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美国正在变成“特朗普斯坦”国

更新时间:2017-1-3 18:22:19 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

America Becomes a Stan
美国正在变成“特朗普斯坦”国

In 2015 the city of Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, was graced with a new public monument: a giant gold-plated sculpture portraying the country’s president on horseback. This may strike you as a bit excessive. But cults of personality are actually the norm in the “stans,” the Central Asian countries that emerged after the fall of the Soviet Union, all of which are ruled by strongmen who surround themselves with tiny cliques of wealthy crony capitalists.

2015年,土库曼斯坦首都阿什哈巴德出现了一座新的公共纪念碑:该国总统骑在马背上的巨大镀金雕像。这可能会让你觉得有点过分。但是,在这些名字以“斯坦”结尾的国家,也就是苏联垮台后出现的中亚国家里,个人崇拜实际上是一种常态,所有这些国家都是由强权人物所统治的,他们身边还围绕着一小群有裙带关系的富有资本家。

Americans used to find the antics of these regimes, with their tinpot dictators, funny. But who’s laughing now?

美国人曾经在这样的政权中,在它们拙劣的独裁者身上,看到很多好笑的蠢行。现在还笑得出来么?

We are, after all, about to hand over power to a man who has spent his whole adult life trying to build a cult of personality around himself; remember, his “charitable” foundation spent a lot of money buying a six-foot portrait of its founder. Meanwhile, one look at his Twitter account is enough to show that victory has done nothing to slake his thirst for ego gratification. So we can expect lots of self-aggrandizement once he’s in office. I don’t think it will go as far as gold-plated statues, but really, who knows?

毕竟,我们正要把权力移交给这样一个人,成年后的大部分时间里,他一直试图在自己身边建立起一种个人崇拜;要知道,他的“慈善”基金会花了不少钱,买下自己的创始人的一张六英尺高的肖像。同时,看看他的Twitter就足以表明,胜利当选也丝毫没有缓解他对自我满足感的追求。所以一旦他上任之后,可以预料会有大量自我膨胀的事情发生。我不认为会发展到镀金雕像的地步,但是真的吗,谁知道呢?

Meanwhile, with only a couple of weeks until Inauguration Day, Donald Trump has done nothing substantive to reduce the unprecedented — or, as he famously wrote on Twitter, “unpresidented” — conflicts of interest created by his business empire. Pretty clearly, he never will — in fact, he’s already in effect using political office to enrich himself, with some of the most blatant examples involving foreign governments steering business to Trump hotels.

与此同时,距离就职典礼只有几个星期了,唐纳德·特朗普(Donald Trump)在减少他的商业帝国所制造的利益冲突方面,没有任何实质性举措,这样的利益冲突是前所未有的――或者用他在Twitter上那句著名的话说,是“未曾总统过的”(unpresidented)。他显然不打算做点什么,事实上,他已经开始利用政治力量来为自己牟利了,最明显的例子就是一些外国政府开始光顾特朗普酒店。

This means that Mr. Trump will be in violation of the spirit, and arguably the letter, of the Constitution’s emoluments clause, which bars gifts or profits from foreign leaders, the instant he recites the oath of office. But who’s going to hold him accountable? Some prominent Republicans are already suggesting that, rather than enforcing the ethics laws, Congress should simply change them to accommodate the great man.

这意味着特朗普将违反宪法中关于薪酬条款的精神,也可以说是违反了条款本身,该条款规定,总统自宣誓就职那一刻起,就不能从外国领导人那里获得礼物或利益。但谁能向他问责?一些著名的共和党人已经表示,与其执行道德法规,不如由国会来做出修改,以便适应这位伟人。

And the corruption won’t be limited to the very top: The new administration seems set to bring blatant self-dealing into the center of our political system. Abraham Lincoln may have led a team of rivals; Donald Trump seems to be assembling a team of cronies, choosing billionaires with obvious, deep conflicts of interest for many key positions in his administration.

腐败不会局限于最高层:新政府似乎露骨地将假公济私置于我们政治体系的中心。亚伯拉罕·林肯(Abraham Lincon)可以领导一个由前竞争对手组成的团队;唐纳德·特朗普却似乎正在组织一个裙带关系团队,选择一些亿万富翁来担任他政府班子里的许多关键岗位,这些人身上都充满明显而复杂的利益冲突。

In short, America is rapidly turning into a stan.

