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亲爱的美国,你为何让我们失望?

更新时间:2016-12-21 10:59:19 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Dear America, Why Did You Let Us Down?
亲爱的美国,你为何让我们失望?

SYDNEY, Australia — On the other side of the world from you, we are living in two time zones. One regulated by the rise and fall of the sun, the other regulated by the American news cycle. In our early afternoon you go to bed, in our late evening you wake again and news breaks afresh. We examine the entrails of the tweets of your president-elect for news of our common future.

澳大利亚悉尼——与你们分处世界两端的我们,生活在两个不同的时区里。左右其中一个时区的是日出日落,左右另一个的则是美国的新闻周期。我们的午后是你们上床睡觉的时间,等到我们步入深夜,你们却已再次醒来,新闻则会被刷新。我们细细咂摸你们的候任总统所发推文的深意,找寻关于我们共同未来的最新消息。

In Australia, and around the world, we have been living this presidential transition with you. We watched the debates on our lunch breaks, we scrolled through news on our phones as the voting results were announced, in the warm light of a spring day.

在澳大利亚乃至世界各地,我们正与你们共度这个总统交接期。我们曾在午休时间观看辩论,曾在大选结果公布之际,就着春日的温暖阳光翻看手机上的新闻。

Since the election I have cried many times, in the shower, in the car, as the conventions that define liberal Western democracy are stripped away by Donald J. Trump, with every distressful appointment, each impulsive outburst. I have embarrassment of grief for a government that is not mine and for a country that does not belong to me. It feels as if we’re mourning the death of an idea called America.

自从大选日以来,我哭过很多次,有时是在浴室里,有时是在车上,因为唐纳德·J·特朗普(Donald J. Trump)以每一项令人沮丧的任命和每一次冲动的情绪爆发,破坏着那些塑造西方自由民主制面貌的传统。我有些尴尬地为不属于我的政府和国家而悲伤。感觉像是我们正在哀悼名为美利坚的观念之死。

You may not know us, the people beyond your borders, but we know you. We absorbed your politics by osmosis, across the semipermeable membrane of celluloid. We know about Air Force One from “Air Force One” and the West Wing from “The West Wing.”

你们可能不了解我们这些生活在你们国境之外的人,但我们了解你们。我们吸纳着从赛璐珞半透膜另一边渗透进来的你们的政治理念。我们从《空军一号》(Air Force One)中了解空军一号,从《白宫风云》(The West Wing)中了解白宫西配楼。

When I think of the political texts I know by heart, snippets of yours spring to mind — “ask not what your country can do for you”; “I have a dream”; “conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” As a child I knew the Gettysburg Address and the Pledge of Allegiance, not because it was taught in class but because we heard them so many times in movies like “Kindergarten Cop.” America gave us a poetry of democracy that was grand and uplifting, which we were too reserved and sarcastic to speak for ourselves.

每当我思及烂熟于心的政治语篇,你们的语录便会浮现在我的脑海中——“不要问你的国家能为你做什么”;“我有一个梦想”;“它孕育于自由,奉行人人生而平等的原则”。我小时候就知道《葛底斯堡演说》(Gettysburg Address)和《效忠誓言》(Pledge of Allegiance),不是因为在学校里学过,而是因为在《幼儿园特警》(Kindergarten Cop)之类的影片中听说过太多次。美国让我们领略了伟大的令人振奋的民主诗篇——我们自己则因为太过矜持和尖酸刻薄,无法吟诵。

Visiting America itself gave us the sensation of having stepped into the television, into something bigger and better. For a time when I was a teenager my father worked in the coal industry in West Virginia. He would return with stories about new things we could not imagine, like cable television with 50 stations. Packed in his suitcase were running shoes for us, in styles that had not arrived here yet. That was more than 20 years ago.

我们到访美国时,感觉像是走进了电视,走进了一个更大更好的世界。在我的少年时代,我父亲在西弗吉尼亚州的煤炭行业工作过一段时间。他会带回一些关于我们无法想象的新事物的故事,比如有50个台的有线电视。他的行李箱里装着给我们买的跑鞋,都是些还没在这里出现的新款。一晃儿20多年过去了。

Things were changing long before this election. Trips to Asia are now more likely to startle us with modernity. Bangkok, Singapore, even Mumbai have shocked me on visits over the last few decades, not just the wealth and development but also the music and fashion and public transportation.

事情早就发生着变化,远远早于这场大选。现如今,我们更有可能在造访亚洲时被其现代化程度吓一跳。在最近几十年里的旅程中,曼谷、新加坡甚至是孟买都曾令我惊讶,我不仅惊讶于当地的财富和发展,也惊讶于其音乐、时尚和公共交通。

For all the intractable problems in our region, there is a sense of forward movement. When we visit America now, it feels like the opposite, like decay. Roads, airports, an economy, perhaps even a society, falling to pieces. We are left in awe by the extreme poverty as well as the extreme wealth. And maybe it is because of your poetry about yourself that the turning current has been harder for Americans themselves to see.

