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Open letter from a fellow Taiwanese-American to family and friends: About Trump, who is bad for all of us; about our battle for Taiwan, about our fight for humanity

一位台美人給家人及朋友的公開信

--為何川普對我們會造成損害,為何我們要為台灣及人道奮鬥

 

By Abraham Young (楊立心)

Alisan 阿里山 (Photo caption: By LianKaiYu - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=79538236)


Part I.
一、

I have appreciated having many in-depth conversations with you, and much discussion not only on why Trump is dangerous and harmful to so many including “us,” the US, and even Taiwan, but also on larger topics that in the end relate, for this moment, to our upcoming few weeks and who we vote for November 2020.  In these discussions, when our preconceived thoughts have differed, I’ve appreciated how we’ve kept the mutual understanding that each of us are discussing passionately based off of intentions for what is truly best for human beings, humanity, and a better world that we each have in mind, in whatever context and wherever that may be.  

And I appreciate that you have listened and engaged keeping to that intention, and you have asked me to write down into bullet points some of what we have talked about, so you can send these points--that have been persuasive to you and have convinced you to no longer vote for Trump--to your friends in the Taiwanese-American community, many of whom you know currently plan on voting for Trump.  So, here are the bullet points:

我很高興與各位有機會進行深度對話,不僅討論為什麼川普對包括在美國、甚至是在台灣的“我們”及許多人都會構成危害,而且最終還討論到涉及更廣大的議題,從此刻到未來幾周以及我們將在2020年11月投票支持的人選。在這些討論中,當我們各自都有先入為主的不同想法時,我很感謝我們仍然保持相互理解,不論在何種情況下,我們每個人都出於好意且熱情地進行討論,無論在何處,我們都真正想為人類,人道和我們想像的更美好世界做出真正最好的努力。

我感謝您們的傾聽並致力持續的對話,同時要我列出我們討論的一些內容要點,以便您們再將這些要點發送出去給您們在台美社群的朋友們(目前您知道的許多人計劃投票給川普),這些要點對您們很有說服力,並且也已說服您們不再投票給川普。於此,請見下列要點:

  • You sent me the text message: “I do not like trump for what he has been doing over the 4 years, except his China policy.  In the same time I am very worry of Biden’s past record toward China. Will Biden and his team continue Trump team’s policy if he wins the election?”

您給我發了一條短訊說:除了他的對中政策外,我不喜歡川普這四年來所做的一切。 同時,我非常擔心拜登過去對中政策的記錄。 如果拜登贏得選舉,他和他的團隊會繼續執行川普團隊的政策嗎?

  • No, Biden won’t be Trump, and we will need to fight Biden if he is elected to be the best he can become on Taiwan, as well as on so many other issues (he has already improved his stance this year--after a lot of people worked very hard to push him--on some big issues that he was bad about before, such as climate change). 
    不,拜登不會是川普,如果拜登當選,我們將需要與拜登奮戰,要求他能夠在台灣以及其他許多議題上都做到最好(經過許多人努力地督促他,他今年已經改善在一些重大議題的立場,諸如氣候變化之議題)。

 

Trump has been the most dangerous U.S. President in our lifetimes:
川普一直是我們有史以來最危險的美國總統: 

  • Looking at just this election and the 2 choices on it, Trump and his administration is quite literally psychopathic, bigoted in his words and sweeping radical policies—created and implemented with his white-supremacist senior advisor Stephen Miller like I was explaining to you (“Stephen Miller’s Affinity for White Nationalism Revealed in Leaked Emails”, Nov. 12, 2019 article from the Southern Poverty Law Center).
    看看這次選舉中的兩個選擇,川普和他的政府在其偏執的言論及廣泛的激進政策上都堪稱精神異常,就像我向你解釋的,這些言論及政策都是由他那位篤信白人至上主義的高級顧問斯蒂芬·米勒所創和執行( 見2019年11月12日刊登於南方貧困法律中心的文章斯蒂芬·米勒(Stephen Miller)在洩密電子郵件中揭示了白人民族主義的親和力)。


  • In addition to just white supremacy and the highest office in the land being part of a new KKK-type movement in our country, for so many other topics Trump has been dangerous and harmful these 4 years--and will be even more the next 4 years--for us, me you and those we love and the next generations, the US as a country, democracy here and everywhere, and even risky and/or harmful for Taiwan, because…
    除了白人至上主義和我們的國家最高層辦公室做為新型KKK同質性運動中的一部分外,川普在這四年中還對其他許多議題都造成危險和損害,而這些危險跟損害在接下來的4年將更為嚴重, 對我們來說,對我,對您和我們所愛的人以及下一代,美國這個國家,在美國及全球各地的民主,甚至對台灣都是危險和有害的,因為-- 

U.S. allies do not benefit from erratic and unreliable U.S. leaders, and Trump has been the most erratic of any:

美國的盟邦無法受益於不穩定和不可靠的美國領導人,而川普一直是最不穩定的: 

