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比尔.克林顿《我的生活》中英对照 第七章 (2)

(2009-06-08 07:06:32)







分类: 学习

Miss Warneke took our small class on a field trip to Newton County, my first trip into the heart of the Ozarks in north Arkansas, our Appalachia. Back then it was a place of breathtaking beauty, hardscrabble poverty, and rough, all-consuming politics. The county had about six thousand people spread over more than a couple of hundred square miles in hills and hollows. Jasper, the county seat, had a little more than three hundred people, a WPA-built courthouse, two cafes, a general store, and one tiny movie theater, where our class went one night to watch an old Audie Murphy western. When I got into politics I came to know every township in Newton County, but I fell in love with it at sixteen, as we navigated the mountain roads, learning about the history, geology, flora, and fauna of the Ozarks. One day we visited the cabin of a mountain man who had a collection of rifles and pistols dating back to the Civil War, then explored a cave the Confederates had used for munitions storage. The guns still fired, and remnants of the arsenal were still in the cave, visible manifestation of how real a century-old conflict was in places where time passed slowly, grudges died hard, and handed-down memories hung on and on. In the mid-seventies, when I was attorney general, I was invited to give the commencement address at Jasper High School. I urged the students to keep going in the face of adversity, citing Abraham Lincoln and all the hardships and setbacks he’d overcome. Afterward, the leading Democrats took me out into a bright starlit Ozark night and said, Bill, that was a fine speech. You can give it down in Little Rock anytime. But don’t you ever come up here and brag on that Republican President again. If he’d been that good, we wouldn’t have had the Civil War! I didn’t know what to say.



In Ruth Sweeney’s senior English class, we read Macbeth and were encouraged to memorize and recite portions of it. I made it through a hundred lines or so, including the famous soliloquy that begins, Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day, to the last syllable of recorded time and ends, Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Almost thirty years later, when I was governor, I happened to visit a class in Vilonia, Arkansas, on a day the students were studying Macbeth, and I recited the lines for them, the words still full of power for me, a dreadful message I was always determined would not be the measure of my life.



The summer after my junior year, I attended the annual weeklong American Legion Boys State program at Camp Robinson, an old army camp with enough primitive wooden barracks to house a thousand sixteen-year-old boys. We were organized by cities and counties, divided equally into two political parties, and introduced as candidates and voters to local, county, and state politics. We also developed platforms and voted on issues. We heard addresses from important figures, from the governor on down, and got to spend one day at the state Capitol, during which the Boys State governor, the other elected officials and their staffs, and the legislators actually got to occupy the state offices and legislative chambers.



At the end of the week, both parties nominated two candidates for the Boys Nation program, to be held toward the end of July at the University of Maryland in College Park, near the nation’s capital. An election was held, and the top two vote-getters got to go as Arkansas senators. I was one of them.



I went to Camp Robinson wanting to run for Boys Nation senator. Though the most prestigious post was governor, I had no interest in it then, or in the real job itself, for years thereafter. I thought Washington was where the action was on civil rights, poverty, education, and foreign policy. Besides, I couldn’t have won the governor’s election anyway, since it was, in the Arkansas vernacular, saucered and blowed—over before it started. My longtime friend from Hope, Mack McLarty, had it in the bag. As his school’s student-council president, a star quarterback, and a straight-A student, he had begun lining up support all across the state several weeks earlier. Our party nominated Larry Taunton, a radio announcer with a wonderful silken voice full of sincerity and confidence, but McLarty had the votes and won going away. We were all sure he would be the first person our age to be elected governor, an impression reinforced four years later when he was elected student body president at the University of Arkansas, and again just a year after that when, at twenty-two, he became the youngest member of the state legislature. Not long after that, Mack, who was in the Ford business with his father, devised a then-novel leasing scheme for Ford trucks, which eventually made him and Ford Motor Company a fortune. He gave up politics for a business career that led him to the presidency of Arkansas-Louisiana Gas Company, our largest natural gas utility. But he stayed active in politics, lending leadership and fund-raising skills to many Arkansas Democrats, especially David Pryor and me. He stayed with me all the way to the White House, first as chief of staff, then as special envoy to the Americas. Now he is Henry Kissinger’s partner in a consulting business and owns, among other things, twelve car dealerships in So Paulo, Brazil.



