奥巴马告别演说:“是的,我们做到了”

编辑:给力英语新闻 更新:2017年1月11日 作者:纽约时报双语新闻(By MARK LANDLER)

周二晚在芝加哥告别演说中落泪的奥巴马。
周二晚在芝加哥告别演说中落泪的奥巴马。 (A tearful President Obama in his final speech to the nation, on Tuesday night at McCormick Place in Chicago. )

芝加哥——周二晚间,奥巴马总统向全国民众发表了一场怀旧而又给人以希望的告别演说,但他也警告自己领导了八年的这个出现分歧的国家和他的继任者,不要逃避依然威胁美国民主理想的经济不平等、种族冲突、政治孤立、选民冷漠等挑战。

在距离将白宫转交给唐纳德·J·特朗普(Donald J. Trump)还有十天的时候,奥巴马回到这个培育他的政治生涯的城市,这个见证他从海德公园社区到宾夕法尼亚大道那段不可思议旅程的城市。在向全国民众发表的最后一次演说中,这位总统表达了他的信念——哪怕是最深层的意识形态分歧,也可以被活跃、积极的民众消除。

“在担任总统八年之后,我依然相信这一点,”奥巴马对聚集在麦考密克会展中心(McCormick Place)的一大群观众讲道,2012年获得连任时,他也是在这个湖滨会展中心向自己的支持者致谢。“而且它不只是我的信念。它是一颗跳动的心脏,深处于我们的美国观念中——我们的大胆自治实验里。”

在一段杰出的政治生涯进入到最后一次演讲的尾声时,奥巴马流下了眼泪,他感谢自己的妻子、女儿和他的副总统(“那个来自斯克兰顿的好斗的孩子”),还有将美国第一位非裔美国人总统一举送入白宫的无数支持者。

“我不会停下脚步;事实上,在有生之年,我会作为一名公民永远和你们在一起,”面对已经纷纷起立的观众,奥巴马克制住自己的情绪承诺道。他请他们相信,就像他们在他第一次竞选时所做的。“是的,我们可以。是的,我们做到了。是的,我们可以。”

但一位携着希望与改变的劝诫入主白宫的总统,在向全国民众发表告别演讲时,主题却是直面不断改变的世界与国家的必要性。

奥巴马敦促美国解决破坏平等、多样化和团结的长久问题——那是他在自己的任期内努力想要实现的目标。他说,经济不平等将继续导致“不满和分裂”,并警告称,种族问题仍将是分裂这个国家的强大力量,除非歧视得到打击和根除。

“不过,单靠法律是不够的。人心必须改变,”他对观众说。“当少数群体表达不满时,他们不是在搞逆向种族主义或政治正确;当他们举行和平抗议时,他们不是在要求获得特殊待遇,而是在要求获得我们的立国者承诺的平等待遇。”

奥巴马总统说,分裂的新闻媒体对民主产生了威胁,它允许人们躲在自己的知识泡泡里,每个人只相信自己那一套事实。“我们在自己的泡泡里感到很安全,只接受符合自己观点的信息——不管真实与否——而不是根据已知证据形成观点,”他说。

奥巴马总统说,美国的民主秩序也因为很多冷漠的美国人不参与投票或公民生活而受到威胁。他敦促两党成员共同努力,恢复民众对社会体制的信任,吸引更多人参与国家的命运。

“如果某些事情需要修复,那就行动起来,做一些组织工作,”曾担任社区组织者的奥巴马对观众说。“如果你对自己选出的官员感到失望,那就拿起写字板,征集签名,自己去竞选。站出来。投入进去。坚持下去。你可能会赢。也可能会输。”

他接着说,“但是,多数情况下,你对美国以及美国人的信心将得到证实。”

八年前,奥巴马沉浸在历史性胜利的喜悦中,近25万人在这座城市附近的格兰特公园(Grant Park)举行了一场隆重的庆祝。周二晚上,在华盛顿的政治斗争中磨练多年、明显苍老了许多的奥巴马回到自己的第二故乡,给自己的任期画上句号。