Again, Trump has been the most dangerous U.S. President in our lifetimes, and another 4 years will be even more so:

川普是我們有生以來最危險的美國總統,而再過四年,情況將更為加劇: 

  • Like we talked about, there are too many tremendous topics that have never before been so directly linked to 4 years of a president—including violent racist white supremacy; not only blatant denial of climate change of earth but the major dismantling of any domestic/international progress to avert climate catastrophe that has been and could be made; nuclear weapons/nuclear war ratcheting up these 4 years, and again the major reversal of any progress to avert nuclear catastrophe that has been and could be made; the denial and suppression of facts/progress leading us to the COVID-19 catastrophe here in the U.S. (the U.S. death toll as a percentage of our population is higher than that of almost every other wealthy country in the world; for instance, our death rate is 2.5 times that of Canada, next door to us) due to how COVID-19 was handled domestically—all these and more have caused direct harm already to so many of us and people we know and love (plus so many more we don’t know but are in our midst and unjustly harmed), direct harm already to our core principles of democracy, and direct harm to the homes/places we love; and if we allow a second term, another 4 years of a Trump administration, the future risk of direct and irreversible harm to so many of us, our democracy, and safety in the world will be unimaginable—now, and later (in your grandkids’, and their own kids’, lifetimes). 
    就像我們所說的那樣,有太多巨大的話題與過去四年的總統做為直接相關,包括暴力的種族主義白人至上;不僅公然否認地球的氣候變遷,而且大肆瓦解所有為避免氣候災難所採取的國內及國際作為已獲得及可能有的進展;核武/核戰在過去的四年中迅速發展,並且在防止和消除核災方面所取得的任何進展再次逆轉;因為美國在面對國內疫情時,對事實及進展的否定和壓制,造成我們美國本地的新冠肺炎(COVID-19)大災難(美國死亡人數占全國人口總數的百分比遠高於世界其他富裕國家;例如,我們的死亡率是鄰國加拿大的2.5倍)。所有這些種種事情及更多其他的議題都已對我們許多人以及我們所認識和所愛的人造成直接傷害(還有許多我們不認識的人也受到不公義的傷害),已經對我們的民主核心價值造成直接傷害,也對我們所愛的家園造成直接傷害;如果我們允許川普政府第二任期,即川普政府再續任四年,實在無法想像對我們眾人、我們的民主和世界安全所造成的直接及不可逆轉的傷害之未來風險有多大(在您的孫輩們及他們孩子的一生)。

  • And even on the topic of Taiwan alone, in my and many thoughtful people’s opinion, Trump will actually hurt and increase the risk to Taiwan’s security, sovereignty, peace, existence and independence—which are the actual goals of all of us who fight for Taiwan—so voting Trump at the least is not even a sure vote to help Taiwan and the Taiwanese people.
    在我和許多深思熟慮的人的觀點,甚至就台灣而言,川普實際上也會傷害及升高對台灣的安全,主權,和平,存在和獨立的風險,而這些都是我們為台灣奮鬥的所有人的目標。因此投票給川普甚至都不會幫到台灣和台灣人民。 

Trump’s authoritarian words and actions are like no U.S. President before:

川普的專制言論和行動與以往美國總統截然不同: 

Trump and his administration has unprecedented levels of conflict of interest:
川普及其政府的利益衝突程度堪稱前所未有: 

  • About, as you mentioned, vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris’s husband’s job’s financial overlaps in China, or about each candidate’s and their family's potential for conflicts of interest: don't forget that Trump's daughter Ivanka (who is presidential senior advisor) has huge business dealings in China including during Trump's presidency (“Ivanka Trump won China trademarks days before her father's reversal on ZTE”, May 2018 article from The Guardian); and of course Donald Trump's own businesses too...
    正如您提到的那樣,關於副總統候選人賀錦麗其夫婿的工作在商業利益上與中國有關,或者關於每位候選人及其家人的潛在利益衝突:但別忘了川普的女兒伊凡卡(現在是總統高級顧問)也在中國擁有巨大的商業交易,包括川普擔任總統期間(《衞報》在2018年5月刊載的文章《伊凡卡·川普在其父親對中興通訊的立場翻轉之前贏得中國註冊商標》);當然也別忘了川普的兒子唐納德·川普自身的生意...


  • About the larger topic of conflict of interests: it has been widely covered since Trump’s election that he with his global Trump brand/companies has the most conflicts of interest of any president in U.S. history, and in 2016 he refused to divest himself from his businesses (plus, just this month Trump's leaked taxes show he owes $400+ million, payment which is due in the coming years, so Trump desperately needs his income from his businesses).  And Trump's business dealings definitely include China which has been reported on in 2017 when during Trump's business transactions in PRC he endorsed the "One China" policy and threw Taiwan under the bus—see the article at the bottom. 
    關於更巨大的利益衝突議題:自川普當選以來,他所擁有遍佈全球的川普品牌/公司讓他位居美國史上利益衝突之冠的總統,這件事情已經被廣泛報導。2016年時,他拒絕從自己的商務企業退出(加上,就在這個月:根據外流的川普稅務資料顯示他欠繳400多億美元,這筆款項需要在未來幾年繳清,所以川普迫切需要他的商業收入)。川普的商業交易對象肯定包括中國,據2017年的報導,川普在中國的商業交易期間支持「一個中國」政策,並將台灣棄之如敝屣。相關資訊請參閱底部的文章。 

