« 企業中間決算 | トップページ | 旅行・ギフト・エンタメ »

2008年11月 7日 (金)

米国のチェンジに期待する

(Mainichi Japan) November 6, 2008

President-elect Obama should establish large-scale policies for change

社説:オバマ氏当選 米国のチェンジに期待する

Who could have predicted a year ago that this would happen? The United States has elected Barack Obama as its 44th president. It is hoped that the choice of U.S. voters in 2008 will be recorded in history as a "wise decision."

 この日が来ると、だれが1年前に予測できただろう。時代の変わり目にこれまでの常識では考えられない指導者が登場する米国史の転換点を私たちは目撃している。米国民の2008年の投票行動が「賢明な判断だった」と世界史に刻まれることを期待したい。

In his victory speech, the Democrat said to the world: "Our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand." Obama's most important task is to save the United States from the misrule and chaos of the eight-year administration of Republican George W. Bush, and demonstrate his leadership and cooperation skills to the world.

 米国は第44代大統領に民主党のバラク・オバマ氏を選んだ。勝利演説で世界に向かって「私たちは運命を共有している。米国の指導力の新たな夜明けは近い」と述べた。8年間のブッシュ共和党政権の失政と混迷から米国を立て直し、健全な協調性と指導力を世界に改めて提示してほしい。

So what will come to an end and what will begin in the United States following the election? There are three main issues here.

 この選挙により、米国の何が終わり、何が始まろうとしているのだろう。

 ◇ブッシュ路線不信

The first answer is an end of the Bush era. Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continue without any prospect of concluding. The United States has come under mounting criticism from the international community for its unilateralism and dogmatic diplomacy. The financial crisis that started in the United States has raised questions about excessive deregulation implemented as a result of placing too much emphasis on market mechanisms. The approval rating for President Bush now stands at a mere 22 percent.

 第一の答えは「ブッシュの時代が終わった」というものだ。アフガニスタンとイラクの二つの戦争が際限なく続く。単独行動主義や独善的な外交により、米国への批判的な見方が世界に広がった。米国発の金融危機は、市場優先の行き過ぎた規制緩和への疑問につながった。ブッシュ大統領の支持率は22%しかない。

During his campaign, Obama criticized John McCain as the successor of Bush. His slogan, "Change," was accepted widely by voters who called for changes to the Bush policy line, which was a major factor behind Obama's victory.

 オバマ氏は共和党候補のジョン・マケイン氏がブッシュ氏の継続だという「ブッシュ・マケイン同一論」で批判した。「チェンジ」(変革)のスローガンが、ブッシュ路線の交代を求める人々に浸透し、勝因となった。ブッシュ不信任の流れに乗った大勝でもある。

The Democrat rode on the wave of distrust for Bush and scored a landslide victory. However, Obama's victory does not simply mean that the Democrats have taken over the reins of government from the Republicans for the first time in eight years.

 だが、単に共和党から民主党に8年ぶりに政権が移っただけではない。

The second answer is that the influence of former President Ronald Reagan's policies may have completely disappeared from the United States. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration, as a conservative government, broke the deadlock of the liberalistic policy line that had lasted since the administration of former President Franklin Roosevelt. The idea that the market, and not the state, solves problems and helps the economy prosper had a huge influence on the world, including Japan.

 第二の答えは「レーガンの時代が終わったのかもしれない」という点だ。ルーズベルト政権以来のリベラル路線の行き詰まりを保守の側から打破したのが80年代のレーガン政権だ。国家ではなく、市場が問題を解決し経済を繁栄させる。その思想は米国だけでなく日本も含めた世界中で影響力を持った。

However, as the world is suffering from the financial meltdown, with no prospects of it ending soon, it has been pointed out that Reaganomix and neoconservatism have their own limits. Providing an infusion of public funds to bail out financial institutions is the polar opposite to the "small government" concept advocated by Reagan.

 だが、出口が見えない経済危機に世界中が巻き込まれたいま、レーガノミクスや新保守主義の限界が議論されている。公的資金を投入して金融機関を救済する解決策はレーガン流「小さい政府」の対極にある。

The third answer could be that Obama's victory may represent an end to the century of U.S. dominance. Americans believed that the spread of U.S.-style free competition and consumer-orientated affluent lifestyles would benefit the world, and proudly proclaimed the 20th century as one of U.S. dominance. The idea had been maintained even after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and the U.S. believed its supremacy would continue into the 21st century.

 さらに「米国の世紀が終わったのではないか」という第三の答え方も可能だ。米国型の自由競争や豊かな消費生活が世界に広がれば、世界は幸福になると米国人は発想し、20世紀を「米国の世紀」と誇った。その感覚は9・11同時多発テロ後も保たれ「長い20世紀」が続いていた。

However, in exit polls conducted by U.S. news organizations, about 75 percent of those questioned answered that the country is moving in the wrong direction, and 90 percent replied that economic conditions are severe. It is rare for such concern and pessimism to prevail in the country immediately after an election.

