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作者: 来源: 日期:2016/11/11 8:32:51

Donald Trump ushers in the era of political improvisation





As the election count was under way on Tuesday night, I visited the two places in New York where Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump planned to hold their victory parties. The locations at the cavernous glass Javits Center for Clinton and Hilton Hotel for Trump are barely a mile apart, but they were a revealing study in cultural contrasts.

周二晚上美国大选还在计票时,我在纽约市走访了两个地方,就是希拉里•克林顿(Hillary Clinton)和唐纳德•特朗普(Donald Trump)各自计划举行庆功聚会的所在,前者是在拥有巨幅玻璃的贾维茨会议中心(Javits Center),后者在希尔顿酒店(Hilton Hotel)。两个活动地点相隔不过一英里,但完全可以把它们当作一项具有启发意义的文化比较研究的对象。广州翻译公司。


The Clinton event was organised with a slick hyper-efficiency. The party had clearly been planned for months on the presumption of victory and it reeked of professional stage management. However, it also felt distinctly clinical, if not impersonal.



The Trump event, by contrast, felt chaotic and improvised. It had been thrown together so rapidly that there were still tourists staying in the hotel, and the system for channelling guests through the lobby was erratic, relying on hastily created signs. As the night wore on, one bar ran low on alcohol and there was little food. But that air of improvisation also made it feel enthusiastic — and distinctly human.



These events speak volumes about the election and help to explain where America is now heading. When the historians write the story of the extraordinary 2016 contest, they will find numerous economic reasons to explain Mr Trump’s apparent victory; his supporters were suffering economic pain, angry about globalisation and unhappy about cultural change.



However, aside from these tangible economic grievances, there is another way to frame the contest: this was a battle between a slick professional political elite versus the unprofessional or anti-professional class. Or to put it another way, on one side of this contest was an establishment which is not only used to stage managing events with consummate skill, but also massaging messages and controlling opinion with slick data analysis. But many of the voters who have backed Mr Trump do not live in this world; they do not think they can control their lives by pressing a few buttons on their smartphones or tablets.



They feel that they are victims of events, constantly forced to improvise in a hostile, unfathomable world. So when Mr Trump acted in an inconsistent and chaotic manner, they — unlike the professional elites — do not shudder in shock. Instead, they simply view this as a sign that he is human, authentic and transparent; he, like them, makes mistakes with his words (and much else.) He is attractive to some voters because he is not stage managed; he speaks about the need for change.



Mr Trump has always instinctively understood the nature of this battle, hence his refusal to use data analysis to read the vote, teleprompter or other political tools of the trade. Indeed, much to his aides irritation, he was reluctant to even use a professional make-up artist before he went on stage — a stance that even sparked a full blown behind-the-scenes row just before the third TV debate, since his spray tan had started to fade and gave him an unhealthy looking pallor.



Mrs Clinton, by contrast, used every trick of modern political campaigning to perfection, including an army of stylists. But it made no difference — the improvised chaotic style and the call for change won over the voters. Call this, if you like, a vote for disruption, albeit not of the sort that Silicon Valley will like.



The best thing about Trump is that he is not a professional politician,” one of his advisers said wearily shortly before the vote. “But the worst thing is that he is not a professional politician. Either way, you cannot change him.”



That, of course, is why markets and many business leaders feel so utterly terrified right now. Little wonder. After all, the problem with having a non-professional in office is not just that they lack experience; it is that it is also hard to predict how they might behave in the future. Nobody can assume that the regular rules of politics will apply; nor the rules that journalists, lobbyists, investors and business leaders have relied upon. We cannot even assume that the sketchy policy platforms that Mr Trump has already revealed will transpire. We are heading for a world where policymaking is likely to feel as improvised as the victory party in the Hilton Hotel.



While this type of disruption is terrifying for the establishment, the message from voters is clear: many of them want change at almost any cost. Hold on to your seats for a potentially wild ride. We have embarked on an era of political improvisation.

尽管这种颠覆正让建制派感到害怕,但选民们发出的信息相当明确:很多人几乎不惜一切代价的想要改变。坐稳了,未来可能踏上一段狂野之旅。我们进入了一个政治即兴秀(political improvisation)的时代。