Trump has far from a superb record on standing up for Taiwan, for Hong Kong, for democracy; rather, he is unpredictable, dangerous and risky for Taiwan and Taiwanese-Americans to support:

川普在支持台灣,香港,及民主方面實在沒有什麼輝煌記錄。相反的,支持川普對於台灣和台裔美人而言是不可預測的,危險的及有風險的: 

“ ...川普總統曾表示,他“與習近平站在一起”,而不是支持那群勇敢的香港人,為了中國政府曾經承諾過的自由和自治而奮戰。數月後,川普急切地簽署他那份空洞的貿易協議,對習近平充滿了信心……”

  • At the least, Trump is erratic, risky, without principle and unpredictable, just like he was with the Kurds, just like he had been with Taiwan/Hong Kong in these examples, and numerous major policy examples of unpredictability that happen seemingly every month or two throughout the years of his presidency. 
    至少,川普是不穩定,冒​​險,沒有原則和不可預測的,就像他對庫德族人一樣,就像在這些例子中他對台灣及香港一樣,而且在他擔任總統時似乎每一兩個月都會發生許多不可預測的重大政策轉變。


  • I have sensed from you all and a majority of the Taiwanese-American[1]community the assured opinion that Trump has been and will be the absolute "best thing for Taiwan"--however, that black-and-white opinion in the news you all are getting is highly influenced/dominated by Republican and right-wing conservative think tanks and war hawks funded for decades by the billions-dollar military-industry—an industry where there obviously is incentive to always in the end favor unending conflict, so as to continue more expensive arms purchases/sales, on any side of a conflict.  This military-industry, that influences these Republican/right-wing think tanks and war hawks, does not care for Taiwanese-Americans’/our goals for Taiwan: of actual peace, independence, democracy, security and existence.  So for this and many other reasons, again, I think it's worth taking a moment to question this black-and-white view that Trump = the best thing for Taiwan.
    我從你們和大多數台裔美人社群[2]中感受到一種有保證的觀點,即川普上任至今且未來續任絕對是“對台灣最好的事情”,但是,你們大家所看到非黑即白的觀點及論述都是受到共和黨和右翼保守派智囊團和鷹派所影響,這些人數十年來接受軍火商數十億美元的資助。這些軍火業者總是支持無止盡的衝突,以便繼續在衝突的各方都能進行更多的軍備銷售。影響這些共和黨/右翼智囊團和戰鷹的軍火商並不關心台裔美人或是我們期盼台灣達到的目標:真正的和平,獨立,民主,安全和生存。因此,基於這個原因和許多其他理由,我認為值得花一點時間質疑這種觀點--即川普=對台灣最有利。

---------
[1]
Of note: I do recognize that Taiwanese-Americans are not a monolith, and include 350,000+ people with diverse economic class, family backgrounds, U.S. immigration stories, levels of interest/involvement in politics and a broad spectrum of political stripes on the issues within the U.S. and on Taiwan.  However, in this Open Letter, for the purpose of conciseness, when I refer to “Taiwanese-Americans” I am specifically referring to those I am most familiar and mostly grew up interacting with: Taiwanese-Americans who tend to be or have become middle- to upper-class, whose family emigrated to the U.S. ~3-5 decades ago, a large portion whose family professions are academics/doctors/scientists/engineers/business-persons, most of who are DPP/“Green”-aligned and who were supportive of or participants in the movement for democracy during Taiwan’s martial law period, who during that time were friends with or were themselves blacklisted--or even persecuted--by the authoritarian KMT, and who since living here in the U.S. have participated or organized in Taiwan-advocacy groups like Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA), Formosa Foundation (now ended; “End of an Era: Farewell to the Formosa Foundation”, February 2017, article from TaiwaneseAmerican.org), Global Taiwan Institute (formed recent years), etc.

 ----------------

[2] 值得注意的是:我確實認識到,台灣裔美國人並不是一個單一性巨大機構,而是包括35萬多名經濟階級,家庭背景,美國移民故事,對政治的興趣/參與程度以及對內在問題的美國和台灣等廣泛政治分歧的人。 但是,在此公開信中,為簡潔起見,當我提到“台灣裔美國人”時,我指的是我最熟悉的人,並且大多數是在與他們互動時長大的:傾向於或已經成為中上層階級的台灣裔美國公民,其家庭大約在30-50年前移居美國,其中很大一部分家庭職業是學者/醫生/科學家/工程師/商人,這群台美人是民進黨及綠營聯盟的人,他們也是台灣戒嚴時期推動民主運動的支持者或參與者,在那段時間被威權政府的國民黨列為黑名單的人相識或自身被列入黑名單,甚至遭到迫害 ,並且在美國居住期間曾參加或組織過台灣倡議團體,如台灣人公共事務會(FAPA),福爾摩沙基金會(已停止運作的“時代的終結:對福爾摩沙基金會的永別”, 來自TaiwaneseAmerican.org2017年2月的文章),全球台灣研究中心(近幾年成立的)等。