“不可能找到比你们更好的支持者和组织者了,我将永远感激你们。因为,是的,是你们改变了这个世界,”奥巴马说。“今晚,我离开这个舞台时,比我们开始时对这个国家更为乐观。”

但是,这些充满希望的话语却因为在首都的现实而显得有些苍白:特朗普已经表示,要放弃奥巴马留下的事业,以喧闹、混乱的领导风格取代奥巴马自律、职业的统治方式。甚至在奥巴马依然在任期间,在特朗普就职之前,另一项争议已经笼罩着特朗普——关于他个人行为的一些未经证实的指控已出现在新闻报道中。

奥巴马说,他已承诺,确保特朗普“实现尽可能平稳的过渡”,引发观众一片嘘声,他们显然没准备好接受这个未来。他们一度开始大喊,“再干四年。”不过,奥巴马很快否定了他们。“我不能那样做,”他说。

在演讲的某些部分,奥巴马似乎不是面向全体美国人,而更多地是在专门说给特朗普听,警告他继续煽动分裂的危险性——正是分裂主义在总统大选中帮助共和党人打败了希拉里·克林顿(Hillary Clinton)。

“那就是我反对歧视穆斯林美国人的原因,”奥巴马说。崇拜他的观众发出响亮的欢呼声。“那就是我们不能退出全球斗争的原因——扩展民主、人权、女性权利以及LGBT权利——不管我们的努力多么不完美,不管忽视这些价值会显得多么有利。”

对这位经常质疑气候变化真实性的继任者,奥巴马似乎在说:要小心。

“我们能够也应该就解决这个问题的最佳方式进行辩论,”他说,“但是,完全否认这个问题不仅是背叛子孙后代,也是背叛我们的立国者所遵循的创新和以务实态度解决问题的基本精神。”

对许多芝加哥居民来说——他们认为奥巴马是他们中的一员——总统的演讲是一段政治事业的终曲。它既讲述了他们作为一个社区的发展,也讲述了这个国家在他执政的八年里发生的变化。

白宫非常慎重地策划这次活动,从地点到演讲的语气和语调都经过精心考虑。一名助手称,周二下午,奥巴马仍在修改讲稿,周一晚上,他熬夜在当时的第四稿上涂涂改改着。

白宫和奥巴马政治运作团队的数十名即将离任的官员汇聚在芝加哥,见证自己的前上司在国家舞台上的最后一次重要活动,在城中各处参加派对和接待会。“啤酒和眼泪,”奥巴马连任竞选时的国家新闻发言人本·拉博尔特(Ben LaBolt)说。

翻译:王相宜、常青

Obama’s Farewell Address: ‘Yes We Did’

CHICAGO — President Obama delivered a nostalgic and hopeful farewell address to the nation on Tuesday evening, but warned both the divided country he led for eight years and his successor not to shrink from the challenges of economic inequality, racial strife, political isolation and voter apathy that still threaten its ideal of democracy.

Mr. Obama returned to the city that nurtured his political career and his improbable journey from Hyde Park to Pennsylvania Avenue, just 10 days before he will leave the White House to Donald J. Trump. In his final speech to the nation, the president expressed his belief that even the deepest ideological divides can be bridged by an active, engaged populace.

“After eight years as your president, I still believe that,” Mr. Obama told a large crowd at McCormick Place, the cavernous lakeside convention center where he thanked supporters after his re-election in 2012. “And it’s not just my belief. It’s the beating heart of our American idea — our bold experiment in self-government.”

Tearing up as he concluded the final speech of a remarkable political career, Mr. Obama thanked his wife, his daughters, his vice president (“the scrappy kid from Scranton”) and the army of supporters who helped sweep the first African-American into the White House.

“I won’t stop; in fact, I will be right there with you, as a citizen, for all my days that remain,” Mr. Obama pledged, fighting back emotion as audience members rose to their feet. He asked them to believe, as they did during his first campaign. “Yes we can. Yes we did. Yes we can.”

