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海军少将竞选美国总统:要做一位有责任感的领袖

Joe Sestak 2019年07月28日

2020年美国总统大选候选人乔·瑟斯塔克写道,美国民众已经对政客们的领导能力失去了信心。

2020年美国总统大选候选人乔·瑟斯塔克。图片来源:Jason Cohn—The Washington Post via Getty Images

在我指挥的航母上,虽然水手的平均年龄只有19岁半,但人们可以看到,他们的每一个行为都体现了一种责任感。当即将起飞的飞机突然收到命令必须熄火让位给其他飞机并留在甲板上时,这一点尤为明显。

在这种情况下,即将起飞的飞机已经与一个结实的绳索相连,该绳索用于将飞机弹射至水面上空。所有飞行员在确认与绳索脱钩之前都不会关闭飞机引擎。如果他们确实关闭了引擎,而弹射器又意外地启动了,那么飞机就会被抛到海中,等待飞行员的就是死亡。

水手在解开飞机与绳索的连接之后,会直接走到飞机前面,然后做出一个简单的手势,意思是:“没问题了,现在安全了。你可以关闭引擎了。”但水手依然会站在飞机前面,直到飞行员安全地踏上甲板。他们其实在用自己的行动表达:“我要对自己的职责负责。如果我犯错,飞机会直接从我身上碾压过去,我们俩是一损俱损。”

很少有美国民众相信,华盛顿的政客们会站在飞机前面,对民众负责。正因为如此,美国民众不再信任我们的政客、流程,甚至是重要的民间社会制度,例如新闻自由和公立大学。这也是我为什么要竞选总统的原因:重塑美国领导力的责任感。

我在美国海军服役了31年,并晋升为三星上将。在多次巡航中,包括在阿富汗战争初期指挥航母战斗群,我一直保持着全天候的工作状态。在军队,军人时刻准备着奔赴战场,因为众多的生命和国家的安全依赖于他们。

21世纪的世界异常危险。面对着残酷的内战、穷凶恶极的极端主义、独裁的蔓延、不平等性的加剧、领土扩张主义、选举干预和核扩散等各种事件,我们的决策者们可谓是应接不暇。此外,随着气候变化开始笼罩世界各地,人类自身的文明如今面临着有史以来最具破坏力的威胁。

我们的公仆们在如此众多的领域让我们感到失望不已。他们目睹美国掀起了悲惨的伊拉克战争,而且获得了两党的投票授权,但没有人为这场悲惨的灾难承担责任;他们见证了大银行用贪婪取代了责任感,而政客们移除了美国金融行业的保护屏障。当此举导致金融危机出现时,没有一名高管或政客为经济的坍塌或者数百万家庭的受伤负责任。

美国信任缺乏背后的元凶正是这种不负责任的领导行为。它破坏了国家团结,也让我们失去了对自我以及立场的认知。

2016年如此多民众的投票结果便说明了这一点。他们对那些曾经误导他们、不为其利益服务的当权政客感到厌倦,转而支持那位声称将“彻底清理门户”以及“重塑伟大美国”的人士。然而在他当选之后,他废除了金融领域和环境法规,并为最富有人群提供了大量的税收减免,因此,他的治国之道是为少数群体而不是大众服务,是为银行、石油和煤行业以及1%的富有人群服务。

但除此之外,美国道德领导力的下滑所带来的影响甚至超越了美国的国界。这是因为,每当我们与暴君而不是朋友沆瀣一气时,每当我们破坏为世界大多数地区带来和平的多边机制时,我们最强大的实力,也就是号召全世界应对当今挑战的能力,不管是反对暴政还是气候变化,都会因此而遭到破坏。

我们失去了我们在全球舞台上仅存的道德权威,这一影响十分深远。自上个世纪中叶成为全球最强大的国度之后,美国的确在全球舞台上犯了一些错误,但直到最近,全球大多数民众依然将美国视为自由和机会的灯塔,以及一个强大的调停人,有能力主导基于规则的自由世界秩序。然而如今,我们已经抛弃了这个角色。

我们的价值观,从人权到个人隐私再到民主本身,在全球范围内都处于危险境地,也为美国自身受到伤害。随着好战的俄罗斯不断对外扩张,以及菲律宾、委内瑞拉等国独裁势力的不断增长,为了保护美国自己的民众,在全球范围内重塑以价值观为导向的美国领导力变得比以往任何时候都更为重要。

要做到这一点,首先得重塑对美国民众负责的有责任感领导力。当所有的美国人都认为我们所选的人值得掌权时,他们在位时的行为值得尊敬时,以及他们能够对其决定负责任时,我们的政治最终才能够配得上美国伟大的民众。我的“美国计划”便是通往这个更美好未来的路线图。

如果我当选美国总统,始终对美国人民负责将成为我庄严的职责。他们完全值得我这么做。(财富中文网)

乔·瑟斯塔克是美国总统大选的民主党候选人,也曾担任海军上将、白宫国防政策总监以及宾夕法尼亚第七区代表。

译者:冯丰

审校: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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