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更新时间:2017/8/20 10:03:07 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

I Voted for Trump. And I Sorely Regret It.

When Donald Trump first announced his presidential campaign, I, like most people, thought it would be a short-lived publicity stunt. A month later, though, I happened to catch one of his political rallies on C-Span. I was riveted.


I supported the Republican in dozens of articles, radio and TV appearances, even as conservative friends and colleagues said I had to be kidding. As early as September 2015, I wrote that Mr. Trump was “the most serious candidate in the race.” Critics of the pro-Trump blog and then the nonprofit journal that I founded accused us of attempting to “understand Trump better than he understands himself.” I hoped that was the case. I saw the decline in this country — its weak economy and frayed social fabric — and I thought Mr. Trump’s willingness to move past partisan stalemates could begin a process of renewal.


It is now clear that my optimism was unfounded. I can’t stand by this disgraceful administration any longer, and I would urge anyone who once supported him as I did to stop defending the 45th president.


Far from making America great again, Mr. Trump has betrayed the foundations of our common citizenship. And his actions are jeopardizing any prospect of enacting an agenda that might restore the promise of American life.



What, you may wonder, especially in the wake of Charlottesville, Va., did I possibly see in this candidate?


Although crude and meandering for almost all of the primary campaign, Mr. Trump eschewed strict ideologies and directly addressed themes that the more conventional candidates of both parties preferred to ignore. Rather than recite paeans to American enterprise, he acknowledged that our “information economy” has delivered little wage or productivity growth. He was willing to criticize the bipartisan consensus on trade and pointed out the devastating effects of deindustrialization felt in many communities. He forthrightly addressed the foreign policy failures of both parties, such as the debacles in Iraq and Libya, and rejected the utopian rhetoric of “democracy promotion.” He talked about the issue of widening income inequality — almost unheard of for a Republican candidate — and didn’t pretend that simply cutting taxes or shrinking government would solve the problem.


He criticized corporations for offshoring jobs, attacked financial-industry executives for avoiding taxes and bemoaned America’s reliance on economic bubbles over the last few decades. He blasted the Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz campaigns for insincerely mouthing focus-grouped platitudes while catering to their largest donors — and he was right. Voters loved that he was willing to buck conventional wisdom and the establishment.

他批评企业将工作外包给其他国家,抨击金融业高管逃税,悲叹美国在过去几十年里对经济泡沫的依赖。他痛斥杰布·布什(Jeb Bush)和特德·克鲁兹(Ted Cruz)在竞选中不真诚地发表针对特定受众的陈词滥调,而实际上是为最大的捐款者服务——他说的没错。选民们喜欢他乐于抨击传统智慧和建制势力。

He flouted GOP orthodoxy on entitlements, infrastructure spending and, at times, even health care and “culture war” issues like funding Planned Parenthood. His statements on immigration were often needlessly inflammatory, but he correctly diagnosed that our current system makes little sense for most Americans, as well as many immigrants, and seems designed to benefit the wealthy at the expense of working people.


Yes, Mr. Trump’s policy positions were poorly defined, but these days, most candidates’ positions are. And yes, he had little support from the Republican Party leadership. But many of us thought even this might be a positive if it forced him to focus on “making deals” rather than on Washington’s usual ideological posturing. He was never going to fulfill all of his over-the-top promises, but we believed that his administration might achieve some meaningful successes.


In my writing, I tried to steer this administration in the right direction. During the presidential primaries, the blog I helped organize, called the Journal of American Greatness, was one of the leading voices supporting certain themes of Trump’s campaign. (Michael Anton, now a National Security Council adviser, was our most prolific writer.) Then, after the election, I founded a quarterly journal, American Affairs, largely to question elements of what is often called the neoliberal policy consensus — totally open borders for capital and labor; transferring power from national governments to transnational technocracies; unfettered markets; and democracy promotion as the sole premise of foreign policy. In other words, the disappointing legacy we inherited from the Bushes and the Clintons that helped pave the way to Mr. Trump’s election.

我试图通过自己的文章把这个政府引向正确的方向。在总统初选期间,我参与创办的名叫《美国荣光杂志》(Journal of American Greatness)的博客是支持特朗普竞选某些主题的主要声音(现任国家安全委员会[National Security Council]顾问的迈克尔·安东[Michael Anton]曾是我们最多产的撰稿人)。大选结束后,我创办了一个季刊,名叫《美国事务》(American Affairs),主要是质疑通常被称为新自由主义政策共识的一些内容,比如,为获得资本和劳动力而完全开放边境;将国家级政府的权力转让给跨国技术官僚;对市场不进行任何限制;将民主宣传作为外交政策的唯一前提。换句话说,就是我们从布什家族和克林顿家族继承的那些令人失望的遗产,正是那些遗产为特朗普赢得大选铺平了道路。

In this role, as one of the few people in the media who has been somewhat sympathetic to Mr. Trump, I am often asked to comment on his surprise victory, or more recently on his statements, policies and the gusher of news pouring out of this White House. For months, despite increasing chaos and incoherence, I have given Mr. Trump the benefit of the doubt: “No, I don’t really think he is a racist,” I have told skeptical audiences. “Yes, he says some stupid things, but none of it really matters; he’s not really that incompetent.” Or: “They’ve made some mistakes, but it’s still early.”


