2021: PRC Party United Front Journal on US Political Decline, Perspectives on Chinese and Foreign Political Defense Issues

The PRC academic Journal of United Front Science published by the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party supports its domestic and foreign political influence work. I recently ran across it on a Chinese website and was fascinated. During my ten years working in China as a U.S. diplomat, I subscribed to several Communist Party journals including Seeking Truth [Qiushi 求是] to gain insights into thinking within the Chinese Communist Party. Reading these journals and reading widely in the Chinese press in general paid off in my discussions with Chinese Communist Party and government officials since I could could respond more effectively to their arguments and so we could have deeper and more interesting discussions. Letting them know they I already knew some of these things may have made them more open in their discussions with me.

Sometimes I would just quote Party talk at people to see what their response might be. In private discussions (people spoke most freely when there were no untrusted people about) I would often be interrupted by objections against Party-talk. This I thought was most valuable since I was not pushing them for what I would like to hear and so got a more authentic response. I think anthropologists use a similar technique in their participant observation studies.

The PRC United Front Work Department which has long been a tool of the Chinese Communist Party before 1949 to gain influence and allies among other parties and since 1949 to consolidate its leadership over Chinese society, including over some of the tolerated satellite parties which acknowledge that they are under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. More recently, the work of the United Front Work Department in foreign countries and especially on Chinese resident abroad, in Taiwan, in ethnic Chinese communities abroad and the Chinese language media abroad have gotten attention. For China, political security is an integral part of national security .This probably arises from the way the Chinese Communist Party (as policymaker) and the PRC state (as implementer) are so closely melded together.

The Journal of United Front Science was founded in 2017 two years after Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping declared that “United Front Work is a branch of science.” The title in Chinese Tǒngyī zhànxiàn xué yánjiū 统一战线研究 could have been “United Front Studies” or “Journal of United Front Studies Research”. The official English language title is however, Journal of United Front Science, subversive machine translation algorithms notwithstanding.

Google Translate of Baidu article on the Journal of United Front Science

Some Chinese media people and others involved in international affairs (a diplomat growing wolfish fangs and fur on the night of the full moon?) are probably reading these journals.

Countries are always trying to influence each other; at what point does normal persuasion become a hostile ‘influence operation’. Not an easy question.

Table of Contents of 2/2021 of the Journal of United Front Science

Other articles in the 2/2021 issue of United Front Science:

The other articles include discussions of Chinese Communist Party United Front Work Department history:

Abstract: In the century since the founding of the Communist Party of China, the United Front has played an important role in revolution, construction and reform. From the combined perspectives of political party, the state and society, the United Front is a strategic weapon of social revolution, the basis of modern state building, and the driving force of modernization. As a strategic weapon of social revolution, the United Front transforms the structures of political power in revolutionary times and becomes an institution promoting cohesiveness and political power in peacetime. As the basis of modern state building, the United Front has become a supportive structure within the modern state. The United Front has become a support structure within the modern state and its very foundation. The United Front embodies the practice of modern state building and governance with Chinese characteristics, and is the political and social science of the Communist Party of China. It provides an important model for building the discipline system, the academic system and discourse system of philosophy and social science with Chinese characteristics.

from “A Century of Development of the United Front of the Communist Party of China: Status and Role” Xiao Cunliang, (School of Marxism, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433)

the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on separatist movements in many countries:

Abstract: The spread and ravages of the novel coronavirus pneumonia pandemic around the world have created a serious public health crisis and a governance crisis in some countries. The impact of the pandemic has also hit a world of separatist movements and of anti-secession struggles. From the effect of on mobilization against the novel coronavirus pneumonia pandemic, we can see that the pandemic has been both a serious public health crisis and a governance crisis in some countries. Given the rapid mobilization of separatist forces during the epidemic, especially given the divergence of national capacities in the fight against the epidemic, the post-pandemic world, including our own country, is in a state of flux. In the post-pandemic era, countries around the world, including our own, still have a long way to go in the fight against separatism. At the global level, we must be vigilant against economic recession and national crises. At the domestic level, the a strong shared national community of all Chinese people must be firmly forged.

from “The Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Epidemic and the World Anti-Secessionist Posture” by Li Jie (Institute of Central Asian Studies/School of Politics and International Relations, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China)

China’s discourse power huayuquan 话语权 (sometimes translated as “China’s right to speak up” for China this seems to be about seizing control of the narrative by which China is understood in the world, a PR goal shared by many!):

Abstract: The international discourse of political party system mainly includes transactional discourse, institutional discourse and moral discourse. Constructing international discourse of China’s new political party system has three types of logic namely:

–Theoretical logic – to maintain the legitimacy of China’s new political party system,

–Historical logic – to demonstrate the legitimacy of China’s new political party system, and

–Practical logic – the need to expand international communication and exchange among political parties.

