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特朗普抛弃了美国总统的道德责任

更新时间:2017-8-17 20:53:12 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Unlike His Predecessors, Trump Steps Back From a Moral Judgment
特朗普抛弃了美国总统的道德责任

WASHINGTON — President Trump did more on Tuesday than simply draw an equivalence between the torch-wielding marchers and the leftist activists who clashed with them in Charlottesville, Va. He relinquished what presidents from Roosevelt to Reagan have regarded as a cardinal duty of their job: set a moral course to unify the nation.

华盛顿——周二,特朗普不仅把弗吉尼亚州夏洛茨维尔挥舞火炬的游行者和与他们发生冲突的左派活动人士等同了起来,还放弃了从罗斯福到里根心目中总统工作的一项基本职责:设置一个道德准则来团结这个国家。

Asked during his news conference in Trump Tower whether he would put white supremacists and neo-Nazis on the same “moral plane” as their liberal and leftist resisters, a frustrated Mr. Trump replied, “I’m not putting anybody on a moral plane.”

在特朗普大厦举行的新闻发布会上,当被问及是否将白人至上主义者、新纳粹置于和自由主义、左派抵抗者相同的“道德平面”时,懊丧的特朗普回答说:“我没有把任何人置于一个道德平面上。”

“What I’m saying is this,” he explained. “You had a group on one side and you had a group on the other, and they came at each other with clubs and it was vicious and it was horrible.”

“我要说的是这个,”他解释说。“两边各有一个团体,他们带着棍子互殴,这是恶性事件,很可怕。目睹这样的事情很可怕。”

Like much of what Mr. Trump says, his statement could be dismissed as an offhand remark, thrown out in the heat of a contentious exchange with reporters. The president, after all, declared a day earlier that “racism is evil” — that the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and white supremacists “are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”

就像特朗普的很多说法一样,他的这番话可被视为在与记者的唇枪舌战中脱口而出的评论。毕竟总统已经说过“种族主义是邪恶的”——三K党、新纳粹和白人至上主义者“和我们美国人所珍视的一切都是相抵触的”。

Yet Mr. Trump’s refusal Tuesday to pass an explicit moral judgment on the violence in Charlottesville seemed a genuine reflection of his beliefs. Certainly, it is similar to his refusal to condemn the tactics of autocrats like President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines or President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

然而,特朗普周二拒绝对夏洛茨维尔的暴力行为作出明确的道德判断,这似乎才是他的信念的真实反映。当然,这与他拒绝谴责菲律宾总统罗德里戈·杜特地(Rodrigo Duterte)或俄罗斯总统普京的独裁手段是一脉相承的。

“There are a lot of killers,” Mr. Trump said to Bill O’Reilly on Fox News early this year when he was asked about his reluctance to condemn the Russian leader. “You think our country’s so innocent?”

“杀戮者有很多,”今年早些时候,当被问及为什么不愿谴责这位俄罗斯领导人时,特朗普对福克斯新闻的比尔·奥赖利(Bill O’Reilly)说。“你以为我们国家就那么清白吗?”

In fact, Mr. Trump’s predecessors, going back to George Washington, have all tried, with varying degrees of success, to summon Americans to a higher moral purpose.

事实上,特朗普之前可以回溯到乔治·华盛顿(George Washington)的历届总统,都曾经尝试过号召美国人趋向更高的道德目标,并取得了或多或少的成功。

Abraham Lincoln, in his second inaugural address, called on Americans, bitter after years of civil war, to bind up their wounds “with malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right.”

亚伯拉罕·林肯(Abraham Lincoln)在第二次就职演说中,呼吁经历了多年内战痛苦的美国人将创伤包扎起来,“我们对任何人也不怀恶意,我们对所有的人都宽大为怀,坚定地相信正确的事。”

Theodore Roosevelt spoke from a bully pulpit about the need to shield the vulnerable from the predations of industry. Woodrow Wilson prayed that World War I would be the war to end all wars. Franklin D. Roosevelt, who enacted the New Deal and vanquished fascism in Europe and Japan, said the presidency was primarily a place for moral leadership.

西奥多·罗斯福(Theodore Roosevelt)当上总统后,也谈到了需要保护弱势群体免遭资本集团掠夺。伍德罗·威尔逊(Woodrow Wilson)祈祷第一次世界大战将是所有战争的终结。富兰克林·罗斯福(Franklin D. Roosevelt)颁布过新政(New Deal),消灭过德国和日本的法西斯主义,他说,总统之职主要是一股道德的领导力。

“The presidency is a center of moral authority in this country,” said Robert Dallek, a historian who is publishing a biography of F.D.R. this fall. “Every president before Trump thought of it in this way.”

“总统是这个国家的道德权威中心,”历史学家罗伯特·达列克(Robert Dallek)说道;他的罗斯福传记将于秋天出版。“特朗普之前的每位总统都是以这种方式思考的。”

If anything, the president’s role as a moral arbiter has only deepened in recent decades, as American society has become more secular, more racially and ethnically diverse, and more atomized by the splintering of mass media and the rise of social media.

而且,近几十年来,随着美国社会变得更加世俗化、族裔上更加多样化,而且大众媒体的分裂和社交媒体的兴起导致它更加孤立化,总统作为道德仲裁者的角色日益有所深化。

“Especially in modern times, with instant communications, many Americans are inclined to look to a president for guidance on what to think about crucial issues,” the historian Michael Beschloss said. “A president must always speak with an intense degree of moral sensitivity.”