I know you have not seen it that way, and maybe still do not, but: Trump has already harmed the U.S.’s standing in the world, and given up global influence to China, which is all bad for Taiwan:

我想你尚未注意到這個面象:川普實際上已經損害到美國在世界上的地位,並放棄了對中國的全球影響力,這對台灣都是不利的: 

  • Another point, made in "An Open Letter to the Taiwanese American Community: Securing Taiwan’s Democracy 給台美人的一封公開信:守護台灣民主" written recently by the founder of NATWA2 and the founder of ITASA (which were the Taiwanese-American conferences that many of us in the 2nd generation attended) is that Trump has significantly weakened the U.S.'s standing in the world, which has strengthened China; and Trump has weakened U.S.'s State Department and U.S.'s role in international organizations, a vacuum that has been filled by China's influence--all this has been and will be in the long-term harmful to Taiwan.
    另一個觀點是在NATWA2的創始成員(第二代台美婦女)和ITASA的創始成員(即台美人第二代大學校際聯盟)最近寫的《給台灣人社區的公開信:守護台灣民主》中提出,川普大大削弱了美國在全球的地位,使中國得以更加強大。川普削弱了美國國務院以及美國在國際組織中的地位及功能,這個真空地位已經被中國的影響力所填補-從長遠來看,這一切對台灣都是有害的。


  • Like we've talked about: Not only are there tremendous--even historical--reasons why it's imperative to vote out this very dangerous white-supremacist, anti-science, incompetent, authoritarian, fascist president Trump, reasons that directly affect/harm each of us, the people we love, and this democracy/country/world that we cherish... even just on the topic of Taiwan, it is not so clear to me that Trump is so amazing for Taiwan like you've heard.
    就像我們已經談論過的那樣:不僅有許多原因,甚至還有歷史因素,都必須用選票將這位非常危險的白人至上,反科學,無能,專制,法西斯主義總統川普送出白宮,因為他直接影響/傷害我們每個人,我們熱愛的人民以及我們珍視的這個民主/國家/世界...即使只是在台灣這個議題上,我也不懂為什麼川普對台灣有什麼好。 

Trump has already thrown Taiwan under the bus, and he wouldn’t hesitate to do it again, if the incentives for him change tomorrow, next month, or anytime in the next 4 years:
川普已經拋棄過台灣,如果明天,下個月或未來四年中的任何時間點對他有利,他都會毫不猶豫地再次棄台灣於不顧: 

“... China’s approval of one of Trump’s trademark applications became official—coincidentally only a few days after Trump reversed his previous position and endorsed the “one China” policy. This policy effectively recognizes the People’s Republic of China as the legitimate government of the mainland territory while allowing the lU.S. government to have unofficial relations with Taiwan, governed by the Republic of China. In March 2017, China granted preliminary approval for 38 additional Trump trademarks, applications for which had been submitted in April 2016...”
2017年6月美國進步中心刊登的文章《川普在中國的利益衝突》
“ ...中國正式批准川普的一項商標申請案,時機很巧的就在川普推翻其先前的立場並贊同「一個中國」政策的幾天之後。 該政策有效地承認中華人民共和國為大陸領土的合法政府,同時允許美國政府與中華民國管轄的台灣建立非正式關係。 2017年3月,中國初步批准了另外38項於2016年4月提交的川普商標申請案……” 

And lastly: 

最後: 

  • In putting together these bullet points, I found this article published this month on Lausan, a leftist anti-imperialist de-colonial and progressivist Hong Kong-based publication, and authored by a founding editor of a different publication called New Bloom (“an online magazine featuring radical perspectives on Taiwan and the Asia-Pacific. New Bloom was founded by a group of students and activists after the 2014 Sunflower Movement in Taiwan. We seek to provide a space that fosters political and intellectual transnational dialogues in the Left.”): “Movements in Taiwan and Hong Kong must not idealize America: American support for the movements of Taiwan and Hong Kong will only go as far as they are useful for American empire” describes his observations that overlap as well with a number of points that were mentioned above:
    在總結這些要點時,我發現這篇刊登在本月份香港刊物「流傘」的文章,「流傘」是一份左派反帝國主義、反殖民主義,具有進步價值觀的刊物,這篇文章作者是《破土》(New Bloom)的創社編輯主筆,(《 破土》是《一本呈現關於台灣及亞太基進觀點的線上雜誌。破土由一群學生及社會運動者在2014年太陽花運動後成立。在此,我們力圖提供一個空間,以促成左翼政治及智識的跨國對話。》):「台灣和香港的運動不應將美國理想化:美國對台灣和香港運動的支持只會在對美國帝國有利的情況下發展。」這位作者的觀察與上面所提的許多觀點都相互輝映:

    “...A specter looming over the Trump presidency’s relation to Taiwan and Hong Kong has been the possibility of the American government abandoning either to make a trade deal with China. In his recently published tell-all about his time within the Trump administration, former National Security Advisor John Bolton, himself a noted China hawk, pointed out that Trump continually suggested abandoning Taiwan or Hong Kong because the Chinese economy was so much larger.