But a president who rode an exhortation of hope and change to the Oval Office delivered a final speech to the country built around the need to confront a changing world and nation.

Mr. Obama urged the country to deal with the persistent problems that undermine the equality, diversity and unity that he sought to achieve during his tenure. He said economic inequality would continue to cause “disaffection and division” and warned that race would remain a potent force dividing the nation unless discrimination is attacked and eliminated.

“But laws alone won’t be enough. Hearts must change,” he told the crowd. “When minority groups voice discontent, they’re not just engaging in reverse racism or practicing political correctness; that when they wage peaceful protest, they’re not demanding special treatment, but the equal treatment our founders promised.”

The president said that a splintered news media threatened democracy by allowing people to retreat into their own bubbles of knowledge, everyone certain of a different set of facts. “We become so secure in our bubbles that we accept only information, whether true or not, that fits our opinions, instead of basing our opinions on the evidence that’s out there,” he said.

And, the president said, the country’s democratic order is threatened by a sense of apathy among the many Americans who do not vote or participate in civic life. He urged members of both political parties to work to restore trust in society’s institutions in ways that will attract more people to become involved in the country’s fate.

“If something needs fixing, lace up your shoes and do some organizing,” Mr. Obama, a onetime community organizer, told the crowd. “If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself. Show up. Dive in. Persevere. Sometimes you’ll win. Sometimes you’ll lose.”

But, he added: “More often than not, your faith in America — and in Americans — will be confirmed.”

Eight years ago, Mr. Obama basked in the glow of his history-making victory that drew nearly a quarter-million people to a jubilant celebration in the city’s nearby Grant Park. On Tuesday night, visibly older and chastened by years of political battles in Washington, Mr. Obama returned to his adopted hometown to bring his tenure to an end.

“You are the best supporters and organizers anyone could hope for, and I will forever be grateful. Because yes, you changed the world,” Mr. Obama said. “I leave this stage tonight even more optimistic about this country than I was when we started.”

But that expression of hope was tempered by the reality playing out in the nation’s capital: Mr. Trump has promised to unwind Mr. Obama’s legacy, erasing the president’s disciplined and professorial approach to governing with a noisy, chaotic style of leadership. Even as Mr. Obama took the stage, another controversy dogged Mr. Trump even before his inauguration as unverified allegations about his personal behavior emerged in news reports.

Mr. Obama said he had committed to ensuring Mr. Trump “the smoothest possible transition,” drawing boos from a crowd clearly not ready to see that happen; at one point, they began chanting, “Four more years.” Mr. Obama dismissed them quickly, though. “I can’t do that,” he said.

In parts of the speech, Mr. Obama appeared to be talking to Mr. Trump as much as the rest of America, warning him of the dangers of continuing to stoke the divisions that helped Republicans defeat Hillary Clinton in the presidential campaign.

“That’s why I reject discrimination against Muslim Americans,” Mr. Obama said to huge cheers from the adoring crowd. “That’s why we cannot withdraw from global fights — to expand democracy, and human rights, women’s rights, and L.G.B.T. rights — no matter how imperfect our efforts, no matter how expedient ignoring such values may seem.”

To a successor who has often questioned the reality of climate change, Mr. Obama seemed to say: Be careful.

“We can and should argue about the best approach to the problem,” he said. “But to simply deny the problem not only betrays future generations; it betrays the essential spirit of innovation and practical problem-solving that guided our founders.”

For many Chicago residents, who embrace Mr. Obama as one of their own, the president’s speech was a coda to a political career that spoke as much to their own evolution as a community as it did to how the nation has changed over his eight years in office.

The White House had meticulously planned the event, from the location to the tone and cadence of the speech. Mr. Obama was still rewriting the speech on Tuesday afternoon, one of his aides said, after being up late Monday night scrawling edits on what at that point was the fourth draft.

Dozens of alumni from the White House and Mr. Obama’s political operation converged on Chicago to witness their former boss’s last major turn on the national stage, attending parties and receptions all over town. “Beers and tears,” said Ben LaBolt, the former national press secretary for Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign.