【雙語】「愛美國,只能照我的方式來」──川普當選「週年慶」,選邊「戰」到認知錯亂的美國政治

【雙語】「愛美國,只能照我的方式來」──川普當選「週年慶」,選邊「戰」到認知錯亂的美國政治

 

8 月 12 日,夏洛特鎮「右派團結」(Unite the Right)集會活動中,白人至上主義者與警方發生衝突。

 


本文以中英雙語刊出/中文編譯:換日線編輯部

作者前言:11月8日這一天,是川普「當選」美國總統的「週年慶」(川普正式就職日為2017年1月20日)。此刻,川普人尚在亞洲「出巡」,而美國維吉尼亞州以及新澤西州的州長選舉結果均已出爐——在野的民主黨在這兩場選舉中,均獲得了壓倒性的大勝。

一年前的今天,猶記得無數美國選民和國際媒體「崩潰」、「不解」於川普的當選,而一年過去,當川普成為其「鐵粉」族群代言人,而被稱為「文化戰爭」的總統時,且讓我們一起來看看,他執政至今,美國如今的情況又是如何:

我從 2001年起開始密切關注美國政治。

當時,所謂的「進步意識形態」在美國主流論述中,正逐漸掌握其主導權──只要你是共和黨員或保守主義者,輕則被貼上「爭議人士」的標籤,多數情況下,則會直接被稱為「激進」或「偏執愚蠢」。

這一股勢頭,在歐巴馬總統的任內來到最高峰──它進一步異化且激怒了一群自認「受夠了遭到排斥和污衊」的人。而在 2016 年的選戰中,這股對立氣氛達到高潮,成為川普勝選的原因之一,在此就不細述(可以參考我以前的文章)。

因此,川普可以說是「憤怒的化身」。但現在,這種憤怒必須被轉化為負責任的治理──只是到目前為止,雙方(川普陣營和反對陣營)都對此沒有興趣。

如今在川普總統執政下的美國,我們看到的是任何「共識基礎」,幾乎均被破壞侵蝕──當民眾們紛紛陷入意識形態的「無限迴圈」之爭時,你甚至會有一種錯覺,認為世上根本沒有任何「共識」存在的空間──由於大眾已碎裂成意識形態對立、各自為政的不同陣營,一旦「領地」被侵犯,更容易被激怒──如今人們認為,美國種種「問題」的根源不在法律或政經、社會結構上,而在與自己不同文化─意識形態的其他人身上。

社會越加極端對立,各方勢力「最糟人物」紛紛取得大權

讓我們再回到川普與 NFL 的戰爭

值得注意的是,他的挑釁舉動看似沒有任何價值:因為川普在阿拉巴馬州參議員初選中,為填補 Jeff Sessions 席位而支持的候選人 Luther Serange,輸給了羅伊.穆爾(Roy Moore)這位極端保守主義的候選人。穆爾曾因拒絕移走法院內的「十誡」石像,以及指示地方法官拒絕簽署同婚相關法案,兩度被迫離開阿拉巴馬州高院大法官一職,同時他公開宣稱印第安納州──副總統彭斯(Mike Pence)的故鄉,是由伊斯蘭宗教法所統治。

而狂熱的「川普支持者」,對川普本人竟不支持他們喜愛的候選人(穆爾)感到憤怒。換言之,這一度造成了一個有趣的現象──川普和「川普主義者」之間的分裂。

因此,事實上我們可以推斷,包括川普對 NFL 抗議行動毫不掩飾的發言在內,種種嚴重違背「社會觀感」的言行,是為了重拾那些深感價值與信仰受壓迫群眾(即「川普主義者」),對他的信心──而他也成功了。當然,這樣的行徑,也造成另一群相信其信仰等於「美國價值」的群眾,強烈的反撲。

近來上述這樣的情境層出不窮、越演越烈,造成美國各地的對立和衝突日漸白熱化,引發的「抗議」和「反抗議」運動中,暴力程度更不斷增加,例如發生在夏洛特鎮的血腥事件。

川普和他的「文化戰爭」,把兩方最惡劣糟糕的人都引了出來──極端、另類右派的白人至上主義者趁機讓自己走向主流;而如「反法西斯運動組織」(ANTIFA)中,主張以暴制暴與無政府主義的極左份子,也越加受到重視。

施政無中心思想,「幫我做事就可以」

在此同時,川普身為缺乏政治信念與中心思想的政壇新手,弱點也一一暴露:

例如他甚至無法與耕耘此議題多年的共和黨團合作,成功地「廢除並取代」歐巴馬健保法案(Obamacare)──儘管擅於炒作議題博取鎂光燈焦點,他卻對錯綜複雜的政治談判不感興趣,而直接丟給共和黨團自己去煩惱。

而在同一時間,由於缺乏政治信仰,他在必要時也願意和對手進行談判,例如他在終止歐巴馬「童年入境暫緩遣返」(Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA)的行政命令一案上,便寧可選擇與民主黨合作,而非共和黨人──當共和黨的保守派希望直接遣返這群孩童(而這將必然造成人道危機),川普則說,在彰顯「法律與秩序」的前提下,他打算為這群非法入境的孩童,尋找法律上的解套方案。

再一次,川普與民主黨的協商,激怒了許多共和黨人士。但川普的「鐵粉」卻認為他的行動來自「商業頭腦」,是為了迫使共和黨團更加配合他提出的議題。保守派部落格「美國的偉大」(American Greatness),甚至將此合作稱為「三角策略」,並拿來與 1964 年詹森總統(Lyndon Baines Johnson)為通過《民權法案》,繞過民主黨的支持種族隔離者而與共和黨合作的策略做類比。

我們是否可以拿川普與詹森總統做類比?現在顯然言之過早。但可以確定的是,川普不是一個擁有深刻政治信仰的人:

放到一個普通公民的層次,他可能有其主張,例如川普知道他「想要」進行稅制或移民條例的修改──但他其實完全不知道「怎麼做」,於是只要有人願意和他合作推動這些事,不論對方是誰,他都可以接受。

不斷被迫「選邊站」下,如今早已「認知失調」的美國人

而一旦大眾接受這種(不斷的)分化和共識基礎的侵蝕,他們扭轉這趨勢的力量也將逐漸破滅:兩大陣營開始走向極端,並且說服其支持者,這些極端行徑,都是為了制衡對方「極端份子」所致,因此是「正常的」。

這種「正常化」的過程,也造就了民眾需要持續不斷的「選邊站」──這正是誤導民眾做下錯誤選擇的經典技巧。

如今兩大黨針對某些議題彼此對立時,結果很簡單:民主黨稱共和黨為「種族主義者」或「頑固愚蠢」;共和黨稱民主黨為「共產主義者」。然而,當川普於此時突然跨過政黨界線,採用「三角策略」與民主黨合作時(儘管在民主制度中,必要情況下本來就該如此),卻反而造成了原先支持者的認知錯亂,或視之為所謂的「背叛」──

讓我們一起聽聽美國前總統小布希(George Bush),最近被部分人士視為批評川普的演講

「意見不合,如今升級為(將對方)非人化,」這位曾在《村聲雜誌》封面,被描繪為攻擊自由女神的吸血鬼,同時被部分自由派評論員稱為法西斯的前總統說:「太多時候,我們總用最糟糕的例子評斷對方陣營,而用最大的善意評斷自己──因而忘記我們應該在彼此身上,同樣看到上帝的形象⋯⋯」(典故出自《創世記》)

想像一下,這段話不是針對「白人至上主義者」、「虛假民族主義者」或「可悲的人們」(deplorable, 希拉蕊於總統大選中對川普支持者的稱呼),而是針對「身份政治」的掮客們;或者,小布希講這段話時,心中想的其實是一個四流喜劇演員舉起了唐納德.川普的斷頭人偶,與某深夜脫口秀節目主持人,稱川普為「普丁的 XX 套子」(Putin's c**k holster)。

小布希在演講後,彷彿成為「英雄」。有不少當初極為憎惡他的人,甚至因此開始緬懷起他的總統任期──但我敢肯定,如果他再次成為總統,還是極有可能成為這些人眼中的「法西斯主義者」。其實我還比較喜歡這篇文章,因為該文筆者至少仍堅信布希是「邪惡的」。

舉上述這個例子,其實是要簡短解釋如今的政治討論風氣,早已進入眾人均「認知失調」的狀態──這甚至已經超越了川普個人所能造成的影響。

《村聲雜誌》封面曾將美國前總統小布希描繪為攻擊自由女神的吸血鬼。圖/Village Voice


「川普現象」──「文化戰爭」的製造者,還是收割者?