    Of course, whether the country has been under the Trump administration or other presidential administrations, America has only backed Taiwan or Hong Kong because they serve as useful proxies in its geopolitical contest with China. Support for Taiwan and Hong Kong will only go as far as both are useful for the US...”

    “ ...川普政府可能放棄台灣和香港而與中國達成貿易協議。 前國家安全顧問約翰·波頓本人是著名的對中鷹派人士,在他最近發表新書中,波頓將他在川普政府任職期間的觀察指出,川普不斷建議放棄台灣或香港,因為中國的經濟相對之下是更加龐大。


當然,無論是川普政府還是其他總統執政,美國祇會在與中國的地緣政治競賽中對其有利時支持台灣和香港。”

  • Although, in his argument here I believe his last 2 sentences stop short and does not account for the possibility there can be non-conventional and/or novel ways to sustain/grow U.S.’s support for Taiwan and Taiwan’s own democracy, domestically, plus its strength and resilience, internationally.  For instance, Taiwan has advanced its international standing this year—not “because of Trump” as I’ve heard adopted by a majority of Taiwanese-Americans as the conventional wisdom, but—as a product of its superb handling of this COVID-19 pandemic protecting the health of Taiwanese—and thereby, the world’s—people, utilizing Taiwan’s robust universal healthcare and public health systems domestically, and its smart/effective “Taiwan Can Help” campaigns abroad.  Also, bright new transnational leaders in the midst like Audrey Tang in President Tsai’s administration have been successfully prominent on US/global outlets and social media (“Taiwanese digital minister shares country’s coronavirus response on CNN”, June 2020, article on Taiwan News) promoting and thereby effectively helping Taiwan—and, in a very different way than the usual, countering China’s efforts to marginalize Taiwan. 
    儘管我在他的論點中相信他的最後兩句話結尾未盡其意,並且沒有考量到可能存在的非常規和/或新穎的方式來維持及增加美國對台灣的支持和台灣國內民主力量,加上其在國際上的實力和彈性。例如,台灣今年已大幅提高其國際知名度-不是像我所聽到的那樣“因為有川普”的傳統觀念,而是台灣在對抗全球新冠肺炎疫情的作為上優秀出色的因應措施,不僅保護了全台灣人的健康,也同時保護全球人類。人民在國內利用台灣健全的全民醫療健保和公共衛生系統,同時在海外展開明智/有效的「台灣也能幫忙」運動;以及像蔡總統政府中的唐鳳(Audrey Tang)等傑出的跨國新領導人,她在美國/全球媒體和社交平台上都成功地讓台灣脫穎而出(2020年6月《台灣新聞》刊載一篇「台灣數位部長在CNN分享該國對新冠病毒的因應方式」),替台灣在國際上做了有效的推廣及行銷,並用與以往不同的方式與中國抗衡,不讓台灣被中國邊緣化。


  • If we can reallocate our attention to question the conventional wisdom of how Taiwanese-Americans should/can advocate for Taiwan in U.S. politics, and proceed to discuss and seek novel paradigms on these goals, this will help us to break out of the overall trend that has instead led to Taiwanese-Americans shaped/aligned suffocatingly with only certain U.S. political ideologies and groups/think tanks.  I and many others I know are surprised and concerned, learning that nearly the entire Taiwanese-American community (especially the 1st generation) and the Taiwanese-American mindset have gotten behind and fully on-board with now a dangerous, anti-democratic and even authoritarian/fascist—and risky—Trump.  Fortunately, the beginning antidote is for counter-arguments and debate, like I know many (mostly younger) Taiwanese-Americans are also now having with their families, like the debates me and you have on occasion had here.
    如果我們可以重新分配心力來審視台裔美人應如何在美國政治中倡議台灣議題的傳統智慧,並持續討論和尋求可達到目標的新穎範例,將有助於我們擺脫長久以來的趨勢,反造成台裔美人與某些美國政治意識形態和團體/智庫緊密到另人窒息的連結。我和我認識的許多人知道幾乎多數台美人社區(尤其是第一代)和台美人的思維已經加入危險、反民主甚至威權主義/法西斯主義的川普時,我們都深感訝異和擔憂。幸運的是,初步的解毒劑就是提出反駁論述及積極討論,就像我知道許多(大多數是年輕的)台裔美人現在也開始和家人一起討論,就像我和你有時在這裡進行的辯證一樣。 

Part II.
二、 

An addendum, after further discussion and debate with family and friends regarding Part I of this Open Letter, above

在與家人和朋友就上述公開信進行進一步討論和辯證之後的附錄 

Respectfully, my thoughts differ on a number of your points, and I'll explain a few of them.