Though he lost the governors race, Larry Taunton got a big consolation prize: as the only boy besides McLarty with 100 percent name recognition, he was a lock cinch for one of the two Boys Nation slots; he had only to file. But there was a problem. Larry was one of two stars in his hometown delegation. The other was Bill Rainer, a bright, handsome multi-sport athlete. They had come to Boys State agreeing that Taunton would run for governor, Rainer for Boys Nation. Now, though both were free to run for Boys Nation, there was no way two boys from the same town were going to be elected. Besides, they were both in my party and I had been campaigning hard for a week. A letter I wrote to Mother at the time recounts that I had already won elections for tax collector, party secretary, and municipal judge, and that I was running for county judge, an important position in real Arkansas politics.



At the last minute, not long before the party met to hear our campaign speeches, Taunton filed. Bill Rainer was so stunned he could hardly get through his speech. I still have a copy of my own speech, which is unremarkable, except for a reference to the Little Rock Central High turmoil: We have grown up in a state ridden with the shame of a crisis it did not ask for. I did not approve of what Faubus had done, and I wanted people from other states to think better of Arkansas. When the votes were counted, Larry Taunton finished first by a good margin. I was second with a pretty good cushion. Rainer finished well back. I had come to really like Bill, and I never forgot the dignity with which he bore his loss.



Because of my friendship with Bill Rainer and my more liberal views on civil rights, I had a tense relationship with Larry Taunton the whole week of Boys Nation. I’m glad that, after I became President, I got to meet the grown-up Larry Taunton and his children. He seemed to be a good man who’d built a good life.



On Monday, July 22, we visited the Capitol, took pictures on the steps, and met our states senators. Larry and I had lunch with J. William Fulbright, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and John McClellan, chairman of the Appropriations Committee. The seniority system was alive and well, and no state had more power from it than Arkansas. In addition, all four of our congressmen held important positions: Wilbur Mills was chairman of the Ways and Means Committee; Oren Harris, chairman of the Commerce Committee; Took Gathings, ranking member of the Agriculture Committee; and Jim Trimble, who had been in Congress only since 1945, a member of the powerful Rules Committee, which controls the flow of legislation to the House floor. Little did I know that within three years I would be working for Fulbright on the Foreign Relations Committee staff. A few days after the lunch, Mother got a letter from Senator Fulbright saying that he had enjoyed our lunch and that she must be proud of me. I still have that letter, my first encounter with good staff work.



On Wednesday, July 24, we went to the White House to meet the President in the Rose Garden. President Kennedy walked out of the Oval Office into the bright sunshine and made some brief remarks, complimenting our work, especially our support for civil rights, and giving us higher marks than the governors, who had not been so forward-leaning in their annual summer meeting. After accepting a Boys Nation T-shirt, Kennedy walked down the steps and began shaking hands. I was in the front, and being bigger and a bigger supporter of the Presidents than most of the others, I made sure I’d get to shake his hand even if he shook only two or three. It was an amazing moment for me, meeting the President whom I had supported in my ninth-grade class debates, and about whom I felt even more strongly after his two and a half years in office. A friend took a photo for me, and later we found film footage of the handshake in the Kennedy Library.



Much has been made of that brief encounter and its impact on my life. My mother said she knew when I came home that I was determined to go into politics, and after I became the Democratic nominee in 1992, the film was widely pointed to as the beginning of my presidential aspirations. I’m not sure about that. I have a copy of the speech I gave to the American Legion in Hot Springs after I came home, and in it I didn’t make too much of the handshake. I thought at the time I wanted to become a senator, but deep down I probably felt as Abraham Lincoln did when he wrote as a young man, I will study and get ready, and perhaps my chance will come.



I had some success in high school politics, getting elected president of the junior class, and I wanted to run for president of the student council, but the accrediting group that oversaw our high school decided that Hot Springs students were not allowed to be involved in too many activities and ordered restrictions. Under the new rules, since I was the band major, I was ineligible to run for student council or class president. So was Phil Jamison, the captain of the football team and the odds-on favorite to win.



In one of the dumber political moves of my life, I allowed my name to be put up for senior class secretary by a friend who was angry about the new activity restrictions. My next-door neighbor Carolyn Yeldell defeated me handily, as she should have. It was a foolish, selfish thing for me to do, and proof positive of one of my rules of politics: Never run for an office you don’t really want and don’t have a good reason to hold.



Notwithstanding the setbacks, sometime in my sixteenth year I decided I wanted to be in public life as an elected official. I loved music and thought I could be very good, but I knew I would never be John Coltrane or Stan Getz. I was interested in medicine and thought I could be a fine doctor, but I knew I would never be Michael DeBakey. But I knew I could be great in public service. I was fascinated by people, politics, and policy, and I thought I could make it without family wealth, or connections, or establishment southern positions on race and other issues. Of course it was improbable, but isn’t that what America is all about?




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