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特朗普和奥巴马有什么共同点?

更新时间:2017-3-30 12:33:17 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

What Trump and Obama Have in Common
特朗普和奥巴马有什么共同点?

Not such a long time ago, in our very own galaxy, an unlikely candidate startled his party’s establishment by coming from seemingly nowhere to win its nomination for president. Putting together a surprising coalition of alienated and frustrated voters, he won the White House over a Washington icon and claimed a mandate for swift and dramatic change.

并不是很久之前,就在我们这个群星璀璨的阵营当中,一位看似没有希望的候选人不知从哪里冒出来,获得了总统提名,令该党的建制派感到震惊。他不可思议地获得了遭到排挤的沮丧的选民的支持,打败了华盛顿的一位标志性人物,入主白宫,并声称会迅速做出巨大变革。

But the new president, unaccustomed to Washington’s ways, made a huge mistake. He concluded that his election was a transformative moment that would sweep aside all entrenched interests. He believed he could unite his party and get his political enemies to cooperate, or at least back down, through the sheer force of his personality.

但这位新总统不了解华盛顿的运行方式,犯了一个巨大的错误。他以为自己当选总统是一个变革性的时刻,会扫除所有盘根错节的利益集团。他以为纯粹依靠个人魅力就能团结自己的党派,说服政敌展开合作或者至少做出让步。

Everyone had agreed it was time for change, the new president reasoned. After all, his campaign crowds were huge and wildly enthusiastic. Surely the opposition would fall in line.

大家都赞同是到了改革的时候了,这位新总统解释说。毕竟,他竞选时支持他的群众很庞大,很狂热。反对派当然会乖乖就范。

That candidate was Barack Obama.

我说的这位候选人是贝拉克·奥巴马。

For far too long, he tried and failed to make deals with Republicans on Capitol Hill who had sworn to block his entire agenda, and he ended up looking naïve and weak. “When almost two million show up for your inauguration, it’s enough to turn your head,” a close associate later said.

有太长一段时间,他试图与国会山的共和党人达成协议,但是都失败了,后者下定决心阻扰他的全部计划,他最终看起来天真而无力。“当有近200万人出现你的就职典礼上,那足以让你头脑发热,”他的一位亲密伙伴后来表示。

Eight years later, another unlikely winner is making the same mistake.

八年后,另一位出人意料的赢家也在犯同样的错误。

President Trump seems to have convinced himself that he was the leader of a mass movement (“the single greatest movement in the history of this country,” in fact) and that his very ascension to the presidency marked a turning point in politics that would render the Democrats powerless and rally the Republican majorities in Congress in uncritical support of his agenda.

特朗普总统似乎确信自己是一个宏大运动的领导者(事实上,他的原话是“本国历史上最伟大的一个运动”),他当选总统标志着政治上的一个转折点,会让民主党失去力量,会召集国会的共和党多数派完全支持自己的任何计划。

There are differences between the two presidents, of course. Obama got to the White House despite the lingering racism in American life and politics. Trump stoked that racism and gleefully rode it into Washington.

当然,这两位总统有所不同。尽管美国的生活和政治中依然存在种族主义,但奥巴马还是进了白宫。特朗普则是为种族主义煽风点火,然后兴高采烈地携着这股势头进了华盛顿。

Obama was too confident in his own powers of persuasion. Trump’s belief in his powers of persuasion is so inflated that it amounts to narcissism.

奥巴马对自己的说服能力太过自信。而特朗普对自己说服力的信心简直膨胀到了自恋的程度。

Obama was distrusted by American corporate leaders. Trump is one of them.

美国的商界领袖不信任奥巴马。特朗普是其中之一。

Obama came to Washington to govern. Trump came to preen.

奥巴马是来华盛顿治理国家的。特朗普是来炫耀自己的。

Obama had a specific agenda with actual legislative proposals. Trump has tweets.

奥巴马有具体的计划,有切实的立法提案。特朗普有Twitter。

Obama showed a detailed understanding of policy issues. He could talk about them with authority and was thoroughly steeped in history. Trump doesn’t seem to know the first thing about much of anything, past or present.

奥巴马表现出对政策问题的详细了解。他可以很权威地谈论它们,陈述它们的来龙去脉。特朗普似乎不知道过去和现在的很多事情的基本情况。

“Nobody knew health care could be so complicated,” he famously said as people who did know that were hard at work on Capitol Hill coming up with a proposal to replace Obamacare that failed spectacularly last week and left Trump looking like a fool (to everyone except himself).

“没人知道医保会这么复杂,”他曾非常著名地说过这么一句话。而真正了解情况的人当时在国会山努力工作,以提出一项取代奥巴马医保的议案,该议案上周遭遇惨败,让特朗普看起来像个傻瓜(只有他自己不这么认为)。

Then there were the moments when he didn’t seem to know who Frederick Douglass was, and shared with the world his conclusion that slavery was “not good” (although to be fair he amended that later to “really bad”).

他似乎不知道弗雷德里克·道格拉斯(Frederick Douglass)是谁。他跟全世界分享了他的结论:奴隶制“不好”(尽管公平地说,他后来改成了“真的很坏”)。

Obama rolled up his sleeves and did the hard work on the big issues. Trump announces that a problem is going to be solved, brushes his hands and moves on. Sometimes he invents problems — like his recent announcement that he would put an end to the “uncontrolled entry” of people into the country. It’s a neat trick because fixing a nonexistent problem doesn’t require actual work.

奥巴马卷起袖子,努力解决重大问题。特朗普宣布一个问题将会被解决,然后甩手走人。有时他还会捏造问题,比如前不久他宣布,他将结束人们可以“不受控制地进入”美国的情况。这是一个不错的花招,因为解决一个不存在的问题并不需要真的做什么工作。

But as new presidents, Obama and Trump share that debilitating belief in their own public relations. Obama got over it eventually. Will Trump?

但是,作为新总统,奥巴马和特朗普都对自己的公关能力存在错误估计。奥巴马最终克服了这个缺点。特朗普能吗?

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