請容我尊敬地對您的觀點表達自身不同的看法,我將解釋其中的一些觀點。 

  • Like you, I also have noted these 3 years Trump's infamous tendency to go back on his word, including like you mention his word after the 2016 election to link Taiwan as a chip for a US-China trade deal, which, with much unpredictable fortune, thank goodness has not harmed Taiwan yet--but I'd rather altogether Taiwan not be reduced to a bargaining chip in his or anyone's larger geopolitical blatant maneuverings, or "deals."  Trump or anyone doing so not only diminishes/demeans Taiwan/its people/its democracy, but--even more importantly--is risky, and gambling is not the prudent nor strategically optimal approach when such a grave issue as Taiwan is on the line.  The gamble in this case would be betting that in the coming 4 years of a lame-duck term, Trump (if he is elected president in 2020) won't continue putting Taiwan on the table as a bargaining chip, and in the scenario that he does, that the chips will not fall tragically one day to the detriment of Taiwan, the way they did for the Kurds. 
    像您一樣,我也注意到川普這三年來惡名昭彰的說話不算話的性格傾向,包括如同您提及在2016年大選後,川普將台灣作為美中貿易協定的談判籌碼所言,謝天謝地,還好這些尚未對台灣構成損害-但我寧願完全不要讓台灣淪為他或任何人在更大的地緣政治上可公然運用或用以「交易」的談判籌碼。川普或任何這樣做的人不僅會削弱/貶低台灣/人民/民主,而且-更重要的是-風險很大,而且在台灣這樣嚴肅的議題上,賭博既不是審慎的策略,也不是戰略上最佳的方法。在這種情況下的賭博將押注,在未來四年的跛腳任期中,川普(如果他在2020年當選總統)將不會繼續將台灣用為議價籌碼,並且在這種情況下,台灣不會淪為如同川普對庫德族人的悲劇下場。


  • One other related point that I had not added in previous exchanges within my previous letter is Trump's clear tendency in these 3 years to gravitate towards global authoritarians/dictators[3]: Phillipine's Duterte ("Trump called Rodrigo Duterte to congratulate him on his murderous drug war: "You are doing an amazing job"", May 2017, article from The Intercept); Brazil's Bolsinaro; Russia's Putin; Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Bin-Salman, who ordered the assissination and dismemberment last year of Washington Post journalist Jamal Kashogi who spoke up for Saudi Arabian democracy & human rights in the same way as so many Taiwanese journalists did throughout Taiwan's martial law ("Trump praises Saudi crown prince, ignores questions on Khashoggi killing", June 2019, article from Politico); and during specific instances of when PRC's Xi Jinping strongarmed democratic movements in Hong Kong ("Trump praises Chinese leader, not Hong Kong protesters seeking democratic reforms", August 2019, article from LA Times), or when Xi dismantled possibilities of democracy in the PRC ("'Maybe we'll give that a shot': Donald Trump praises Xi Jinping's power grab", March 2018, article from The Guardian), those are times when Trump has praised/admired Xi Jinping;
    我在信件草稿中沒有在以前的交談中加入的另一個相關論點是,川普在這三年中的明顯傾向與全球極權者/獨裁者[4]:菲律賓總統杜特蒂 (2017年5月,The Intercept的文章「川普致電杜特蒂祝賀其近乎謀殺型的毒品戰爭:”您做得很棒!」);巴西總統波所納洛;俄羅斯總統普汀;沙烏地阿拉伯的王儲沙爾曼於去年下令殺害並支解華盛頓郵報記者賈馬爾·卡修吉(Jamal Kashogi),卡修及為沙烏地阿拉伯的民主與人權辯護,就像許多台灣記者在戒嚴時期所做的那樣(2019年6月,Politico 的文章「”川普稱讚沙國王儲,無視於卡修吉被謀殺的問題」);以及在中國習近平在強勢鎮壓香港民主運動的特定情況下(2019年8月,《洛杉磯時報》刊載「川普稱讚中國領導人,而非追求民主改革的香港示威者」》的文章),或者摧毀中國民主的可能性(2018年3月,《衛報》的文章「也許我們會試一試”:川普讚揚習近平的掌權」),這些都是川普讚揚習近平時期所講的話。

----------------------
[3]
And this tendency towards authorianism/violence of Trump extends back way beyond these 3 years as U.S. President, to many decades ago: Trump, as civilian business mogul, in 1989 expressed admiration for China's crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protestors ("When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak," as Trump said in an interview in 1990); and in 1989 he went out of his way to call nationally for the death penalty for 5 black and Latino boys even before their trial was over, 5 kids who subsequently were wrongly convicted and sent to prison, which Trump still refuses to apologize for nor retract his statements ("Trump Will Not Apologize for Calling for Death Penalty Over Central Park Five", June 2019, article from the NY Times).  This latter instance intersects with the other dangers of Trump during this presidency, as mentioned before, of his affinity to and admiration by white supremacy/white supremacists and fascism/fascists.

