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汗青会若何评估奥巴马?

 



Barack Obama
贝拉克·奥巴马


How will history see me?
汗青会对我做出如何的评估?


If Barack Obama wants to be remembered as a great president, he should focus on three long-term problems
若是贝拉克·奥巴马想作为一名庞大的总统而留名,他该当把重点放在三个久远题目上


Jan 19th 2013 |From the print edition



NEXT week Barack Obama will take the oath of office as elected president of the United States for the second time—an honour granted only to 16 men before him. When he returns to the Oval Office he will rediscover a string of problems, from domestic struggles over America's debt ceiling and gun control to bloodier conflicts in Mali and Syria. But now more than ever he would be wise to look at the long term. Mr Obama will not run for office again. How will history see him?

下周,奥巴马将第二次作为美国被选总统宣誓就任——在他之前只要16小我取得这一声誉。当他前往卵形办公室时,他会再次发明连续串的题目:从有关美国债权下限和枪枝管控的国际争斗到马里和叙利亚加倍血腥的抵触。不过,他该当抱着比之前更理智的立场着眼久远题目。奥巴马不再会竞选公职。汗青会如何看待他呢?

More favourably, we hope, than it would if he were judged just on the past four years. That is not to dismiss the accomplishments of his first term. Few presidents have had to take office against such a dismal backdrop, with the economy contracting at 5% a year, jobs being shed at the rate of 800,000 a month and America mired in two failing wars. Mr Obama has done a creditable job of putting a critically ill patient on the road to recovery. His main legislative achievement—health-care reform—may yet help millions of Americans, though the verdict on that must await its full implementation. All this, together with an unconvincing opponent, persuaded enough Americans (and The Economist) to back him in November. But his first term was nowhere near successful enough to earn Mr Obama the mantle of greatness—or to guard him against the possibility of a disastrous second term wiping away all else.

若仅根据曩昔4年对他做出评判,咱们但愿成果能够或许或许会对他更有益。这并不是去否认他首个任期的成绩。在他就任时,经济以每年5%的速率在萎缩,赋闲率以每个月800000人的速率在增加,美国陷于两场走向失利的战斗。很少有总统不得不在如斯低迷的大背景下就任。把一个身染沉疴的病人带上苏醒之路,奥巴马的功勋可圈可点。他在立法方面的首要成绩——医疗保险鼎新——虽然说有能够或许或许给数百万美国人带来益处,可是论断必须在其周全实行后才能给出。一切这些,加上敌手没法使人佩服,压服了充足多的美国人(和本报)在客岁11月撑持他。不过,奥巴马首个任期的成绩还缺少觉得其博得庞大的衣钵——也没法保障第二个任期将一切这些都抹除的能够或许或许性。

The Obama legacy will partly be defined by events. When George W. Bush sat reading to schoolchildren in Florida on September 11th 2001, “the war on terror” was not part of his vocabulary. Mr Obama may well be blindsided by something similarly out of the blue. But Mr Bush is also often described as the man who expanded government more than any president since Lyndon Johnson; that was a legacy he could have avoided. More to his credit, Mr Bush will also be remembered for dramatically increasing and improving aid to Africa.

决议奥巴马遗产的能够或许或许是连续串的事务。当乔治·W·布什于2001年9月11日在佛罗里达州坐着为先生们念书时,“反恐战斗”能够或许或许还不在他的字典中。一样的突发事务也能够或许或许把奥巴马搞得蒙头转向。可是,布什常被当作是林登·约翰逊以来扩大当局最大的总统;这本是他能防止的一项遗产。更出乎料想的是,布什还被当作是大幅增加和改良对非洲支援的人。

Political capital, like a leader's time and energy, is a scarce resource, and the list of areas where Mr Obama could spend his profitably is a long one. Immigration reform would be a great gift to leave America (see Lexington); the construction of an EU-US free-trade zone would help the West. But to our mind, three great issues stand out as not just likely to provide vast benefits if resolved, but also as liable to do immense damage to Mr Obama's legacy if neglected.

