White House Photo/Pete Souza

务实者奥巴马

美国剑桥—上个月,在为西点军校的毕业军官所做的演讲中,美国总统奥巴马提到美国在二战后所犯的一些代价高昂的错误不是因为克制,而是因为“总是在未经仔细考量后果前就匆忙采取军事行动。”奥巴马也许是对的,但这次演讲并不能使批评他消极而孱弱的人(尤其是在叙利亚和乌克兰问题上)有所收敛。

这一尴尬情形的部分原因在于奥巴马在其先前的演讲中建立了太高的期望——他对选民承诺会带来系统性变革。与大部分候选人不同,奥巴马在确保了2008年大选再胜后并未改变“变革”的口号。事实上,他在就任总统的第一年所做的一系列演讲提出了无核武器世界的目标,承诺改变美国的中东方针,还承诺“掰正历史的方向,朝正义前进”,这些内容进一步提高了人们对他的期望。

人们常说,民主政客在竞选时是诗人,治国时只会写流水账。但没有理由认为奥巴马因为他的目标而与众不同。他的愿景根本不能对抗他所面临的顽抗者和艰难时世;因此他必须做出调整。在成为总统一年后,这位承诺要成为变革型领袖的人倒成了“事务型”领袖——务实有余而变革不足。而不管批评者怎么说,这是一个积极的变化。

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