[4] 川普這種專制主義/暴力的傾向可以追溯到前美國總統時代到幾十年前:川普仍是一為平民富商時,對當時在1989年中國鎮壓北京天安門抗議者表示欽佩 (“進入天安門廣場時,中國政府幾乎搞砸一切。然後,他們以惡毒,恐怖,但堅決展示軍隊力量才得以鎮壓下來。我們的國家現在被認為是軟弱的,” 川普1990年的一次採訪); 1989年,他挺身在全美國公開要求對5個黑人和拉丁裔男孩判處死刑,甚至在他們的審判還沒有結束之前,5個孩子隨後被誤判定罪入監服刑,川普至今仍拒絕為此事道歉或撤回他的聲明(“川普不會道歉要求對中央公園五號判處死刑”,2019年6月,《紐約時報》的文章)。如前所述,後一種

 Finally:

最後: 

  • Another strategic loss, a big one in my opinion, of the strategy for Taiwanese-Americans to "put our chips" in a racist/white supremacist/anti-science/authoritarian U.S. president like Trump, who has become the epitome and embodiment of immoral, raw calculation, and naked self-interest, would be our self-inflicted relinquishment of any moral compass/moral authority in Taiwanese-Americans' call for the U.S. to support and defend Taiwan based on Taiwan's democracy and human rights example, against the authoritarian anti-democratic PRC.  This narrative loss of Taiwan's and Taiwanese-Americans' reason and moral authority would strike
    在我看來還有另一個重大的策略損失,台灣人將籌碼放在像川普這樣的種族主義者/白人至上主義者/反科學主義者/專制美國總統的人身上,川普已成為一個缺乏道德,毫不遮掩其算計及完全個人利益的縮影及體現者,當我們台裔美人呼籲美國基於台灣的民主和人權典範支持捍衛台灣以對抗專制反民主的中華人民共和國時,對川普的支持等於是道德權威上的自傷。 台灣和台裔美人的理性和道德權威也將因此種支持川普的論述而遭受打擊,例如--

  1. the U.S. population, the audience that 1st and 2nd generations have been working so hard for so many years to educate about Taiwan's story and to convince;
    第一代和第二代台美人多年來一直如此努力地教育美國人關於台灣的故事並說服他們支持台灣;

  2. the U.S. politicians who want and need a moral narrative in order to successfully advocate--or be persuaded to advocate--for Taiwan; and
    願意和需要道德論述才能成功地為台灣辯護的美國政治人物,或需要道德論述才能說服願意為台灣辯護的美國政治人物; 和

  3. this narrative loss would even strike Taiwanese-Americans ourselves who are/would be demoralized (and as an example: me; as well as so many others I know, particularly among the 2nd generation[5]) to know/find out that the stories the 1st generation told us that introduced us into this lifelong fight for Taiwan, stories about the human rights/humanity within Taiwan's democratization/sovereignty and the defense of it, were hollow at best, if not opportunistically false altogether; and the truth being that that morality, that support for and defense of democracy & human rights--which was our sail and our North Star in our work for Taiwan--is abandoned/ignored and even violated by us when it comes to applying that same morality in support of anything other than what we think would help our Taiwanese-American cause, or when it comes to "Others," whether it be those in danger to authoritarianism and violent oppression elsewhere abroad, or those harmed and in danger here in the U.S. by Trump these 4 years (and subsequent 4 years, if he wins), which I for one know is/would be all of us, to varying degrees.  Including quite possibly Taiwan, as mentioned above.
    這種論述上的失分甚至會打擊到我們台裔美人的士氣(例如:我;以及我認識的很多其他人,尤其是第二代[6]),我們會發現第一代父母輩跟我們述說的台灣歷史及事件,這些促使我們加入這場一生都在為台灣而奮戰的意願及認知,關於台灣民主化/主權/人權/人道及為了捍衛所有這些故事的理由,原來都只是空洞的,甚至完全是機會主義的誤謬。事實是,道德-這是指引我們在做台灣事務的風帆和北極星-完全被拋棄/忽視,甚至在我們運用相同道德在其他人事物時,我們卻背叛這個指標。當道德只用來支持我們認為有助於台美人議題的事情上,但當涉及“其他人”的問題及情事,無論是那些身處威權主義的危險下,及在國外其他地方遭受暴力壓迫的人們,還是在川普過去四年任期內(如果他獲勝,則為隨後的4年)受到傷害/危險的人,我深知這是/將是我們所有人,包括很可能如上述的情況,對台灣也會造成危害。

--------------------
[5]
From even a purely strategic and practical sense: this narrative loss and demoralization of a large portion of 2nd generation Taiwanese-Americans would harm the future prospects of the passionate people/workforce needed to carry on Taiwan’s cause in the U.S. and beyond.