Building the international discourse of China’s new political party system has gone through three stages: starting, developing and strengthening. The realistic agenda of building the international discourse of China’s new political party system includes breaking down the iron curtain of the discourse of the Western political party system, enhancing the discourse ability of China’s new political party system, shaping the civilized image of China’s new political party system, and building the international discourse of the new political party system. The ultimate establishment of the international discourse of China’s new political party system requires improving the theoretical system of China’s new political party system, highlighting the practical effects of China’s new political party system, and smashing the discourse hegemony of Western party politics.

from “Building the International Discourse of China’s New Political Party System: The Historical Logic and Realistic Path” by Hua Zhengxue
(College of Marxism, Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310025, China)

Western human rights criticisms of China in Xinjiang and how China should respond:

Abstract: The U.S. human rights discourse on Xinjiang is not an isolated phenomenon but the result of steady adjustments in the U.S. strategy toward China. The U.S. government and the “Xinjiang independence” forces have gradually come closer and use one other. Based on identity positioning, agenda setting, and framework construction, the U.S. government’s involvement in China has become ever more complex. This discourse is closely related to its international status and is in essence a hegemonic discourse based on the so-called “tragic experiences” of the “Xinjiang independence activists” and is aimed at the infiltrating values to promote its agenda. As U.S. – China competition intensifies, China must recognize that the U.S. discourse on human rights in relation to Xinjiang will continue for a long time. China must recognize the long-term nature of the U.S. human rights discourse on Xinjiang, construct its own international discourse system, and deal with the links between fighting extremism and the long term economic development of Xinjiang. Specifically, the two major contexts, domestic and international international should be combined with protecting China’s core interests and national security through the complete and accurate implementation of the Party’s strategy for governing the border in the new era. Together with other countries in the world, China should oppose acts that undermine the international order and strive to contribute China’s strength to maintaining world peace and building a shared human destiny.

From “The Evolving Logic of U.S. Human Rights Discourse in Relation to Xinjiang and China’s Response” by Jin Xiaozhe
(Institute of Central Asian Studies/School of Politics and International Relations, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, Gansu)

Thanks to the Google Translate oracle, you can examine the tables of contents of past issues of United Front Science posted on the website of the Chongqing Institute of Socialism. Just click on an issue to bring up a machine translation of its table of contents. For example: the table of contents of the 1/2021 issue of United Front Science. If you are intrigued, you could do an internet search on the title and the date of the issue such as 统一战线研究 2020年第4期 and come up with a PDF of that issue. Ideological signposts are increasingly important these days. Ideology has been hardening in China over the past decade under General Secretary Xi — perhaps he is drawing on his experiences of the Cultural Revolution as a youth sent down to the countryside. Even for someone like me who started studying Chinese in 1975, Xi’s speeches which often feature numbered this and thats bring back eerie memories of that time. Much more for Chinese people I expect. I wrote about that a while back in Xi Jinping and Mao Zedong: The Medium is the Message.

A Closer Look: Machine Translation of an Article on US Politics

To explore this journal I used the DeepL machine translation program to translate the article below “The Trump Double Whammy Effect: From Vicious Partisanship to Political Decay” about the U.S. election and U.S. systemic political problems which concludes with a plug for the home team. The article and the references the author cites can give some insights into the state of the US studies field in China.

A cooperative political party system can avoid this problem, if there is a strong incentive for political parties to work together to protect and further the interests of the country as a whole. When the overall interests of the country are developed, this in turn brings stronger positive feedback to the political parties. When the overall national interest is developed, it will in turn bring stronger positive feedback to each political party, thus further enhancing the harmony, unity and cohesion of political party relations. The multi-party cooperation and political consultation system under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party is a typical cooperative system. This system not only ensures that the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party can be continuously consolidated and improved but also ensures that the participating parties can continually make their own contributions to national development.

I reviewed the machine translation to fix some errors and remove some redundancies.

The Trump Double Whammy Effect: From Vicious Partisanship to Political Decay

Zhang Chunman

(Institute for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433)

Abstract: The U.S. domestic politics is undergoing significant changes, and it is worth paying attention to where it is heading. The 2020 U.S. election shows that U.S. politics is moving from a vicious partisan “veto system” to a systemic political decay. The reason for the systemic political decay in the United States today is essentially The systemic political decay in the United States today is essentially due to the flaws in the American system. Trump’s actions have created a double whammy effect, in which one person or organization can simultaneously have an impact on the country’s political system.

Trump’s actions have created a double whammy effect, a political phenomenon in which a single person or organization can strike a major blow to both the ruling party and the political system of the country. Trump’s double whammy effect Trump’s double whammy has brought to light the full extent of the problems caused by the flaws in the U.S. system, further driving the country from vicious partisanship to political decay. Countries in systemic political decay also tend to suffer from national governance difficulties and exhibit high levels of instability and aggressiveness in both their domestic and foreign affairs.

