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在特朗普的内阁,你只能用奴性忍受屈辱

更新时间:2017-10-12 11:14:57 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

To Serve Is to Slobber
在特朗普的内阁,你只能用奴性忍受屈辱

No one besides Donald Trump was going to ask Rex Tillerson to the prom. No one else was going to pin a corsage on Jeff Sessions, pick up Steven Mnuchin in a chauffeured limo, give a box of Godiva chocolates to Betsy DeVos.

除了唐纳德·特朗普,没人会邀请雷克斯·蒂勒森(Rex Tillerson)参加毕业舞会。也没人会给杰夫·塞申斯(Jeff Sessions)戴上胸花,没人会用有专职司机的豪华轿车去接史蒂文·努钦(Steven Mnuchin),或者给贝茜·德沃斯(Betsy DeVos)一盒歌帝梵(Godiva)巧克力。

A more conventional, responsible, admirable president would have looked right past them, at comelier options galore. On some level they know that. Trump certainly does. That’s his power over them — a poison in the heart of his cabinet. He gave them a chance and a dance that they weren’t going to get any other way. In return he demands a gratitude that’s unhealthy, a deference that’s unseemly.

一位更传统、更负责、更令人敬佩的总统不会考虑他们,因为他会有很多更优秀的可选对象。从某种程度上讲,他们知道这一点。特朗普当然也知道。他正是借此对他们拥有支配权,这是他内阁核心的一个致命弱点。他给了他们一个参与机会——他们通过其他任何方式都不可能得到的机会。作为回报,他要求获得病态的感激,以及不体面的遵从。

Every presidential administration has its deadbeats and dysfunctions. None that I’ve observed has an ethos of abject servility like Trump’s. That’s what we witnessed over the weekend, when the obsequious handmaiden otherwise known as the vice president flew at taxpayer expense to his home state of Indiana for a game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers.

每届政府都有失职者和不称职者。但据我观察,没有哪届政府像特朗普政府这样带着可鄙的奴性。我们在这个周末就看到这种风气:巴结奉承的仆人,也就是我们的副总统,花着纳税人的钱,乘飞机回到自己的故乡印第安纳州,观看印第安纳波利斯小马队和旧金山49人队之间的一场比赛。

Mike Pence merely pretended that he was in the mood for football. He was really in the market for cheap political theater. During the national anthem, when some players predictably took a knee, he took calculated offense, storming out of the stadium and doing his boss proud. Trump tweeted afterward that Pence had been obeying his orders.

迈克·彭斯(Mike Pence)只是假装自己有看球的心情。实际上,他到那里是为了进行一场廉价的政治表演。奏国歌时,一些球员如预期的那样单膝跪地,彭斯按照计划表现出愤怒,冲出体育馆,给自己的上司长脸。随后,特朗普发推称,彭斯是在遵从自己的命令。

Pence has a long and serious political résumé, but would another Republican president have tapped him for the No. 2 spot? I doubt it. I also doubt that another Republican president would have chosen Rick Perry for the Energy Department, Ben Carson for Housing and Urban Development or a host of the people who are working — or worked — just below the cabinet level.

彭斯有一个漫长而严肃的从政履历,但是会有其他哪位共和党总统考虑让他担任第二号人物吗?我觉得不会。我觉得其他共和党总统也不会选择里克·佩里(Rick Perry)担任能源部长,不会选择本·卡森(Ben Carson)担任住房和城市发展部部长,不会让其他一大群不合格的人担任(或曾担任)内阁成员。

Sean Spicer? Anthony Scaramucci? They aren’t superstars who had been underutilized before. They’re opportunists who lunged for an adventure that they had probably never envisioned.

肖恩·斯派塞(Sean Spicer)?安东尼·斯卡拉穆奇(Anthony Scaramucci)?他们之前都不算未受重用的明星人物。他们都是渴望冒险的机会主义者,他们很可能从来没想过能有这样的机会。

Unlike his predecessors, Trump didn’t have his pick of the crop. Some prospects didn’t want to be anywhere near such an egomaniacal, unprincipled man, while others were nonstarters because they’d publicly vented their doubts about him.

和他的前任们不同,特朗普没有很多选择余地。有些大有前途的人完全不想靠近这个极端自我、没有原则的人,还有些人早就出局了,因为他们曾公开对特朗普表示质疑。

The team he assembled wasn’t all stars. With a few notable exceptions, it was a coalition of the willing, and a ragtag one at that. And then, through his example and erratic behavior this year, he systematically diminished these recruits. If they had pride and much of a reputation on their way into the administration, they’ll be lucky to hold on to tatters of either on their way out.