[6] 若純粹從戰略和實際意義上而言:第二代台美人的論述損失和士氣低落將嚴重影響我們在美國及其他地區推動台灣事務所需的熱情人力及工作能量的未來前景。


Part 3

三、 

What you read here was initially exchanged in emails/texts; then compiled by request from a family member to send to their friends; and now made available here in the form of an open letter, in the case that it may be of wider usefulness to Taiwanese-Americans who might find the points of interest, or think it useful in the near future for starting conversation/debate with their own family/friends about this election (and beyond).

您在此處閱讀的內容最初是透過電子郵件文字的方式溝通, 然後應家人的要求整理後,讓他們轉發給他們的朋友; 現在以公開信的形式在此處提供,可讓對此議題有興趣的朋友或認為近期內會與自己家人及朋友進行關於選舉的對話及辯論的台美人有助益。 

In my own experience of this exchange, with loved ones: these weeks (although, in truth, we have had numerous prior conversations, multiple instances, over many years about these topics, in other forms), I have appreciated the heartfelt value in humanity we share, as well as the heartfelt differences in paradigms we had and may still have.  Regarding those differences, I think of the words of Robert Jones, Jr. ("Son of Baldwin"), and add only 2 words to it (in bold): 

根據我與親愛的家人交流的經驗:這幾個星期(儘管事實上,我們多年來就這些主題已經以其他形式進行過多次對話及討論),我衷心感謝我們共享的人性價值,以及我們曾經及仍可能存在的差異。 關於這些差異,我想到了小羅伯特·瓊斯(Robert Jones,Jr.)(“Baldwin之子”)的話,並在其中僅添加了兩個詞(粗體): 

"We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my/others’ oppression and denial of my/others’ humanity and right to exist."  

我們可以不同意並仍然彼此相愛,除非您的不同意根源於我/其他人的壓迫,及對我/其他人的人性和生存權的否認。 

There are instances when arguing for dignity/human rights for "my" people--such as in our advocacy for Taiwan--we disregard (and even trample over) the dignity/human rights of "others."  I believe that the principles held in our advocacy for Taiwan must apply abroad and within, to "others" and to "us," and we must recognize that those distinctions are in actuality linked; we must recognize the necessity to dissolve previous borders between them.  This is for the health and coherence of our own humanity, and for practical ends.  

在某些情況下,當我們在爭辯「我的」人民的尊嚴與人權,例如在我們對台灣的倡議中,我們無視(甚至踐踏)「其他人」的尊嚴與人權。我認為我們為台灣倡議的原則必須適用於國內外的「其他」和「我們」,我們必須認識到這些區別實際上是聯繫在一起的;我們必須認識到必須消除它們先前存在的界線。這是為了我們自己人性的健康和一致性以及為了現實的目的。 

More concretely, I have in more recent years gained a newer perspective about Taiwanese-Americans' conventional advocacy for Taiwan in U.S. politics--which I and many of my family/friends have been a part of--and what I believe are its suffocating ties to certain ideologies and influences that hurt "others," that ultimately hurts Taiwan's cause itself.

更具體地說,最近幾年,我對台美人在美國政治中對台灣的常態性的倡議有了新的見解,我和我的許多家人/朋友都曾參與其中,我認為這令人窒息的意識形態連結及影響不僅傷害到「他人」,最終也損害了倡議的台灣事務。 

If you have read through to the end, here, I hope that you found this open letter helpful to you in some way, at this pivotal moment, and I appreciate your willingness to hear this through with an openness to honest conversation even when a conversation may include what might be an unconventional paradigm about the protection and advancement of Taiwan's humanity/democracy--which is the one goal I know that has always been shared and dear to the heart of everyone who has ever fought for Taiwan.

如果您已讀到這裡,我希望這是一封在關鍵時刻能幫助您的公開信,並且感謝您願意透過坦誠的對話來聆聽此信所要表達的訊息,這可能包括以非傳統認知推動保護和促進台灣人道及民主的發展-這是我所認知的目標,也是始終為所有為台灣而奮戰的每個人所分享及衷心珍愛的目標。


--作者 About the author

Abraham Young (楊立心) is the author of the pamphlet-book, “Humanity At Stake: On Why the World Should Now End China's Military & Political Aggression, Understand Taiwan's Democracy, and Defend 23 Million Citizens' Human Right to Self-Determination,” which was published in the US in 2008 (and received this book review in the Taipei Times) and later translated to Chinese and published in Taiwan by Taiwan Publishing Company.  In 2003 he was in the inaugural class of the Formosa Foundation’s(Los Angeles)summer internship “Ambassador Program”.
楊立心(Abraham Young)著有《人道危急:論為什麼世界現在應該結束中國的軍事和政治侵略,理解台灣的民主並捍衛2300萬公民的自決權》,該書於2008年在美國出版。 (並在《Taipei Times》上收到此書的評論),並由望春風出版公司翻譯成中文並在台灣出版。 2003年,他參加了第一屆福爾摩沙基金會(洛杉磯)夏季實習“大使計劃”。

 

Translator 中文翻譯: Echo Lin (林仁惠)

 



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