Thursday, October 30, 2014
5

罗姆尼的现实障碍

纽约—如今的美国存在一场事实和幻想之争。总统奥巴马的连任标志着事实的胜利,尽管有限,但确凿无疑。

美国总统选战为我们提供了这场斗争的全景。共和党挑战者罗姆尼的高级幕僚间产生了一种他将脱颖而出的信念。他们的这种感觉根本没有民调结果基础。尽管如此,这种感觉是如此强烈,以至于他们开始称罗姆尼为“总统先生”。

愿望是美好的,但有愿望还不足以把这变成现实。罗姆尼离总统宝座只有一步之遥,而他也想享受这种感觉,不管它是多么不成熟。接着,在选举之夜,当各大电视网预测罗姆尼将在俄亥俄州败北、从而奥巴马将连任时,罗姆尼阵营再次否认事实,拒不接受结果。在经历了难堪的一小时后,他才接受了现实,摆出一副亲和的样子做了承认失败的演说。

类似的否认事实不仅成了共和党阵营的标志,也是近几年来整个共和党的特征。当劳工统计局发布的10月报告显示全国失业率维持“7.9%基本不变”时,共和党开始炮轰信誉卓著的劳工统计局。当民调显示罗姆尼落后于总统奥巴马时,他们炮轰民调结果。当无党派的国会研究局(Congressional Research Service,CRS)报告共和党税收计划不能提振经济增长时,共和党参议员们强迫CRS收回报告。

这些拒绝接受铁板一块的事实反映的是更深层次的模式。共和党是个再平常不过的政党,却日渐把自己当成通往异次元生活的通行证——在这个次元中,小布什确实发现了他认为存在于伊拉克的大规模杀伤性武器;减税消灭了预算赤字;奥巴马不但是穆斯林,还出生于肯尼亚,因此根本没有资格参选总统;而全球变暖是由社会主义科学家炮制出来的骗局。(至于民主党,也有一只脚踏进了不现实。)

在共和党人的所有不现实新年中,言之凿凿地否认人类导致的气候变化是后果最严重的一个。毕竟,如果不加注意,气候变暖可能使过去1万年孕育了人类文明的气候条件退化甚至完全毁掉。

作为马萨诸塞州州长,罗姆尼倒是表现出了对全球变暖现实的信念。但是,作为总统候选人,他加入了否认阵营——这是他8月份在佛罗里达州坦帕接受党内提名后做出的改变。“奥巴马总统承诺采取措施延缓海平面的上升,”罗姆尼在共和党大会上说,接着他略作停顿,皮笑肉不笑地等待观众听了笑话后的反应。

他成功了。听众装出一阵爆笑。在笑声中,罗姆尼说出了笑点:“并治愈地球。”听众哄堂大笑。这也许是一次可悲的竞选活动中最能被人铭记也是最可悲的时刻——在这个人类必须采取措施保证这个宜居星球的历史阶段,这个时刻必将遗臭万年。

但这个场景还有令人震惊的续集。八周后,飓风桑迪袭击了新泽西州海岸和纽约市。14英尺的潮涌乘着一个世纪以来全球变暖所造成的海平面上升以及变暖的地球的变暖的海水的东风,留下一地狼藉。这次现实之潮——索尔仁尼琴曾经称之为“无情的事实撬棍”——戳破了罗姆尼阵营封闭的泡沫,其护墙就像下曼哈顿和法洛克卫(Far Rockaway)一样被彻底冲垮。

在事实与幻想之争中,事实来了一次突然袭击。政治版图被微妙但决定性地改写了。奥巴马变被动为主动,不再只是一味可堪怀疑的候选人,而是一位值得信任的总统,东部受灾人民眼睁睁地盼着他来救自己。民调显示,八成选民满意奥巴马的表现,很多人更是直言这一印象决定他们的选票。