带领人的时辰和精神无限,政治本钱也一样稀缺,奥巴马能够或许或许脱手的范畴有良多。移民鼎新会给美国留下一个大礼;构建欧盟-美国自在商业区将有助于东方。可是,在咱们看来,若是以下三个大题目获获得处理,不只能够或许或许给奥巴马带来庞大的益处;借使倘使被疏忽,也极有能够或许或许给他的遗产带来庞大的冲击。


First, balance the books
第一,理顺自家帐本

The most fundamental is that America must put its fiscal house in order. Admiral Mike Mullen, then the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, was not exaggerating when he said in 2010 that America's debt was the greatest strategic threat the country faces. Since then, $3 trillion has been added, pushing the dolorous pile above $16 trillion. Much of that has been caused by the recession and the stimulus to fight it; but by the end of this decade, with ever more baby-boomers retiring, the deficit is set to rise relentlessly. If Mr Obama hands over a country heading towards bankruptcy in January 2017, he can forget any idea of being remembered as an economic saviour.

最底子的题目是,美国必须理顺其财务题目。时任顾问长联席集会主席的麦克·马伦将军在2010年称,债权是美国面对的最大计谋要挟。他如许说并不骇人听闻。从那今后,债权增加了3万亿美圆,总额已跨越16万亿美圆。此中大局部是拜阑珊和为了挣脱阑珊而提出的安慰打算所赐;可是,到2020年的时辰,跟着婴儿潮一代退休的人数大大超越之前的数字,财务赤字必定绝不包涵地增加。若是奥巴马在2017年1月交出的是一个走向停业的国度,那末他便能够或许抛却任何当经济救世主的设法。

Having ignored the recommendations of the deficit committee he himself established, Mr Obama has never given any sign, other than rhetorically, of being at all serious about cutting “entitlements”: these are the pensions and government health-care schemes for the poor and elderly that will overwhelm the budget as the population ages and medical costs continue their uncontrolled rise. Far from reforming entitlements, Mr Obama added an expensive new one in his first term: subsidised health insurance for lower-paid workers. And the president has just avoided coming up with any cuts in the deal made on January 1st to stop America heading over the fiscal cliff, despite bullying the Republicans in Congress to accept tax rises on the rich.

奥巴马轻忽了亲身组建的减赤委员会提出的倡议,除动动嘴以外,他从未抵消减“补助”做出任何严厉的表态:跟着生齿老龄化和医疗用度得不到节制而延续增加,这些针对贫民和老年人的养老金和当局医疗保健打算将超越财务赤字。奥巴马在第一个任期内不只不鼎新补助,还增加了一个额定的新题目:为低支出工人供给医疗保险补贴。除勒迫国会中的共和党人接管对穷人进步税率以外,总统能做的便是在为禁止美国跌下财务绝壁而于1月1日告竣的和谈中防止了任何的开销消减。

An America that cannot deal with its financial problems other than through repeated crises followed by shabby postponements will eventually go broke. And its capacity to offer leadership to the world is gravely diminished. Why should leaders in Beijing, Brasília, Bogotá or even Berlin see anything to emulate in Washington? If Mr Obama corrects this, he will be seen as a transformative figure. If not, future generations will look back on “the Bush-Obama years” as a time when two presidents stoked up a very foreseeable disaster.

不能处理债权题目,只靠着频频争持以后不靠谱的迟延,美国如许下去早晚会停业。同时,美国带领天下的才能会被严峻消弱。为甚么北京、巴西利亚、波哥大乃至柏林的带领人该当效仿华盛顿?若是奥巴马改正了这一点,他就会被以为是一个有鼎新才能的人。若是失利了,先人在回望“布什-奥巴马时期”时,就会把它当作是由两位总统联手挑起的一场早该能够或许或许预感到的灾害。

Next, get involved
其次,参与天下场面地步

Given America's problems, some emphasis on “nation-building at home”, as Mr Obama likes to call it, is inevitable. But a world in which America turned inward would be a far less predictable and a less safe one. Mr Obama also has a lot of unfinished business abroad from his first term (see article). Despite all the grand talk of resets and new understandings, Iran is still a threshold nuclear power, Russia is hostile, Europe neglected and the Middle East as tense as ever. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been wound down leaving neither victory nor stability in their wake.