他召集的不是一个全明星团队。除了几个引人注目的例外,他的麾下全是乌合之众。今年,通过他的表率和反复无常的行为,他系统性地削弱了自己聘用的那些人。如果说他们在进入本届政府时还曾有过骄傲和荣耀,那么在他们离开时,哪怕还剩一丝丝就已经算是幸运的了。

The most effective leaders extract the best from the people around them. Trump provokes the worst. Tom Price, his ousted health and human services secretary, was shady from the get-go, but still: Would he have acted quite so high-flying and mighty — all those regal seats on all those pricey charters — but for Trump, whose entire rule smacks of economically self-aggrandizing brand promotion and whose family is busting the Secret Service budget?

最有效的领导者激发身边人最好的一面。特朗普则是激发他们最糟糕的一面。被撤职的卫生和公共服务部部长汤姆·普赖斯(Tom Price)一开始就不太光彩,但如果不是因为特朗普,他会表现得如此趾高气扬、盛气凌人吗——比如他那些昂贵包机上的豪华座位?特朗普的统治一直带着从经济上自我加大品牌宣传的意味,他的家族正在挥霍特勤局(Secret Service)的预算。

Would Mnuchin be so blasé about his own use of government planes? According to multiple reports, he charged the government $800,000 for military transport when commercial flights were available — and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, too, indulged in needlessly expensive air travel.

如果不是因为特朗普,努钦会对自己滥用政府飞机的事如此无动于衷吗?根据多则报道,他向政府索要了80万美元的军事交通费,而那些交通完全可以通过商业飞行完成。交通部长赵小兰(Elaine Chao)也在毫无必要的昂贵空中交通上肆意挥霍。

Would Scott Pruitt, the director of the Environmental Protection Agency, have spent nearly $25,000 on some special phone booth? This fish rots from the bejeweled head.

如果不是因为特朗普,环境保护局(Environmental Protection Agency)局长斯科特·普鲁特(Scott Pruitt)会花费近2.5万美元修建某种特殊的电话间吗?这条鱼的腐烂,是从珠光宝气的头部开始的。

And these people have become practiced at humiliation. Maybe their perks are Percocets for the pain.

这些人已经开始慢慢习惯耻辱。也许他们的特殊待遇就是镇痛药。

Sessions twisted in the wind while Trump, in tweets and talk, rued that he’d ever appointed him attorney general and suggested that he might dismiss him any day. Spicer sucked up Trump’s boldly advertised displeasure with his comportment at the lectern and even the color of his suits.

当特朗普在Twitter上和演说中表示,自己对任命塞申斯担任司法部长感到懊悔,暗示将来可能会撤掉他时,塞申斯显得心神不宁。特朗普公开对斯派塞在讲台上的举止甚至套装颜色表达不满,他默默忍受着。

Tillerson tucked his dignity into some sock drawer as Trump repeatedly contradicted his statements and undermined his authority. For Trump this was gleeful sport. He’s only as big as his ability to make his underlings look small.

在特朗普多次违背蒂勒森的声明,削弱他的权威时,蒂勒森将自己的尊严收了起来。对特朗普来说,这是愉快的游戏。让自己的小喽啰看起来很渺小——他的能力就这么大。

Mnuchin signed on as his Treasury secretary to become his apologist, and was prodded to vouch for the president along lines having nothing to do with his portfolio. On a Sunday morning news show, he dutifully joined Trump’s campaign against pro football players who don’t stand for the anthem. In a public statement, he docilely claimed that there was no reason — none whatsoever! — to believe that Trump had any patience for neo-Nazis.

努钦同意担任特朗普的财政部长,就等于是同意成为他的捍卫者,怂恿之下,他在与自己的部长职务没有任何关系的事务上为总统做担保。在周日早上的一个新闻节目中,他忠诚地与特朗普站到一起,反对在奏国歌时不起立的职业橄榄球运动员。在一项公开声明中,他温顺地声称没有任何理由——没有任何一丁点儿的理由——相信特朗普能容忍新纳粹。

I flash back on that infamous cabinet meeting, when Trump coaxed those insane testimonials, and see more clearly than ever that he was establishing the terms of service: I strut, you slobber, for as long as I can stand you or you can stand it.

我回想起那场臭名昭著的内阁会议,特朗普炮制出那些疯狂的证词,我比以往任何时候更清楚地看到,他正在建立自己的“服务条款”:我趾高气扬,你低三下四,这会一直持续下去,直到我不能忍受你,或者你不能忍受屈辱。

Which won’t be forever, and that’s the scariest part. Trump’s options will grow less attractive, not more. On the far side of this uncomely crowd, there’s an even sorrier, more simpering crew of replacements.

不会一直持续下去,这才是最可怕的地方。可供特朗普选择的对象会越来越不吸引人。在这群不称职的乌合之众的边缘,站着一群更令人失望的、谄媚的替代者。

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