“尤其是在现代,有了即时通讯,很多美国人倾向于在总统的引导下看待重要问题,”历史学者迈克尔·贝施洛斯(Michael Beschloss)说。“总统发表言论时必须时刻都保持高度的道德敏感性。”

When Jimmy Carter was asked in 1978 whether he planned to use the moral weight of his office to block American neo-Nazis from marching in Skokie, Ill., a predominantly Jewish suburb of Chicago, he replied that it was up to the courts. But he added, “I wish that this demonstration of an abhorrent political and social philosophy would not be present at all.”

吉米·卡特(Jimmy Carter)在1978年被问及是否打算利用其职务的道德力量阻止美国的新纳粹在伊利诺伊州芝加哥以犹太人为主的郊区斯科基游行时回答说,此事应该由法庭来决定。但他接着表示,“我希望这场宣扬令人憎恶的政治和社会理念的游行根本不要出现。”

Ronald Reagan famously spoke of America as a moral lodestar — a “shining city on a hill.” In his farewell address in 1989, he said, “She’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.”

罗纳德·里根(Ronald Reagan)的一句名言说,美国是道德北极星——“山巅闪光之城”。在1989年的告别演说中,他说,“她依然是一座灯塔,依然是一块磁铁,引导所有不能没有自由的人,和所有迷失方向的朝圣者穿过黑暗,回到家园。”

George W. Bush, addressing Congress days after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, issued a call to arms against the Islamic extremists who brought down the World Trade Center. But he coupled it with an appeal to avoid a broader attack on Islam.

乔治·W·布什(George W. Bush)在2001年9月11日的袭击发生几天后对国会发表演说时,表示要动用武力打击炸毁世界贸易中心的伊斯兰派极端分子,但他同时呼吁避免全面攻击伊斯兰教。

“We respect your faith,” Mr. Bush said. “It’s practiced freely by many millions of Americans and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah.”

“我们尊重你们的信仰,”布什说。“美国有数以百万计的人们信仰伊斯兰教,美国视为朋友的国家还有更多它的信徒。它的教义是好的、和平的,而那些以安拉的名义作恶的人亵渎了安拉的名字。”

Mr. Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, appealed to the best in Americans through a heartbreaking succession of police shootings and racially motivated killings. He often invoked the notion of grace — never more indelibly than in Charleston, S.C., after a white supremacist gunned down nine people, all African Americans, during a prayer service at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

特朗普的前任贝拉克·奥巴马(Barack Obama)在一连串的警察枪击和出于种族动机的杀戮中呼吁美国民众呈现心中最美好的一面。他经常提到慈悲的概念。最令人难忘的是一名白人至上主义者枪杀九名非裔美国人后,他在南卡罗来纳州查尔斯顿的以马内利非裔卫理圣公会教堂(Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church)的祈祷仪式上的发言。

“We don’t earn grace, but we choose how to receive it. We decide how to honor it,” Mr. Obama said, before leading a memorial service in the hymn “Amazing Grace.”

“我们不用赢得慈悲,但要选择如何接受慈悲。我们要决定如何践行慈悲,”奥巴马说。然后,他在赞美诗《奇异恩典》(Amazing Grace)的音乐中主持纪念仪式。

“Justice,” he said, “grows out of recognition, of ourselves in others; that my liberty depends on my respect for yours; that history must not be a sword to justify injustice, or a shield against progress, but must be a manual for how to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.”

“正义,”他说,“源自认可,源自我们在他人心中的形象;源自承认我的自由取决于我对你的自由的尊重,承认历史不能为不公正名,不能阻碍进步,而是作为如何避免重蹈过去覆辙的前车之鉴。”

None of Mr. Trump’s predecessors lived up to the moral standards they set. Franklin Roosevelt interned 125,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II. Mr. Bush’s war in Iraq inflamed America’s relations with the Islamic world. Mr. Obama, who spoke fervently about the need for the United States to intervene on humanitarian grounds in foreign conflicts — “inaction tears at our conscience,” he said in 2009 — failed to do so in war-torn Syria.

特朗普的前任中没有一个达到了他们自己制定的道德标准。富兰克林·罗斯福在二战期间拘押了12.5万名日裔美国人。布什发动的伊拉克战争激化了美国与伊斯兰世界的关系。热情洋溢地称美国必须出于人道主义介入外国的冲突——他在2009年说,“不作为撕扯着我们的良心”——的奥巴马未能在战火纷飞的叙利亚兑现自己的承诺。

In some cases — Richard M. Nixon’s abuse of power and Bill Clinton’s personal transgressions — the moral shortcomings were great.

有些情况下,道德上的问题还相当巨大,例如理查德·M·尼克松(Richard M. Nixon)滥用权力和比尔·克林顿(Bill Clinton)的个人过失。

But until now, no president has rejected the very concept of moral leadership. On Saturday, in his first response to Charlottesville, Mr. Trump condemned the violence “on many sides.” Then he lapsed into the passive voice, expressing, as he has before, a sense of futility that the divisions between Americans would ever be healed.

但截至现在,没有哪位总统否定道德领导这个概念。周六首次回应夏洛茨维尔的事件时,特朗普将暴力归咎于“多个阵营”。然后,他换回冷漠的语气,像以前那样对美国人之间的分歧永远不会消除表现出了一种无力感。

“It’s been going on for a long time in our country,” he said. “Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time.”

“这种情况在我国已经持续很长时间了,”他说。“不是唐纳德·特朗普时期特有的,也不是贝拉克·奥巴马时期特有的。已经出现很长很长一段时间了。”

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