斟酌到美国的难处,就像奥巴马喜好说得那样,以“国际扶植”为重并不为过。可是,因美国转向国际,天下会更难以展望和贫乏宁静。奥巴马在外洋另有很多第一个任期内的未竟使命。除那些有关“重启”和新熟悉的鬼话题,伊朗仍是核大国的要挟,俄罗斯布满敌意,欧洲无人存眷,中东照旧严重。伊拉克和阿富汗的战斗逐步停息,以后即不成功也不不变。

That inbox is too much for any man, but two areas where the president should make a real and personal push in his second term stand out. One is China. By January 2017 its economy may be bigger than America's. No bilateral relationship in the world is now more important. In his first term Mr Obama avoided any big disasters. Now the odds are raised. On the negative side, a jumpy nationalistic China could become the equivalent of Prussia a century ago: the prospect of a conflict between China and America's ally, Japan, over the Senkaku islands is real (see article). But he also has the chance to turn a suspicious relationship into something much more useful. Imagine, for instance, what a “G2” climate-change agreement would do for the environment.

任何人对这类场合排场都不好敷衍,可是,总统该当在第二个任期内涵两个范畴内亲历而为。一个是中国。中国经济能够或许或许在2017年1月跨越美国。中美干系是现今天下上最主要的双边干系。奥巴马在首个任期内防止了任何大的灾害,不过,此刻题目来了。从悲观的方面来看,一个敏感的民族主义中国能够或许或许会像一个世纪前的普鲁士那样:中国与美国的盟友日本就尖阁群岛产生抵触的远景是实在的。不过,奥巴马另有机遇将这类缺少信赖的干系转化成某种更适用的工具。比方说,一项“G2”天气变更和谈会给情况带来甚么是不难设想的。

Xi Jinping has now been China's leader for two months, yet Mr Obama has not seized the chance to see him (in Europe last year the new president of France rushed to visit the German chancellor the very day of his inauguration). Mr Xi will be around for the rest of Mr Obama's time and for six years after he is gone, so frequent summits and many more bilateral meetings at all levels are essential. “Military-to-military co-operation” has languished and should be improved. A return to the close personal chemistry that existed between Bill Clinton and Jiang Zemin in the 1990s may be too much to hope for, but the chilly Mr Obama needs to strive towards it. He should spend less time playing golf and more in Zhongnanhai.

习近平成为中国带领人已两个月不足,而奥巴马还不捉住机遇同他会晤(客岁在欧洲,法国新总统在就任当天就赶去会面德国总理)。在奥巴马时期的残剩时辰和在他任期竣事以后的6年,习都将在位。是以,按期的峰会和更多的双边集会是必须的。“军方对军方的协作”已落空意思,因此该当获得改良。回归比尔·克林顿与江泽民之间在上世纪90年月的那种密切私家干系能够或许或许有点但愿太高,可是,冰脸的奥巴马有须要为此而尽力。他该当把时辰多花在中南海而不是去打高尔夫。

The final area where Mr Obama will be judged—and where he could make an enormous difference—is the Arab world. One looming, disastrous Obama legacy could be the death of the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian mess (see article). As for the broader Arab spring, he may not be able to control it, but he can help direct it, in the same way that the older President Bush oversaw the end of the cold war. Syria is out of control. Countries like Egypt and Tunisia may be ruled by Islamists, but they are now democracies and desperate for financial help. If Mr Obama leaves behind a region of mini Turkeys, that would be a notable achievement. He cannot afford to appear as indifferent, or fearful of failure, towards so dangerous a region in his second term as he did in his first.

最初一个能给奥巴马下定论的范畴——也是他能够或许带来庞大变更的范畴——是阿拉伯天下。看待巴以乱局,两国处理计划的灭亡对奥巴马遗产的来讲是一个燃眉之急的、灾害性的成果。至于影响面更广的阿拉伯之春,他能够或许或许没法加以节制,但他能够或许借用前总统老布什看待暗斗闭幕的体例去赞助指导它。叙利亚已失控。埃及和突尼斯等国能够或许或许被伊斯兰主义者掌控,但它们仍是民主国度并且急需金援。若是奥巴马让这个地域成为另外一个土耳其,这将是一个值得歌颂的成绩。若第二个任期内仍像上一个任期那样,对如斯风险的地域不论不问,甚或是惧怕失利,奥巴马的价钱显而易见。

History's verdict is always hard to predict. But if Mr Obama fails to grapple with these three things—the budget, China and the Middle East—he will surely be seen harshly. Each requires bravery and resolution, and Mr Obama needs to start working on them now. We should all wish him well.

数豪杰论成败,古今谁能说大白。借使倘使奥巴马在这三个题目上——债权、中国和中东——一事无成,他必定会留下骂名。每个题目都须要他拿出勇气和决计,并且必须顿时步履。祝他好运。



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