再次強調:從川普上任以來,我們已從他身上聽到太多加深仇恨與分裂、甚至彼此矛盾的說法,未來,恐怕也很難再指會出現任何平和理性的對話。

但「川普現象」終歸來說,是結果不是原因:它是過去十年來,美國不同意識形態間「文化戰爭」的大爆發與集大成。

如果我們探究政治現象背後的文化基礎,那麼隨著如今不同價值觀和世界觀間的衝突不斷,在在預示著這個國家的立法機關將陷入癱瘓,而行政部門則無人領導與看管,有如飛機的「自動駕駛」一般。

其實,若要了解「文化戰爭」導致政府不幸面臨治理危機,我們只要看看台灣政治,就能找到鮮明的前例:

隨著一黨專政的結束,醞釀了幾百年、長期受壓迫的基層民族主義運動,隨著民主化浪潮而崛起,並取得話語權。

然後,以「文化戰爭」圖個人之利的陳前總統,(收割了前述能量)在民主選舉中趁勢而起──我們不難將他總是熱切聲稱自己「愛台灣」的政治話術,與如今川普耳熟能詳的「美國優先」、「讓美國再次偉大」等口號連結在一起:

「你可以愛美國、把美國放在第一位,但你必須按照我的方式來──否則,你就是『賣美』。」

後記:

美國於台灣時間 11 月 8 日進行了維吉尼亞州以及新澤西州的州長選舉,而民主黨在這兩場選舉中均獲得了大勝。其中新澤西的選舉,由於現任州長 Chris Christie 是「全美最不受歡迎州長」而早已無懸念;在維吉尼亞州的選舉則頗為有趣──民主黨的參選人,副州長  Northram 並不是個退役軍人,立場也較偏中間路線,共和黨的 Gillespie 則是小布希時期的共和黨黨主席,也是巴農等激進右派口中不折不扣的「沼澤動物」,他最近這幾年一直參加維吉尼亞州的選舉,但屢戰屢敗。

到了選舉末期, Northram 陣營推出了競選廣告,影射 Gillespie 是白人至上主義者,當選後將會逮捕移民 ,Gillespie 陣營則是開始打川普的「顧治安」,「照顧經濟弱勢」等保護主義路線牌,儼然變成去年總統大選的延續──而其結果,是「川普路線」的慘敗。

當然這兩州近期都已逐漸「藍化」(指倒向民主黨),所以這次的選舉,是否真代表明年期中選舉共和黨將大敗,我想也有點言之過早,近期的觀察指標,且看川普所推行的「稅改」,是否能夠通過吧。

川普支持者於華盛頓進行團結集會。圖/Nicole S Glass@Shutterstock

 

以下為作者侯智元原文

To review the Trump presidency to date, while Trump is a culture war President who is a mouthpiece for his fan base. Since I started to follow American politics dating back to 2001, there has been a gradual rise of progressive ideologies in mainstream American discourse. Republicans or conservative ideologies are often labeled as "controversial" at the slightest or "radical", "bigoted" in most cases. 

This momentum reached an apex in the Obama Presidency, though I will not seek to get into the specifics (can refer to my previous writings), it did alienate and enrage the populace who felt they were ostracized to the extent that it culminated in the election of Trump. So Trump is a vehicle of rage but now this rage needs to be translated into responsible governance and so far this is not the interest of both sides.
 
What we see in the Trump Presidency is the erosion of any common ground, there is an illusion that there is no common ground left as the populace fragments into echo-chamber fiefdoms of ideological conformity. As the populace has been fragmented into ideologically divisive camps, the fragmented sides are like warring fiefdoms that are easily turned on each other, to them the root of the problems are not legislative or structural, but the "problem" is the other cultural-ideological fiefdoms.

Going back to the venue where Trump made his remark regarding NFL, it is worth noting that the candidate he supported in the Alabama Senate primary election lost. Luther Strange, who was appointed to fill the seat of Jeff Sessions, lost to an ultra conservative candidate Roy Moore, who was removed from the Alabama court for refusing to remove the Ten Commandments from his courtroom and thinks Indiana, the state of Vice President Mike Pence, is ruled by Sharia Law. Ardent Trump supporters were enraged at Trump not supporting their preferred candidates, so there has been a schism between Trump and “Trumpism”. We may infer that Trump won because he unabashedly spoke his mind, though many of his rhetoric went against “accepted behavior”, he has instilled confidence to those who felt that their values and belief are oppressed, and of course, this has brought strong backlash from those who think their beliefs stand for “American Value”. This trend has increasingly made recent events increasingly contentious, sparking an increase in violent protests and counter protests such as the chaos at Charlottesville. Trump and his culture war has brought out the worst on both sides, alt right white supremacist has taken advantage of this opportunity to mainstream themselves, while the far left ANTIFA have also gained prominence.

