Absorbing the Impossible
I sat watching in astonishment. The one who couldn’t bear to show up to concede was not, as expected, Donald Trump, but Hillary Clinton.
我在惊诧中看着这一切。承受不了选举结果，无法出来认输的人，并不是之前预期的唐纳德·特朗普(Donald Trump)，而是希拉里·克林顿(Hillary Clinton)。
I thought the hard-core support for Trump had dwindled down to a hardy band of loyalists: Rudy, Newt, Chris, Sarah, Kellyanne, Omarosa, the kids, Melania — the woman who told him “If you run, you’ll win” — Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Matt Drudge, Ann Coulter, Jeff Sessions, Corey Lewandowski, Steve Bannon, Hope Hicks, David Bossie, Alex Jones, Bill Mitchell, Mike Pence and my brother, Kevin.
我以为特朗普的铁杆支持者已经缩减为一个坚定而忠诚的小圈子了：鲁迪(Rudy)、纽特(Newt)、克里斯(Chris)、莎拉(Sarah)、凯莉安娜(Kellyanne)、奥玛罗萨(Omarosa)、孩子们、梅拉尼娅(Melania)——告诉他“如果你参选，你就会赢”的女人——肖恩·汉尼提(Sean Hannity)、劳拉·英格拉恩(Laura Ingraham)、马特·德鲁奇(Matt Drudge)、安娜·库尔特(Ann Coulter)、杰夫·塞申斯(Jeff Sessions)、考利·莱万多夫斯基(Corey Lewandowski)、史蒂夫·班农(Steve Bannon)、霍普·希克斯(Hope Hicks)、戴维·波西(David Bossie)、阿历克斯·琼斯(Alex Jones)、比尔·米切尔(Bill Mitchell)、迈克·彭斯(Mike Pence)，以及我的哥哥凯文(Kevin)。
The Republican establishment couldn’t stand Trump. The Democratic establishment mocked him. The Republican nominee didn’t even really seem to have much of a campaign. He spent more on “Make America Great” hats than on polling. When I visited his campaign headquarters this summer, there were more pictures, paintings and cardboard cutouts of Trump around than Trump advisers. If you don’t count Newt Gingrich — and I don’t — only one major political historian, Allan Lichtman, had predicted that Trump would win.
共和党建制派忍受不了特朗普。民主党建制派嘲笑他。这位共和党提名人的竞选看上去真没什么前景。他在“令美国恢复伟大荣光”帽子上花的钱，比在民调上花的多。我今年夏天去参观他的竞选总部时，特朗普的照片、图片和纸板肖像比他的顾问还多。如果你不把纽特·金里奇(Newt Gingrich)算在内——我就不会——只有一位知名的政治史学家艾伦·利希特曼(Allan Lichtman)预测特朗普会赢。
But then the impossible happened. As Salena Zito had presciently written in The Atlantic: “The press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.”
但是，不可能的事情发生了。正如萨琳娜·佐托(Salena Zito)很有预见性地在《大西洋》(The Atlantic)上指出的：“新闻界是照着字面意思去理解他，并不正眼看他；他的支持者正眼看他，并不按字面意思去理解他。”
When the Apocalypse came at midnight and the TV analysts — even on Fox — were scrambling to reverse their analyses and justify their bad polling data; and the stock exchanges had to temporarily halt the futures market because it was falling too fast, and the world was spinning off its axis, I called my conservative brother to see what the heck was going on.
“As flawed a candidate as Trump was, he had his finger on the pulse,” Kevin said. “The polls were off because nobody wanted to admit that they were going to vote for him. But it’s a populist revolt and a lot of people believed in Trump’s message: too much regulation, too much government. The whole thing is a bunch of guys getting rich on Capitol Hill and not paying attention to the people who elected them. They stay in Congress a couple years, then move on to K Street and call on the same people who replaced them.”
Kevin had his moments where he wanted to desert Trump, who was not his first, second or third choice in the Republican primary. He was tempted to bail when Trump had his abominable fight with the Khans, the gold-star family, after the Democratic primary.
My sister did desert Trump in the end, disgusted with his demeaning tweets about women and his inability to focus on issues rather than his own petulance. But she couldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton either, unable to condone the Clintons’ miasma of financial and ethical cheesiness. She did not understand why the president discouraged Joe Biden — someone she could have supported — from running.
我姐姐最后放弃了特朗普，因为讨厌他在Twitter上贬低女性，而且他太任性，没有把主要精力放在问题上。但她也不能投票给希拉里·克林顿(Hillary Clinton)，因为不能宽恕克林顿在财务和道德上的乌烟瘴气。她不明白为什么总统不鼓励乔·拜登(Joe Biden)参选——她本可以支持拜登。
Trump was like Rasputin, being declared dead time after time, but living on. The thought of another President Clinton kept Kevin on board, and yesterday he went to the polls in suburban Maryland and voted for Trump, as did his sons.
