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经济学人:莱克星顿专栏--美国史上最混乱总统辩论落幕(3)

日期: 来源:比比西英语网

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Mr Biden also tried to lay out the traditional policy case, including, by his flubby standards, with some half-decent answers on policing and climate-change policy. For his part, Mr Trump made a handful of disjointed, mostly defensive, claims for his administration’s achievements: on the subject of insulin pricing, for example, he said “I’m getting it for so cheap it’s like water.” But he did not describe any policy or future plan wholly or in detail.

拜登还试图阐述一些传统的政策主张,包括用他含糊不清的标准,半正式地回答了一些有关治安和气候变化政策的问题。而特朗普主要是为自己政府的所作所为发表了一些零散的辩护声明。例如,在胰岛素定价问题上,特朗普表示:“我买的胰岛素便宜的像水一样。”但他没有完整或详细地描述任何一项政策或未来计划。

Was there a strategy to this beyond his usual refusal to be constrained by rules and need to dominate? Maybe not; those urges explain most of what Mr Trump does. But the strategic implications of his thuggery look no less dire for being, in all likelihood, unplanned. Ahead of an election he appears on course to lose, he is telling his supporters that Democrats are not merely hostile opponents but somehow illegitimate. He also repeated in Cleveland his unfounded claim that the election will “be a fraud like you’ve never seen”. Asked to condemn the violent white supremacists who have already taken to the streets on his behalf, in Oregon and elsewhere, he failed to do so. None of this seemed likely to help his electoral prospects. It is the kind of behaviour that has turned a small majority of Americans against him. And yet over 40% are still with him to the hilt.

特朗普除了一贯拒绝受规则约束,以及对于统治权的需要以外,还有什么策略吗?也许并没有。正是这样的冲动才能解释特朗普大部分的所作所为。但是,探究特朗普暴行所采用的策略,细思极恐,因为他极有可能是没有任何计划的。大选即将到来,特朗普似乎要输了。他告诉自己的支持者,民主党不仅是对手,而且在某种程度上是不合法的。在这次克利夫兰的总统辩论中,他再次重申了毫无根据的声明,声称总统大选将“是一场你从未见过的骗局”。当特朗普被要求谴责那些打着他的旗号,充斥在俄勒冈州等地的街头的暴力的白人至上主义者时,他却充耳不闻。因为这些似乎都无助于他的选举前景。正是这样的行为使一小部分美国人反对他,但仍有超过40%的人支持他。

In “How Democracies Die”, published early in Mr Trump’s tenure, two Harvard scholars, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, described a slippery slope that starts with a trampling of democratic norms—thereby ending the degree of mutual trust between rivals that democracy requires—and proceeds through damage to institutions, especially those related to elections, to lawlessness and extremism. It is always possible to underestimate the shock absorbers in America’s vigorous, multi-tiered system. Yet at the federal level, it must be admitted, many of the warning lights they described are already flashing.

在特朗普上任初期出版的《论民主的死亡》一书中,两位哈佛学者史蒂文·莱维斯基和丹尼尔·齐布拉特描述了民主国家的覆灭之路。从对民主规范的践踏开始——从而失去了民主制所要求的竞争对手之间的互信程度——继而是对制度的损害,特别是与选举有关的制度,最终到达漠视法律和极端主义。在美国充满活力的多级体系中,人们总是有可能低估下坡路中起到缓冲作用的那一步骤。然而,联邦层面必须承认缓冲机制已经遭到损害,学者们在书中描述的许多警告灯已经在闪烁。

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