At the same time, Trump has also been exposed as a neophyte in the legislative process who lacks conviction and political beliefs. He has failed to coalesce the Republican party to “repeal and replace” Obamacare, a platform Republicans have campaigned on for many years. While he is good at bringing issues to the spotlight, he is not interested in intricate policy negotiation and thus leaving Republicans to feud amongst themselves. Yet at the same time, because of his lack of political ideology, he is willing to negotiate with his opponents when necessary, as shown in him ending Obama’s executive order of DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, he is choosing to work with Democrats instead of Republicans. The conservative wing of the Republican Party wish to deport these selected group, which will surely cause a humanitarian crisis, while Trump stated that he intends on providing legal status to them with the intention of upholding “law and order”.

Again, Trump negotiating with the Democrats angered many conservatives, while his hard line fans attributes his action to his business acumen, saying Trump is doing so in-order to spite the Republicans and make them more cooperative with his agenda. A conservative blog, the "American Greatness", even went as far as to comparing Trump's triangulating to how in 1964 Lyndon Johnson bypassed the pro segregation wing of the Democratic party to work with the Republicans to pass the Civil Rights Act. Whether we can compare Trump to LBJ or not is still too early to call, but I think we can be certain that Trump is actually not a person with deep political conviction, he may have, as a private citizen, know that he wants the tax code or immigration to be reformed, but he actually does not know how but willing to work with whoever that is willing to work with him.

Once the masses accept this division and the erosion of common ground, their power to reverse the trend is shattered. Both camps conjure up extremists, goad the formation of opposing extremists, then convince the populace that these extremists have been normalized. This normalization then sets up the relentless demands to choose a side──the classic techniques of misdirection and false choice. In the instances of an issue that is split along party line, the result is simple, Democrats will call the Republicans racist or bigoted, the Republicans will call the Democrats communists. Yet in the instances where Trump actually reach across the aisle, which is actually what one is supposed to do, albeit when necessary, in a democratic system, there are confusion or calls of betrayal as seen with Trump’s triangulation with the Democrats.
 
Let us hearken to George Bush's recent speech which some viewed as a critique of Trump. He said that "disagreement escalates into dehumanization,” observed the former president, who was depicted on the cover of the Village Voice as a vampire sucking the blood out of the Statue of Liberty and who some liberal commentator referred to as a fascist. “Too often,” Bush continued, “we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions — forgetting the image of God we should see in each other.” Imagine for just a moment that this wasn’t aimed at white supremacists or spurious nationalists or self-described “deplorables,” but at the identity-politics peddlers. Or could Bush had in mind a fourth-rate comedian who held up Donald Trump’s decapitated head or a late-night talk-show host who called Trump “Putin’s c**k holster. Instead, he is now a "hero", and some even start to miss his presidency, though I am sure, if he were to become President again, he would most likely become a fascist again. I actually prefer this article, as the author remains firm in believing Bush is still evil. This brief point is just to demonstrate the persistent cognitive dissonance in today's political discussion beyond the dialogue of Trump himself.

Again, with the divisive rhetoric we have heard from Trump since inauguration, it is hard to expect any calm or peaceful dialogue, but it is merely an explosion, a culmination of decade of culture war between warring ideologies. If one looks at culture as the underlying bedrock of politics, the continuous clashes between value systems and world views foreshadows a state of gridlock in the legislative branch with the bureaucracy operating on auto pilot. One just only need to look at Taiwan for a clear example of culture war leading to a hapless government that struggles in governance. The ending of single party rule gave rise and mouthpiece to a long oppressed grass-root nationalism movement that has been simmering for centuries. With former President Chen, a culture war President in his own right, fervently exclaiming “Love Taiwan”, it is not difficult to tie how he upended political discourse with Trump’s jingoistic slogan of “America First” and “Make America Great Again”. 

You can put America first, but you have to put it first my way, or you are "selling out America's interest" (賣美). 

執行編輯:HUI
核稿編輯:張翔一

Photo Credit:flickr@Evan Nesterak BY CC2.0

畢業就出國