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    海軍少將競選美國總統:要做一位有責任感的領袖

    Joe Sestak 2019年07月28日

    2020年美國總統大選候選人喬·瑟斯塔克寫道,美國民眾已經對政客們的領導能力失去了信心。

    2020年美國總統大選候選人喬·瑟斯塔克。圖片來源:Jason Cohn—The Washington Post via Getty Images

    在我指揮的航母上,雖然水手的平均年齡只有19歲半,但人們可以看到,他們的每一個行為都體現了一種責任感。當即將起飛的飛機突然收到命令必須熄火讓位給其他飛機并留在甲板上時,這一點尤為明顯。

    在這種情況下,即將起飛的飛機已經與一個結實的繩索相連,該繩索用于將飛機彈射至水面上空。所有飛行員在確認與繩索脫鉤之前都不會關閉飛機引擎。如果他們確實關閉了引擎,而彈射器又意外地啟動了,那么飛機就會被拋到海中,等待飛行員的就是死亡。

    水手在解開飛機與繩索的連接之后,會直接走到飛機前面,然后做出一個簡單的手勢,意思是:“沒問題了,現在安全了。你可以關閉引擎了。”但水手依然會站在飛機前面,直到飛行員安全地踏上甲板。他們其實在用自己的行動表達:“我要對自己的職責負責。如果我犯錯,飛機會直接從我身上碾壓過去,我們倆是一損俱損。”

    很少有美國民眾相信,華盛頓的政客們會站在飛機前面,對民眾負責。正因為如此,美國民眾不再信任我們的政客、流程,甚至是重要的民間社會制度,例如新聞自由和公立大學。這也是我為什么要競選總統的原因:重塑美國領導力的責任感。

    我在美國海軍服役了31年,并晉升為三星上將。在多次巡航中,包括在阿富汗戰爭初期指揮航母戰斗群,我一直保持著全天候的工作狀態。在軍隊,軍人時刻準備著奔赴戰場,因為眾多的生命和國家的安全依賴于他們。

    21世紀的世界異常危險。面對著殘酷的內戰、窮兇惡極的極端主義、獨裁的蔓延、不平等性的加劇、領土擴張主義、選舉干預和核擴散等各種事件,我們的決策者們可謂是應接不暇。此外,隨著氣候變化開始籠罩世界各地,人類自身的文明如今面臨著有史以來最具破壞力的威脅。

    我們的公仆們在如此眾多的領域讓我們感到失望不已。他們目睹美國掀起了悲慘的伊拉克戰爭,而且獲得了兩黨的投票授權,但沒有人為這場悲慘的災難承擔責任;他們見證了大銀行用貪婪取代了責任感,而政客們移除了美國金融行業的保護屏障。當此舉導致金融危機出現時,沒有一名高管或政客為經濟的坍塌或者數百萬家庭的受傷負責任。

    美國信任缺乏背后的元兇正是這種不負責任的領導行為。它破壞了國家團結,也讓我們失去了對自我以及立場的認知。

    2016年如此多民眾的投票結果便說明了這一點。他們對那些曾經誤導他們、不為其利益服務的當權政客感到厭倦,轉而支持那位聲稱將“徹底清理門戶”以及“重塑偉大美國”的人士。然而在他當選之后,他廢除了金融領域和環境法規,并為最富有人群提供了大量的稅收減免,因此,他的治國之道是為少數群體而不是大眾服務,是為銀行、石油和煤行業以及1%的富有人群服務。

    但除此之外,美國道德領導力的下滑所帶來的影響甚至超越了美國的國界。這是因為,每當我們與暴君而不是朋友沆瀣一氣時,每當我們破壞為世界大多數地區帶來和平的多邊機制時,我們最強大的實力,也就是號召全世界應對當今挑戰的能力,不管是反對暴政還是氣候變化,都會因此而遭到破壞。

    我們失去了我們在全球舞臺上僅存的道德權威,這一影響十分深遠。自上個世紀中葉成為全球最強大的國度之后,美國的確在全球舞臺上犯了一些錯誤,但直到最近,全球大多數民眾依然將美國視為自由和機會的燈塔,以及一個強大的調停人,有能力主導基于規則的自由世界秩序。然而如今,我們已經拋棄了這個角色。

    我們的價值觀,從人權到個人隱私再到民主本身,在全球范圍內都處于危險境地,也為美國自身受到傷害。隨著好戰的俄羅斯不斷對外擴張,以及菲律賓、委內瑞拉等國獨裁勢力的不斷增長,為了保護美國自己的民眾,在全球范圍內重塑以價值觀為導向的美國領導力變得比以往任何時候都更為重要。

