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转贴:美国的制度能度过当下的分裂危机吗? 2019-12-01 13:06:19


It’s hard to be an optimist about America right now

Opinion | US foreign policy is now Trump's foreign policy. That's bad for the world.

President Trump's attempt to extort Ukraine for personal gain signals a dangerous turn for American foreign policy, says Global Opinions editor Christian Caryl. (Joshua Carroll/The Washington Post)

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Fareed Zakaria 


November 28, 2019 at 7:00 a.m. PST

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s a secular celebration of America, and as an immigrant, I feel I have much to be grateful for. I am an optimist who tends to see the story of this country as one of addressing its shortcomings and making progress. Lately, it has been tough to maintain that sunny outlook. America’s greatest assets — its constitutional republic and its democratic character — seem to be in danger of breakdown.

Listen to the language of the president. “Our radical Democrat opponents are driven by hatred, prejudice and rage,” he thundered at a June rally to kick off his reelection campaign. “They want to destroy you, and they want to destroy our country as we know it.” Words such as “treason” and “coup” are now casually tossed around in political discourse. Some had imagined that the impeachment inquiry might provide evidence and facts that would cut through the spin and fantasies, but in fact the opposite has happened. It’s clear now that the intensity of polarization is so great that everything is viewed through a partisan prism. Can America survive through such poisonous times?

Well, it has in the past. The American republic is an extraordinary creation, built to accommodate very different people with utterly different ideas and values. It has survived the battles between slave owners and abolitionists, the First Red Scare and McCarthyism, Vietnam and Watergate. All of those struggles were high-stakes affairs, each aroused passions, and each eventually ended, though not without bitterness and disappointment. History, even the history of a powerful and successful country such as the United States, is not a collection of merry tales with happy endings. It’s full of fights, with wins, losses and draws.

Could this time be different? Yes, says Yoni Appelbaum in a thought-provoking essay in the Atlantic titled “How America Ends.” Appelbaum argues that “the United States is undergoing a transition perhaps no rich and stable democracy has ever experienced: Its historically dominant group is on its way to becoming a political minority — and its minority groups are asserting their co-equal rights and interests.” Ezra Klein notes a related transformation: “Almost 70% of American seniors are white and Christian. Only 29% of young adults are white and Christian.”

Appelbaum acknowledges that there have been smaller versions of this transition before, but those moments have been wrenching, often stretching America to the breaking point. It took a civil war to end slavery and then almost 100 years of struggle to end Jim Crow. The United States passed the Chinese Exclusion Act and interned 120,000 U.S. citizens and noncitizens of Japanese descent before opening its gates to immigrants from all over the world. Women had to wage a long campaign to secure the right to vote, and gays had to overcome systematic discrimination and persecution before gaining acceptance. Today, the country is locked in a new battle over sweeping demographic shifts.

There is another concerning trend that threatens America’s constitutional character: the ever-expanding power of the presidency. Whatever you think of the charges against President Trump on Russia or Ukraine, his position of resolute noncooperation with Congress should trouble you deeply. If Congress cannot exercise its core oversight capacity, obtain documents and subpoena administration officials to testify, the essential system of checks and balances has broken down. The presidency will have become an elected dictatorship.

We have been going down this road for a while. Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. wrote about “The Imperial Presidency” in 1973. The legislation and culture after Watergate led many to believe that matters were under control. People actually began worrying about a weakened and emasculated White House. In fact, as Schlesinger noted in a 2004 reissue of his book, the presidency in recent years has become stronger than ever. The fear after 9/11 proved to be the gateway for an out-of-control executive branch. The president gained the ability to snoop on private Americans, use military force at his whim, torture prisoners and detain people indefinitely. The president can now order the execution of American citizens who are deemed — by him — to be terrorists, without due process.

In Attorney General William P. Barr, Trump has found an extraordinarily useful aide, who appears to believe, despite all this history, that the great problem in the United States is that the presidency is too weak. He has enabled a policy of stonewalling and silence, in which top administration officials almost behave as though Congress does not exist. People often ask themselves what the founders would think of America today. It seems to me that the greatest shock to them would be the incredible growth of presidential power. Congress and the courts are recognizable from their times; the White House is not.

Tensions over profound demographic change, fierce political backlash and a presidency that refuses to be checked. My optimism is wearing thin.

浏览(272) (1) 评论(11)
作者:求真知 回复 远方的孤独 留言时间:2019-12-01 22:17:22


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作者:远方的孤独 回复 求真知 留言时间:2019-12-01 20:11:41

具体事情有些是同意zakaria的观察,我跟他多年前还有过互动,以前蛮欣赏他这样的。但是根本的不同是什么造成美国的分裂。他推崇的neoliberalism国际化是美国分裂的根源,那时我就认为美国那样是自不量力。近几年我的研究告诉我, neoliberalism国际化的目标就是美国分裂,然后修改美国宪法。所以我完全不认同他的认知。我现在认为川普也只是他们内部竞争博弈的产物。川普个人不妥协加入,就会被清除。

回复 | 0
作者:木秀于林 回复 求真知 留言时间:2019-12-01 17:53:36


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作者:求真知 回复 木秀于林 留言时间:2019-12-01 17:43:23



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作者:求真知 回复 远方的孤独 留言时间:2019-12-01 17:38:49


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作者:求真知 回复 体育老师 留言时间:2019-12-01 17:31:25


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作者:木秀于林 留言时间:2019-12-01 16:49:34



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作者:远方的孤独 留言时间:2019-12-01 16:20:41


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作者:远方的孤独 留言时间:2019-12-01 16:17:47

美国自参加一战,逐步孕育和固化出军工集团,超高的国防预算也培育出高科技。尼克松解除美元和黄金的绑定,让美联储如鱼得水,金融政策靠印钱通过大银行搞trickle down, 一方面finance军工和情治集团在国际上搞颠覆和控制其他国家,一方面让大银行和保险公司搞成too big to fail,高科技控制信息,媒体集中在几家,借911灾难进一步实施全球监控,逐步侵蚀信息的free流通。中国等国家的廉价商品完全麻痹了美国普通人的自我认知,以为可以永远那样维护高生活质量。制造业完全被挖空,变成一个农业和军事大国。农业依赖国际市场,军事依赖高科技,两者都被国际金融力量控制,国际金融和大企业,军工集团,情治集团几十年培育不经选举的官僚集团,所谓deep state完全操控行政和立法,我判断也在操控司法。表面上每几年的选举似乎是在体现民主自由,实际这些选举是在做show,不经选举的官僚集团和他们的媒体伙伴们完全掌控美国的政治经济外交军事的话语权,川普也只是这个官僚集团内部分赃竞争博弈的产物,我不认为会改变什么。司法部长Barr强调总统的权力本质上指的是这种内部分赃竞争博弈而已。美国制度模式的破产本质上验证人的reality是自己选择性定义的,包括人的memory也是选择性适配自己的当下,越是高智商和理性强,选择性越强,这最终还是要打破三权分立的平衡,目前就是这个现状,我认为这个三权分立是不能长久的。

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作者:远方的孤独 留言时间:2019-12-01 15:34:41


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作者:体育老师 留言时间:2019-12-01 11:39:21
回复 | 1
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