新泽西州州长克里斯·克里斯蒂(Chris Christie)做出了出人意料而决定性的政治转向。他曾是罗姆尼大肆嘲笑全球变暖威胁的民主党大会的主讲发言言,但现在,他也开始欣赏奥巴马的表现,并公开承认这一点。

美国政治界——不仅是共和党,也包括民主党(尽管程度稍浅)——总是对不吉利的现实视而不见。但这些现实就好像看到了这一迹象一般加入了争论。它们早早地表达了立场,并极有可能左右最后结果。地球在发言,而美国人民在聆听。

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  1. Commentedjames durante

    There are many levels of delusional thinking that comprise the cultural heart of "civilization," the very thing Schell seems so desperate to save. There is the idea that you can somehow square the relentless expansionism of civilizations with justice. There is the idea that civilization can compensate for the loss of primitive innocence when all it does is destroy it with increasing rapacity. There is the idea that "this time is different" and civilization will magically save itself when every civilization, by its very operation, brings about its own collapse.

    Does Schell think that the slightly less delusional democrats have a plan for countering the constant growth model of this civilization? That is delusional.

  2. Commentedjack lasersohn

    You might consider that if a population is lied to often enough, it begins to distrust all historic sources of authority, and is easily preyed upon by charlatans.

    Since you have focused on the lies of the right i will mention a few on the left. The government has been a prime source for many of these 'big lies'.The biggest, and the source of much of the rational anger on the right, has been the claim since the days of FDR and Johnson that we could finance the kind of entitlement system they created without massive taxes on the American middle class at some point. We have reached that point and the portion of the American populous who actually pay taxes have recognized the lie and are now in open revolt.
    The 'big lie' of the recent campaign, that we can finance our enormous future public liabilities , with a tax increase on the upper 1%, was as outrageous as any on the republican side.
    The rejection of science on the left is just as crazy as on the right, from 'vaccines cause autism' , to 'herbal upper colonics cure cancer', to 'all the strontium 90 found in the baby teeth of children must come from nuclear power plants', etc.
    If carbon from fossil fuel is causing global warming, then the rational answer is to tax fossil carbon and let market innovators figure out how to deal with it. Instead, Obama grants special subsidies to favored constituents while implying that this is somehow the answer, so that his favored 'middle class' need never pay a penny to save the planet.
    And the rest of the left wing blogosphere offers similar 'pain free' solutions (debt financed stimulus) to a market crash caused by middle class families buying homes they could not afford on credit.
    Any objective observer should be as shocked by the fantasies of the left as by those of the right.
    If not, one is simply another wild eyed partisan arguing with other partisans about whose fantasies are more unbelievable.

  3. CommentedZsolt Hermann

    Unfortunately not only the Republicans are living in fantasy land.
    The whole of the US and together with them the whole global world is still living in a fantasy of constant quantitative growth as the only possible way of living.
    All the other problems, facts mentioned in the article, including humanity's opposition to nature is part of the same package, and the solution has to also address this root cause.
    The bottom line is that while humanity is simply part of the vast, natural ecosystem around, humans live as if they were above the system and could do whatever they want, inventing their own systems, laws and principles.
    Even if we do not attribute the climate and weather changes directly to human effect, the economical and financial system based on the same attitude is already collapsing burying all of us underneath.
    The only solution is to find our way back to the natural system, recognizing and following its laws, adapting to the intricately interconnected and interdependent system.
    And in that respect all the present leaders, experts and the public alike has to change fundamentally.
    Let us hope that President Obama and his team, freed from the worries of re-election understands this.

  4. CommentedJohn Simms

    In 2004 John Kerry refused to accept the result until Weds morning, yet something tells me Mr. Schell wouldn't have considered that a "denial of fact."

  5. Commentedjimmy rousseau

    Mr. Schell is actually being a little kind to republicans. There are some from this party who sit in congress, both as representatives and senators, who believe in a 6000 year old earth, mock evolution and geology and pay no price in the media for these views.
    But the author is correct in his assessment that eventually they must pay the price for this wilful ignorance. But no their is nothing equivalent on the democratic side of the fence.

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