    要做到這一點,首先得重塑對美國民眾負責的有責任感領導力。當所有的美國人都認為我們所選的人值得掌權時,他們在位時的行為值得尊敬時,以及他們能夠對其決定負責任時,我們的政治最終才能夠配得上美國偉大的民眾。我的“美國計劃”便是通往這個更美好未來的路線圖。

    如果我當選美國總統,始終對美國人民負責將成為我莊嚴的職責。他們完全值得我這么做。(財富中文網)

    喬·瑟斯塔克是美國總統大選的民主黨候選人,也曾擔任海軍上將、白宮國防政策總監以及賓夕法尼亞第七區代表。

    譯者:馮豐

    審校:夏林

    On the aircraft carrier under my command, where the average age of sailors was 19 and a half, you could see accountability in action at all times. You especially saw it when an order was given that a plane about to launch suddenly must be switched out for another and kept on board.

    In such situations, the plane about to launch is already hooked up to a powerful sling that catapults it out over the water. No pilot will turn off their engines until they know for certain that they are no longer hooked up to that sling. If they do turn off their engines, and then the catapult is inadvertently activated, they will plunge into the water to their death.

    A sailor, after unhooking the plane from the sling, walks right in front of it and gives a simple hand signal to communicate, “Okay, it’s safe now. You can turn off your engine.” But by remaining in front of the plane until the pilot is safely on deck, they’re also saying, “I’m accountable for my role. If I made a mistake, you are going right through me and we are going down together.”

    There are few Americans who believe that anyone in Washington, D.C., is willing to stand in front of that plane, accountable to them. Because of that, Americans no longer trust our politicians, our process, or even critical civil society institutions like the free press and public universities. And that is why I am running for president: to restore accountability in our leadership.

    I spent 31 years in the U.S. Navy, rising to the rank of three-star admiral. During my multiple sea tours, including commanding an aircraft carrier battle group in the early days of the Afghanistan war, I was on the job 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In the military, you are always on duty. Lives and our nation’s security depend on it.

    Our 21st-century world is an incredibly dangerous one. Between brutal civil wars, violent extremism, spreading autocracy, rising inequality, territorial expansionism, election interference, and nuclear proliferation, our policymakers have their hands full. And with climate change looming over all, our very civilization now faces the most destructive threat of all.

    Our public servants have failed us on so many fronts. They saw us embark on a tragic war in Iraq, with supporters from both parties voting to authorize it—and no one was ever held accountable for that tragic misadventure. They watched as the greed of big banks replaced accountability as politicians removed the safeguards on our financial industry. And when it resulted in the financial meltdown, not a single executive or politician was held accountable for crashing our economy or causing suffering that hurt millions of families.

    It is this unaccountable leadership that is responsible for the lack of trust in America today. It undermines our sense of national unity, of who we are and what we stand for.

    It is why so many voted the way they did in 2016. They were tired of establishment politicians they felt had misled them and not served their interests—and voted for someone who claimed he would “drain the swamp” and “make America great again.” Yet once he was elected, he proceeded to govern for the few, not the many—for the banks, the oil and coal industries, and the 1%—by gutting financial sector and environmental regulation and giving massive tax breaks to the wealthiest.

    But beyond this, the decline in America’s moral leadership extends even further beyond our borders. This is because one of our greatest strengths—our ability to convene the world to fight the challenges of the day, whether tyranny or climate change—is undermined every time we side with despots over our friends or undermine the multilateral institutions that have brought peace to much of the world.

    In profound ways, we have lost what was left of our moral authority on the world stage. Since becoming the most powerful country in the world in the middle of the last century, we have surely made some mistakes on the global stage, but until recently most people around the world still looked up to the United States as a beacon of freedom and opportunity, and as a powerful referee capable of presiding over a rules-based liberal world order. We’ve now abdicated that role.

    Our values—from human rights to personal privacy to democracy itself—are at risk all around the world, and harming us at home. With a belligerent Russia, and increasing autocracy from the Philippines to Venezuela, it’s never been more important to restore values-based American leadership in the world to protect us at home.

    And that must start by restoring responsible leadership accountable to the American people. When all Americans believe that the people we elect deserve to be in power, that their conduct in office is worthy of respect, and that they can be held accountable for their decisions, our politics will finally be worthy of our great people. My “Plan for America” is a roadmap to that brighter future.

    If elected president, it will be my solemn duty to always hold myself accountable to the American people. They deserve nothing less.

    Joe Sestak is a Democratic candidate for president and a former Navy admiral, White House director for defense policy, and representative for Pennsylvania’s 7th District.

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