我们已经尽力了。我意识到,新闻媒体和他的诋毁者对他所有古怪愚蠢行为的执着,不仅仅是为了保持一个完整的记录。这也是一种偏离,一种逃避:如果让他占据了整个舞台,那么美国人参与的共谋及合作就会被挤到一边。

And the freakier we make him out to be, the less emblematic he is. The more he becomes a random, isolated event. We emphasized what a vanquishable opponent Hillary Clinton was because that diminished the significance of the vanquishing and the vanquisher. We spoke of a perfect storm of circumstances that led to his election as a way of disowning the weather.

我们把他形容得越变态,他的象征意义就越小。他就愈发变成了一个随机孤立的事件。我们强调希拉里·克林顿是个多么容易击败的对手,因为这能削弱她被击败的事实和击败她的人的重要性。我们谈论导致他当选的大环境里的完美风暴,以此来否认天气的影响。

We cheered on Robert Mueller’s investigation not just because it might hold Trump and his wretched accomplices to account but also because it might explain him away, proving that he reached the White House by cheating, not because he was what nearly half of the country decided that they wanted.

我们支持罗伯特·穆勒(Robert Mueller)的调查,不仅因为这可能追究特朗普和他那些可怜同伙的责任,还因为这可能为他开脱,证明他进入白宫靠的是作弊,而并非这个国家近一半人口决定的人选。

We tried to make him a one-and-done one-off. But deep into his presidency, when his execrable character had been fully exposed, his Fox News cheerleaders continued to draw huge audiences for their sycophantic panegyrics.

我们努力把他描述成做一届就走的过客。但在担任总统那么久以后,当他的恶劣品行完全暴露,他在福克斯新闻(Fox News)的拉拉队员还能继续用阿谀奉承吸引大批受众。

Trump himself continued to attract big crowds to his rallies, like the one in Greenville, N.C., in July 2019, when he pressed his attack on four Democratic congresswomen of color, including Representative Ilhan Omar, who immigrated from Somalia. Egged on by him, his audience chanted: “Send her back! Send her back!” He stopped speaking to give those words room, and he soaked them in.

特朗普自己也能继续吸引大批人参加他的集会,比如2019年7月在北卡罗来纳州格林维尔,他当时攻击了四名民主党有色人种女议员,其中包括索马里移民、议员代表伊尔汗·奥马尔(Ilhan Omar)。在他的怂恿下,观众们齐声高呼:“把她赶回去!把她赶回去!”为了突出这些言论,他停下演讲,彻底沉浸其中。

Or what about the recent rally in Muskegon, Mich., where he freshly assailed the state’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer, despite the fact that his obsessive denunciations of her had possibly been a factor in an alleged plot by 14 men to kidnap her? “Lock her up!” many of the attendees bellowed, to Trump’s obvious amusement.

或者最近在密歇根州马斯基根的集会又发生了什么?他对该州州长格蕾琴·惠特默(Gretchen Whitmer)发起了新攻击,哪怕他对她的执着谴责可能正是14名男性涉嫌密谋绑架她的原因之一。“把她关起来!”许多与会者大吼道,特朗普显然喜闻乐见。

Again, how has his approval rating not fallen to negative integers?

还是那句话,他的支持率怎么没降为负整数呢?

I’m not saying that support for him is spun entirely of malice or bias. Keen economic anxiety and profound political estrangement are why many voters turned to him, as my Times colleague Farah Stockman explained especially well in a recent editorial that was set in America’s disheartened heartland. “Even false hope,” she noted, “is a form of hope, perhaps the most ubiquitous kind.”

我并不是说对他的支持全都出于恶意或偏见。严重的经济焦虑和深刻的政治隔阂是许多选民转向他的原因,我的时报同事法拉·斯托克曼(Farah Stockman)在最近一篇以心灰意冷的美国腹地为背景的评论中解释得尤其清楚。“虚假的希望,”她指出,“也是一种希望,或许还是最普遍存在的一种。”

The headline on the article was “Why They Loved Him.” But why haven’t more of them stopped loving him? And how did so many Americans beyond that group fall so hard for him, thrilling to his recklessness, applauding his divisiveness, indulging his unscrupulousness? He tapped into more cynicism and nihilism than this land of boundless tomorrows was supposed to contain.

那篇文章的标题是“特朗普的粉丝为什么支持他”。但为什么他们中没有更多人不再支持他呢?为什么在这一群体之外,还有那么多美国人如此爱他,对他的鲁莽兴奋,对他的分裂鼓掌,对他的狂妄纵容呢?他在这片充满无限未来的土地上挖掘出太多本不该有的犬儒和虚无主义。

He tapped into more conspiratorialism, too. And I do mean “tapped.” Trump didn’t draw out anything that wasn’t already there, burbling beneath the surface.

他也挖掘出了更多阴谋主义。我说的是字面意义上的“挖掘”。他没有引出任何原本不存在的东西,它们一直在表层之下翻涌。

He didn’t sire white supremacists. He didn’t script the dark fantasies of QAnon. He didn’t create all the Americans who rebelled against protective masks and mocked those who wore them, a selfish mind-set that helps explain our tragic lot. It just flourished under him.

他没有培养白人至上主义者。他没有替QAnon写下那些黑暗幻想。所有那些反对并嘲讽戴口罩的人也不是他的创造,这种自私心态倒能解释我们的悲剧命运。它只是在他治下蓬勃生长罢了。

And it will almost certainly survive him. The foul spirit of these past five years — I’m including his hateful campaign — has been both pervasive and strangely proud. That’s what makes it different. That’s what makes it so chilling.

而且几乎可以肯定的是,它在他下台后也会继续存在。过去五年里,这种恶意——我也把他那可恶的竞选包括在内——无处不在,还不可思议地洋洋自得。这就是它令人毛骨悚然之处。

I could be overreacting. Maybe, just ahead, there will be moments of grace, enough of them to redeem us. Maybe I’ll look up on or after Nov. 3 and see that Biden has won North Carolina, has won Michigan, has won every closely contested state and the presidency in a landslide. Maybe I’ll have to eat my words.

可能是我反应过度。也许,就在眼前,会有片刻的美好,足以救赎我们。也许我会在11月3日或那之后看到拜登赢下北卡罗来纳州,赢下密歇根州,赢下所有势均力敌的州,以压倒性的优势当选总统。或许我得收回我的这些话。

Please, my fellow Americans, feed me my words. I’d relish that meal.

我的美国同胞们,请把我的话丢还给我。我会很享受那样的羞辱。

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