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查理斯•克勞翰默:敗選後的共和黨方向

《華盛頓郵報》Charles Krauthammer

在美國的專欄作家中,我最喜歡看的是《華盛頓郵報》克勞翰默(Charles Krauthammer,港台譯為 柯翰默)的文章,條例清晰,觀點明確,從不模糊兩可,語言也非常到位。即使僅從英文角度,也可學到很多。

對這次共和黨敗選,克勞翰默在大選次日寫了評論文章。在共和黨內紛紛嚷嚷要“改變”本黨路線,朝向溫和妥協方向之際,克勞翰默清晰、堅定地指出,共和黨的原則理念不能改變,美國需要這樣一個保守派的政黨,其根本理念是:小政府,有限政府,保護個人權利的政府,而不是奧巴馬的大政府、高稅收、高福利,高赤字。他說從這次大選出口民調(51對43)也能看出,多數選民支持小政府理念。

對於多數西裔把選票給了奧巴馬,克勞翰默指出,共和黨需要的不是改變自己的原則理念,而是改變移民政策,在加強邊境(阻止非法移民)的同時,給予那些已進入美國的西裔“特赦”,以爭取這些人的選票。他特別指出,如果2016年是佛州聯邦參議員、古巴裔政治新星盧比諾(Marco Rubio)代表共和黨選總統,實行這樣的政策,可以想像,共和黨就會橫掃西裔選票,贏回白宮。

這次共和黨敗選,不是因為羅姆尼的競選綱領錯誤,而是不夠強勢宣傳,而羅姆尼本人也是那種謙謙君子,缺乏進攻性。但在國會共和黨中湧現的新人,包括一些州長,正在形成新的裡根型的理念團隊。只要堅持共和黨的傳統原則理念,而不是妥協後退,共和黨完全可以從失敗中站立起來。

他的結論是:“共和黨人不要哭泣,不要悲傷,更不要對自己的原則理念另起爐灶。而是要堅持保守主義,並把它做得更好。共和黨新一代的領導者已經對此准備好了要這樣做。”

下面是他的英文原文:

The way forward

By Charles Krauthammer

Washington Post,Published: November 8

They lose and immediately the chorus begins. Republicans must change or die. A rump party of white America, it must adapt to evolving demographics or forever be the minority.

The only part of this that is even partially true regards Hispanics. They should be a natural Republican constituency: striving immigrant community, religious, Catholic, family-oriented and socially conservative (on abortion, for example).

The principal reason they go Democratic is the issue of illegal immigrants. In securing the Republican nomination, Mitt Romney made the strategic error of (unnecessarily) going to the right of Rick Perry. Romney could never successfully tack back.

For the party in general, however, the problem is hardly structural. It requires but a single policy change: Border fence plus amnesty. Yes, amnesty. Use the word. Shock and awe — full legal normalization (just short of citizenship) in return for full border enforcement.
I’ve always been of the “enforcement first” school, with the subsequent promise of legalization. I still think it’s the better policy. But many Hispanics fear that there will be nothing beyond enforcement. So, promise amnesty right up front. Secure the border with guaranteed legalization to follow on the day the four border-state governors affirm that illegal immigration has slowed to a trickle.

Imagine Marco Rubio advancing such a policy on the road to 2016. It would transform the landscape. He’d win the Hispanic vote. Yes, win it. A problem fixable with a single policy initiative is not structural. It is solvable.

The other part of the current lament is that the Republican Party consistently trails among blacks, young people and (unmarried) women. (Republicans are plus-7 among married women.) But this is not for reasons of culture, identity or even affinity. It is because these constituencies tend to be more politically liberal — and Republicans are the conservative party.

The country doesn’t need two liberal parties. Yes, Republicans need to weed out candidates who talk like morons about rape. But this doesn’t mean the country needs two pro-choice parties either. In fact, more women are pro-life than are pro-choice. The problem here for Republicans is not policy but delicacy — speaking about culturally sensitive and philosophically complex issues with reflection and prudence.

Additionally, warn the doomsayers, Republicans must change not just ethnically but ideologically. Back to the center. Moderation above all!

More nonsense. Tuesday’s exit polls showed that by an eight-point margin (51-43), Americans believe that government does too much. And Republicans are the party of smaller government. Moreover, onrushing economic exigencies — crushing debt, unsustainable entitlements — will make the argument for smaller government increasingly unassailable.

So, why give it up? Republicans lost the election not because they advanced a bad argument but because they advanced a good argument not well enough. Romney ran a solid campaign, but he is by nature a Northeastern moderate. He sincerely adopted the new conservatism but still spoke it as a second language.

More Ford ’76 than Reagan ’80, Romney is a transitional figure, both generationally and ideologically. Behind him, the party has an extraordinarily strong bench. In Congress — Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Kelly Ayotte, (the incoming) Ted Cruz and others. And the governors — Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, Nikki Haley, plus former governor Jeb Bush and the soon-retiring Mitch Daniels. (Chris Christie is currently in rehab.)

They were all either a little too young or just not personally prepared to run in 2012. No longer. There may not be a Reagan among them, but this generation of rising leaders is philosophically rooted and politically fluent in the new constitutional conservatism.
Ignore the trimmers. There’s no need for radical change. The other party thinks it owns the demographic future — counter that in one stroke by fixing the Latino problem. Do not, however, abandon the party’s philosophical anchor. In a world where European social democracy is imploding before our eyes, the party of smaller, more modernized government owns the ideological future.

Romney is a good man who made the best argument he could, and nearly won. He would have made a superb chief executive, but he (like the Clinton machine) could not match Barack Obama in the darker arts of public persuasion.

The answer to Romney’s failure is not retreat, not aping the Democrats’ patchwork pandering. It is to make the case for restrained, rationalized and reformed government in stark contradistinction to Obama’s increasingly unsustainable big-spending, big-government paternalism.

Republicans: No whimpering. No whining. No reinvention when none is needed. Do conservatism but do it better. There’s a whole generation of leaders ready to do just that.

2012-11-09

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