虽然我们的地区有太多棘手的问题,但这里却给人以阔步向前之感。我们现在造访美国的时候,得出的印象则恰恰相反,仿佛能感受到腐朽之气。道路、机场、经济甚或社会,都在分崩离析。极端贫困和极端富有相伴而生,让我们不胜唏嘘。或许是因为局囿于关于你们自己的诗篇,你们美国人才更加难以看清潮流的转变。

The election of Mr. Trump feels like a sudden plunge after a gradual decline. Already he is goading China, befriending President Vladimir V. Putin, disregarding climate change and refusing daily intelligence briefings because he’s “a smart person.” None of this, we fear, will end well for any of us.

特朗普的当选就好像是逐渐衰落之后的猛然下沉。他已经在挑衅中国、跟普京交朋友、轻视气候变化了,而且拒绝每天都听取情报工作简报,因为他是“聪明人”。我们担心,这一切会让我们所有人付出代价。

And here we Australians are on the edge of Asia, a small and loyal ally of the United States, with a significant and growing Asian-born population, caught between our strategic alliance with you and our economic future with China. Britain is tangled in Brexit, with neither the time nor the inclination to focus on a former colony on the other side of the world. We feel worried, lucky — and alone.

我们澳大利亚人处在亚洲边缘,是美国忠实的小盟友,人口中的亚裔比例很大且与日俱增,被卡在与你们的战略联盟和与中国的经济未来之间。英国陷在脱欧的泥潭里,既没有功夫也没有意愿去管地球另一端的前殖民地。我们感到忧虑、幸运——还有些孤独。

Earlier this year, Australia’s Department of Defense outlined the long-term outlook for our defense and security, emphasizing that the relationship between the United States and China will continue to be the most strategically important factor in the region. “The governments of both countries have publicly committed to a constructive relationship and it is not in the interests of either country to see an unstable international environment in which the free and open movement of trade and investment is compromised,” the department noted. That constructive relationship must now be spoken about in the past tense.

今年早些时候,澳大利亚国防部概述了我们的国防和安全工作的长期前景,并强调:中美关系仍然会是这一地区最具战略重要性的因素。国防部指出,“两国政府已经公开承诺要构筑建设性关系,国际环境不稳定会损害自由开放的贸易和投资行为,不符合两者的利益。”现如今,谈及这种建设性关系的时候必须使用过去时。

And no longer can it be assumed that Australia will always pick the United States over China, if forced to choose. When the Lowy Institute for International Policy surveyed Australians two years ago about whether the United States or China was the more important partner for our country, the United States led by 11 percentage points. This year there was a tie. The drift was more marked among Australians under 45, most of whom named China. Nearly half of the Australians surveyed said we should distance ourselves from a United States led by a president like Mr. Trump.

此外,人们再也不能认为,如果澳大利亚被迫在中美之间做出选择,一定会站在美国一边。两年前,洛伊国际政策研究所(Lowy Institute for International Policy)针对澳大利亚人做了一项调查,题目是:对我们的国家来说,更重要的伙伴是美国还是中国。当时,美国领先了11个百分点。到了今年,双方打了个平手。观念的转变在45岁以下的澳大利亚人中更为明显,他们大多选择了中国。近半数受访的澳大利亚人表示,我们应该疏远特朗普这样的人领导下的美国。

This distancing is already being discussed. While Australia’s right-wing politicians have taken the most literal and disheartening lesson from the election — Mr. Trump won, so be like Mr. Trump — a former prime minister of our country, Paul Keating, questioned Australia’s deference to the United States.

这种疏远已经在讨论之中。澳大利亚的右翼政治人物从这场大选中学到了最现实也最令人沮丧的经验——特朗普赢了,所以要像特朗普一样——但我们国家的前总理保罗·基廷(Paul Keating)就澳大利亚对美国的亦步亦趋提出了质疑。

“This society of ours is a better society than the United States,” he said. “It’s more even, it’s more fair. We’ve had a 50 percent increase in real incomes in the last 20 years. Median America has had zero, zero.” He added, “We have universal health protection, from the cradle to the grave.”

“我们的这个社会比美国要好,”他说。“它更平等,也更公平。过去20年间,我们的实际收入增长了50%。美国人实际收入的中位数则是零增长,零啊。”他还表示,“我们有着从摇篮到坟墓式的全民健康保险制度。”

For Australia to await a signal from the United States before thinking for itself “is a complete denial of everything we have created here,” he concluded.

他得出的结论是,对澳大利亚来说,在自行思考之前等待美国给出指令,等于“全盘否定我们在这里创造的所有一切”。

This is a way of moving forward, in our own direction and with our own voice. Perhaps we could even offer you a different model of democracy, the way you once offered one to us.

这是一条有我们自己的方向和主张的前进道路。也许我们甚至可以为你们提供一种不同的民主模式,就像你们当初为我们做的那样。

Whatever happens, it will not dull my affection for the American people and the best of American culture. I was not raised in America, but I was raised in the American century. I am not yet ready to say goodbye.

不论世事怎样变迁,我对美国人民以及美国文化精髓的喜爱都不会改变。我并非生长在美国,但却是在“美国世纪”长大成人的。我尚未准备好说再见。

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