“Hillary was the status quo and one of the most flawed candidates in history,” he said. “This is a complete repudiation of President Obama, the man who pushed Hillary and deemed Trump a clown.”
It is unthinkable to imagine the most overtly racist candidate — and head of the offensive birther movement — driving in the limousine to the inauguration with the first African-American president. What would they discuss? How Trump plans to repeal Obamacare? How Trump will appoint Supreme Court justices that will transform America into a drastically more conservative landscape over the next 20 years? How Trump plans to undo the Iran deal? When will Trump begin deporting Hispanics? When will Attorney General Rudy Giuliani pardon Chris Christie and put Hillary in jail?
最公然支持种族主义的候选人——最咄咄逼人的“出生地运动”领导者——和第一位非裔美国人总统坐在豪华轿车中去参加就职典礼的场面，简直无法想象。他们会讨论些什么？特朗普计划如何废除奥巴马医改计划？特朗普将如何任命最高法院大法官，这又将如何在未来20年里把美国变成一个更加保守的国度？特朗普打算如何取消和伊朗的协议？特朗普什么时候开始驱逐西语裔？司法部长鲁迪·朱利亚尼(Rudy Giuliani)什么时候会赦免克里斯·克里斯蒂(Chris Christie)，把希拉里送进监狱？
Hillary’s closing line in the campaign was that she was the only thing standing between her and the abyss. But to my conservative family, Hillary was the abyss while Donald was the baseball bat to smash Washington.
“She is a weak campaigner with a documented history of unsavory dealings,” Kevin wrote in an essay for my new book, “The Year of Voting Dangerously.” “She is declared unlikable by 55 percent of the electorate and untrustworthy by 67 percent. ... When the director of the F.B.I. laid bare her gross negligence for arrogantly setting up her own email system while secretary of state and announced there would be no prosecution, you could hear the heavens thunder for justice. Not since O.J. Simpson had someone so obviously guilty by the facts, walked away. A separate investigation tying Clinton Foundation contributions to speeches made by Bill adds to the pungent aroma of shiftiness and entitlement that routinely hovers above them. Bill only adds to it with his surprise thirty-minute visit to the attorney general on the tarmac at the Phoenix airport, a stunt even a first-year law student knows is verboten. The D.N.C. thought it was lining her up with a weak sparring partner she could destroy, marching into Philadelphia with momentum and money for the general campaign. Whoops.”
凯文为我的新书《危险投票年》(The Year of Voting Dangerously)写了一篇文章，其中写道：“她在竞选方面很弱，有过一系列记录在案的丑陋交易。55%的选民说她不讨喜，67%的人说她不可信……当联邦调查局局长曝光她的重大过失——她担任国务卿时自以为是地设立了自己的电邮系统——并宣布她将不会遭到起诉时，你可以听到天堂的正义雷声。自从O·J·辛普森(O.J. Simpson)案之后，就没有哪个人在事实清楚地显示有罪的情况下如此轻松地脱身了。另一项调查把克林顿基金会的捐赠和比尔的演讲联系到一起，让他们头上常常盘旋着的奸诈和目空一切感变得更加让人讨厌。还有比尔在菲尼克斯机场的停机坪上突然去拜访了司法部长三分钟时间，就算是一年级的法律学生都知道法律禁止这么做。民主党全国委员会(DNC)以为自己给她安排了一个她能完胜的陪练，带着大选的势头和金钱挺进费城。他们想错了。”
When Trump beat 16 seasoned pols in the Republican primary, Kevin wrote, that should have sent a clear message that the public was fed up with political insiders, including Hillary, who “has been in the public eye for 25 years,” with an image “cast in concrete.”
I was in Europe the night before the Brexit vote and no one thought it could possibly pass. But I woke up the next day and it had. And last night in America, no one ever thought they would see a Times headline “Trump Triumphs” but at about 2:40 a.m. they did. While Democrats were calling it a national disaster and many women were freaking out, Trump came onstage at the Hilton looking subdued — and perhaps terrified? — with a calm and conciliatory speech about dreaming big and bold, about dealing fairly with everyone and avoiding hostility and conflict.
But, I asked my brother, would there be buyer’s remorse, as with Brexit?
Kevin was unconcerned, celebrating quietly at home through the wee hours because, as my colleague Binyamin Appelbaum tweeted: “After months of chatter about the implosion of the Republican Party, we are instead witnessing the obviation of the Democratic Party.”
“With Brexit, the markets went down and bounced right back,” Kevin mused at 3 a.m., sounding serene as Democrats keened and Hillary failed to show up at her party at the Javits Center. “Trump voters did the country a service. Anybody but Clinton.
“The Clintons remind me of the Universal horror movies where you thought the monster was dead and then the monster would show up in a bad sequel. I’m glad now that they’re finally gone.”