It’s no longer early. Not only has the president failed to make the course corrections necessary to save his administration, but his increasingly appalling conduct will continue to repel anyone who might once have been inclined to work with him.


From the very start of his run, one of the most serious charges against Mr. Trump was that he panders to racists. Many of his supporters, myself included, managed to convince ourselves that his more outrageous comments — such as the Judge Gonzalo Curiel controversy or his initial hesitance to disavow David Duke’s endorsement — were merely Bidenesque gaffes committed during the heat of a campaign.

从特朗普竞选之初起,对他最严重的一项指控就是他迎合种族主义者。他的很多支持者,包括我自己,努力说服自己,他的那些日益令人震惊的言论——比如,关于法官贡萨洛·库列尔(Gonzalo Curiel)的争议,或者他最初在拒绝戴维·杜克(David Duke)捐款时的迟疑——只是竞选白热化阶段的拜登式失态。

It is now clear that we were deluding ourselves. Either Mr. Trump is genuinely sympathetic to the David Duke types, or he is so obtuse as to be utterly incapable of learning from his worst mistakes. Either way, he continues to prove his harshest critics right.


Mr. Trump once boasted that he could shoot someone in the street and not lose voters. Well, someone was just killed in the street by a white supremacist in Charlottesville. His refusal this weekend to specifically and immediately denounce the groups responsible for this intolerable violence was both morally disgusting and monumentally stupid. In this, Mr. Trump failed perhaps the easiest imaginable test of presidential leadership. Rather than advance a vision of national unity that he claims to represent, his indefensible equivocation can only inflame the most vicious forces of division within our country.


If Mr. Trump had been speaking about the overall political climate, he might have been right to say that “many sides” are responsible for exacerbating social tensions. Yet during the events in Charlottesville this past weekend, only one side — a deranged white nationalist — was responsible for killing anyone. To equivocate about this fact is the height of irresponsibility. Even those concerned about the overzealous enforcement of political correctness can hardly think that apologizing for neo-Nazis is a sensible alternative.


Those of us who supported Mr. Trump were never so naïve as to expect that he would transform himself into a model of presidential decorum upon taking office. But our calculation was that a few cringe-inducing tweets were an acceptable trade-off for a successful governing agenda.


Yet after more than 200 days in office, Mr. Trump’s behavior grows only more reprehensible. Meanwhile, his administration has no significant legislative accomplishments — and no apparent plan to deliver any. Wilbur Ross’s Commerce Department has advanced some sensible and appropriately incremental changes to trade policy, but no long-term agenda has been articulated. Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue’s recently proposed legislation offers a sound basis for reforming immigration policy, but seems to have no prospects and has received comparatively little attention. The administration inexplicably downgraded infrastructure and corporate tax reform — issues with potentially broad-based support — to pursue a warmed-over version of Paul Ryan’s Obamacare repeal, which ended, predictably, in a humiliating failure.

然而,上任200多天之后,特朗普的行为变得更加可憎。这段时期,他的行政部门没有取得明显的立法成果,也没有为取得这样的成果而做出任何明确的计划。威尔伯·罗斯(Wilbur Ross)的商业部对贸易政策提出了一些明智和适当的渐进式变革,但没有阐明长期议程。参议员汤姆·科顿(Tom Cotton)和戴维·佩杜特(David Perdue)最近提出的立法法案为改革移民政策提供了坚实的基础,但似乎没有什么前景,并且受到的关注也相对较少。政府不可理喻地减少了基础设施和企业税收改革——这些事项都有潜在的广泛支持——反而跟进了保罗·瑞安(Paul Ryan)为废除奥巴马医改而提出的一个陈腐的方案,最终毫不意外地以丢人现眼的失败告终。

Nothing disastrous has occurred on the foreign policy front — yet — but the never-ending chaos within the administration hardly inspires confidence. Many senior-level appointees are still not in place, including the assistant secretaries of state, for example. And too many of those who are in office appear to be petty, clueless, and rather repulsive ideologues, like Steve Bannon, who seem to spend most of their time accusing one another of being “swamp creatures.” It’s pathetic. No wonder an increasing number of officials are simply ignoring the president, an alarming but understandable development.

迄今为止,在外交政策方面还没有发生灾难性的事情,但政府内部无休止的混乱让人很难产生信心。许多高级别任命官员还没有就位,比如助理国务卿。而那些已经就职的人当中,有太多人似乎心胸狭隘、一无所知,更像是令人厌恶的意识形态倡导者,比如史蒂夫·班农(Steve Bannon),他们大部分时间似乎都在彼此指责,说对方是“沼泽生物”。这是可悲的。难怪越来越多的官员只是无视总统,这是令人震惊但可以理解的发展。

Effectively a third-party president without a party, Mr. Trump has faced extraordinary resistance from the media, the bureaucracy and even within the Republican Party. But the administration has committed too many unforced errors and deserves most of the blame for its failures. Far from making the transformative “deals” he promised voters, his only talent appears to be creating grotesque media frenzies — just as all his critics said.


Those who found some admirable things in the hazy outlines of Mr. Trump’s campaign — a trade policy focused on national industrial development; a less quixotic foreign policy; less ideological approaches to infrastructure, health care and entitlements — will have to salvage that agenda from the wreckage of his presidency. On that, I’m not ready to give up.