 だが投票所出口調査では4分の3が「国の方向が間違っている」と答え、9割が「経済状態は悪い」と述べた。これほどの不安と悲観がこの国をおおった時はあまりない。

The election of Obama leaves the United States at a crossroads as these three changes are simultaneously happening. Obama may achieve historic changes that are comparable to those brought about by Roosevelt and Reagan. However, that fact that he failed to demonstrate his vision through his election campaign is of concern. It is hoped that President-elect Obama will transcend the traditional conflicts between the Democrats and the Republicans and come out with a bold reform plan that will eliminate the country's differences with the rest of the world.

 こうした三つの終わりないしは変化が同時に重なる節目に、米国人が見いだしたのがオバマ氏だ。ルーズベルト、レーガンに匹敵する歴史的な大転換をオバマ氏は実現するかもしれない。ただ、選挙戦を通してそのビジョンがよく見えなかったのは気がかりだ。米国政治の旧来の対立軸を超え、世界との行き違いを解消する大胆な再生構想を打ち出してほしい。

The election of an African-American as president could be regarded as a kind of cultural revolution. Since countless white Americans voted for Obama, he came to represent the American dream. When Obama was born in 1961, racial discrimination was still legal in the South. Even though systematic racial discrimination has been abolished as a result of the civil-rights movement, the United States can hardly be called a truly equal society.

 黒人大統領は、いざ誕生してみると、文化革命とさえ表現できる驚きだ。数え切れないほど多くの白人が投票したから、オバマ氏はアメリカンドリームの体現者となった。オバマ氏が生まれた1961年は、南部では人種差別が合法化されていた時代だ。公民権運動の成果で制度としての差別はなくなったが、平等な社会とはまだ、いいがたい。

Obama has talked about his own life as a symbol of the unity of diverse cultures. Quoting a phrase from the preamble of the U.S. Constitution, he called for "a more perfect Union," instead of racial conflicts and retaliations. Many white Americans accepted Obama's convincing and eloquent speech to overcome racial barriers and support him. His decision not to raise the racial issue during his campaign even when McCain appeared to be losing support is appreciated.

 オバマ氏は多文化の統合の象徴として自分の人生を語ってきた。人種間の対立や報復ではなく、憲法前文を引用して「より完全な連合」を呼びかけた。説得力ある雄弁を受け入れ、人種の壁を越えて支持した白人もいただろう。マケイン氏が苦戦になっても「人種カード」を切らなかったことも評価したい。

It is hoped that Obama will take this opportunity to make sure that the U.S. directly faces its history of slavery, which should be called the original sin of the U.S., and move toward reconciliation between conflicting ethnic groups.

 米国の原罪ともいえる奴隷制の歴史を直視し、人種対立が和解に向かう契機とするよう望みたい。

◇希望作る民主主義

This is also a good opportunity for Japan to build new relations with the United States. As a loyal partner, Tokyo should seek to deepen its relations with Washington. If the economic crisis becomes more serious and a growing number of people lose their jobs, the United States could look inward and lean toward protectionism. Obama should suppress such temptations and ensure that the United States remains an open country.

 日本にとっては、新しい日米関係をオバマ新政権と築く好機だ。良きパートナーとして協力を深める道を探りたい。経済危機がさらに深刻化し失業者が増えると、米国は内向きになり保護主義に傾く恐れもある。オバマ氏はそうした誘惑を排し、開かれた米国を維持するよう努めてほしい。

A U.S. presidential race is regarded as a quadrennial revolution. Obama was an unfamiliar politician to nearly half of Americans when he declared his candidacy in February last year. Volunteers launched a nationwide grass-roots campaign for Obama and visited households, calling on numerous people to ask them to support him. Obama's campaign workers were successful in having a record number of people register as voters and in collecting a record amount of campaign funds.

 大統領選挙は「4年ごとの革命」といわれる。オバマ氏は昨年2月の立候補表明時には国民の半数近くが「よく知らない」政治家だった。全米で組織した草の根ボランティアが戸別訪問や電話で国民一人一人に支持を働きかけた。有権者登録も選挙資金集めも史上最大のスケールで実現した。

Desire for "change" and a "reset" inspired the public to participate in politics at an unprecedented level. At the same time, it should be noted that the Republicans and the Democrats share the common values of freedom, equality and the guarantee of opportunities that the United States embraces as its philosophy. Even though the country has been split as a result of the election, it can rejoin as long as all Americans share this philosophy. The United States demonstrated that the desire for challenge can be built on the strength of democracy that embraces both conflict and agreement.

 空前の政治参加の熱気を支えたのは、チェンジとリセットへの欲求だった。同時に、理念の国米国が掲げる自由、平等、機会の保障といった価値観を共和党と民主党が共有していることも見逃せない。選挙で分裂しても基本理念の共有があれば、再出発できる。対立と一致を組み込んだ民主主義の強さの上にチェンジの希望が成立する仕組みを、米国民は世界に示した。

毎日新聞 2008116日 004

|

« 企業中間決算 | トップページ | 旅行・ギフト・エンタメ »

02-英字新聞(毎日)」カテゴリの記事

コメント

コメントを書く



(ウェブ上には掲載しません)




« 企業中間決算 | トップページ | 旅行・ギフト・エンタメ »