总之,美国正在迅速变成一个“斯坦”。

I know that many people are still trying to convince themselves that the incoming administration will govern normally, despite the obviously undemocratic instincts of the new commander in chief and the questionable legitimacy of the process that brought him to power. Some Trump apologists have even taken to declaring that we needn’t worry about corruption from the incoming clique, because rich men don’t need more money. Seriously.

我知道很多人仍然试图说服自己,这位新统帅在本能上显然是不民主的,其掌权的过程在合法性上也有问题,但是即将到来的新政府还是会正常地治理国家,一些特朗普的辩护者甚至宣称,我们不必担心这个新集团的腐败,因为富人不需要更多的钱。他们是认真的。

But let’s get real. Everything we know suggests that we’re entering an era of epic corruption and contempt for the rule of law, with no restraint whatsoever.

但让我们面对现实吧。我们所知道的一切都在表明,我们正在进入一个充满大规模腐败、法治遭到蔑视的时代,一切都肆无忌惮。

How could this happen in a nation that has long prided itself as a role model for democracies everywhere? In a direct sense, Mr. Trump’s elevation was made possible by the F.B.I.’s blatant intervention in the election, Russian subversion, and the supine news media that obligingly played up fake scandals while burying real ones on the back pages.

在一个长期以来都骄傲地充当世界各地民主国家榜样的国家里,这样的事情是怎么发生的?从直接的意义上说,特朗普当选是由于联邦调查局对选举的公然干预、俄罗斯的暗中破坏以及新闻媒体的懒惰,它们乐于发布虚假的丑闻,而将真实的丑闻放在不重要的位置上。

But this debacle didn’t come out of nowhere. We’ve been on the road to stan-ism for a long time: an increasingly radical G.O.P., willing to do anything to gain and hold power, has been undermining our political culture for decades.

但是这场溃败不是从天而降的。我们已经在这条通往“斯坦主义”的道路上走了很久:一个日益激进的共和党愿意做任何事情来获得和拥有权力,几十年来,它一直在破坏我们的政治文化。

People tend to forget how much of the 2016 playbook had already been used in earlier years. Remember, the Clinton administration was besieged by constant accusations of corruption, dutifully hyped as major stories by the news media; not one of these alleged scandals turned out to involve any actual wrongdoing. Not incidentally, James Comey, the F.B.I. director whose intervention almost surely swung the election, had previously worked for the Whitewater committee, which spent seven years obsessively investigating a failed land deal.

人们往往会忘记,在2016年用的手法,到底有多少是早些年前就用过的。还记得克林顿政府曾遭到围攻,不断被指责为腐败,新闻媒体恪尽职守地用长篇报道炒作吗?但是这些所谓的丑闻最后没有一个被证明涉及任何实际不法行为。 联邦调查局局长詹姆斯·科米(James Comey)的干预几乎肯定改变了这次选举,他以前曾在白水事件(Whitewater)调查委员会待过,该委员会花了七年的时间锲而不舍地调查一桩失败的土地交易,这一点并非偶然。

People also tend to forget just how bad the administration of George W. Bush really was, and not just because it led America to war on false pretenses. There was also an upsurge in cronyism, with many key posts going to people with dubious qualifications but close political and/or business ties to top officials. Indeed, America botched the occupation of Iraq in part thanks to profiteering by politically connected businesses.

人们还往往会忘记乔治·W·布什(George W. Bush)的政府是真的非常糟糕,不仅仅是因为它以虚假的借口把美国拖入战争。那届政府还出现了大量任人唯亲的问题,许多关键职位的人选虽不见得合格,但都与高级官员有着密切的政治或商业联系,也可能两者均有。事实上,美国在占领伊拉克一事上的失败,部分原因正是由于同政界有关联的企业从中牟取暴利。

The only question now is whether the rot has gone so deep that nothing can stop America’s transformation into Trumpistan. One thing is for sure: It’s destructive as well as foolish to ignore the uncomfortable risk, and simply assume that it will all be O.K. It won’t.

现在唯一的问题是溃烂是否已经足够深入,以至于根本无法阻止美国转变为“特朗普斯坦”。有一件事是肯定的:忽视令人不安的风险,简单地认为一切都会没问题,这种想法不仅具有破坏性,也是愚蠢的。一切不会没问题的。

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