The United States is a country in systemic political decline. Our academic community should strengthen the study of American political decay and changes in the political order of Western countries.

Keywords: U.S. elections; vicious partisanship; political decay; Trump’s double whammy; political polarization; governance dilemma

CICS:D771.2 Literature ID:A Article ID:2096-3378(2021)02-0101-08

DOI:10.13946/j.cnki.jcqis.2021.02.009

Author: Chunman Zhang, Associate Researcher, Institute for Advanced Study in Social Sciences, Fudan University, PhD in Political Science, Johns Hopkins University, USA. (2019EZZ002); Funded projects: the Shanghai Municipality Philosophical and Social Sciences Young Scholar Project “Building a Level Two Database and a comparative study of a century of the development of the United States of America”; the Central Socialism Academy United Front Work Department High End Think Tank Project: “Research on the superior achievements and theoretical values of political parties participating in he management of state affairs and the practical advantages and theoretical values of Chinese political parties in the perspective of comparing China to the West”. (ZK20200234)

Citation format: Zhang Chunman. Trump’s Double Whammy Effect: From Vicious Party Controversy to Political Decay [J]. United Front Studies, 2021(2). 101-108.

On January 11, 2021, a large number of U.S. military personnel were stationed on Capitol Hill with loaded guns and armed to protect the highest legislative body in the United States. The reason for the massive military presence of the Department of Defense on Capitol Hill is that on January 6, 2021, Congress officially confirmed Biden as the new president. The U.S. Congress was subjected to an unprecedented level of semi-armed violence during the process of officially confirming Biden as the new president on January 6, 2021. Trump’s refusal to recognize the results of the 2020 U.S. election incited his supporters to demonstrate in Congress in an attempt to influence the outcome of the election. When this scene is played out in other countries, U.S. politicians tend to loudly tend to loudly rebuke the incumbent leaders of those countries and define these phenomena in terms of “coup”, “fraud”, and “scandal”. However, when a similar scene occurs in the United States, even though U.S. lawmakers panicked for a time, they did not admit afterwards that it was a coup. So what kind of academic insight does this double standard of the United States give us?

This gives us the academic insight that Western countries faces systemic problems in their political development. Western countries have always touted themselves as being political pioneers, leaders, and successful and that will not reckless mistakes on big issues in their political development. The United States and other Western countries claim to have the best institutional arrangements for political development and enjoy the unique “luxury” of political development. They believe that refusing to recognize the results of elections, storming legislatures, and attempting to change the results in a near coup d’etat is something that could only happen in a developing country. In the eyes of Western countries, developing countries are always trying to catch up, are laggards and losers in political development. While is true that some developing countries have encountered many setbacks and challenges in the process of political development, but developed countries too must face the test of political development. The appalling

The violent attack on the U.S. Congress on January 6, 2021 is just one of the many issues to ponder in examining the 2020 U.S. election.

One of the most important messages from the 2020 U.S. elections as a whole is that U.S. politics is beginning to move toward systemic political decay. This fact is not only at odds with the discourse promoted by the United States, but also with the perception many people have of the United States.

Given the great uncertainty of Trump’s policies, our academic community has paid much attention to the adjustment of U.S. foreign policy since Trump took office. The U.S. foreign policy adjustments since Trump took office have been of great interest to our academic community.

  • Wang Jisi has analyzed the characteristics of the Trump administration’s foreign policy and the factors affecting Sino-US relations [1].
  • Zhao Chen used the concept of “brute power” to summarize the foreign strategy of the Trump administration [2].
  • Zhang Yuhuan analyzed the strategies and tactics of the Trump administration’s foreign trade and economic policy and of U.S.-China economic and trade relations [3].

Domestic academics have intensified their research on the 2020 US election.

Wang Hao has studied the latest changes in U.S. politics from the perspective of the overlapping election and epidemic situations and focused on the trend of the next round of U.S. political party reorganization [4].

  • Bu Yongguang has studied the “2020 U.S. election” from the perspective of the election and the epidemic. He analyzed the systemic dilemma of the current U.S. national governance through the “window of opportunity” of the 2020 U.S. election [5].
  • Pang Jinyou analyzed the systemic dilemma of the current U.S. national governance from the perspective of values and identity. In that paper, Pang discusses the systemic dilemma of the U.S. national governance in 2020 from the perspective of value and identity [6].
  • Diao Daming examined the impact of the 2020 U.S. election on the new dynamics of U.S. foreign policy [6].

In this paper, we will examine the impact of the 2020 U.S. election on the new dynamics of U.S. foreign policy [7]. In this paper, the impact of Trump’s shock foreign policy is transferred from international politics to the domestic policy. The concept of Trump’s double whammy effect reveals a major shift in U.S. politics from party political polarization to systemic political decay.

I. The Election Cycle and the Environment of U.S. Political Decay

The quadrennial U.S. presidential elections have the nature of political cycles. Each U.S. election cycle is characterized by distinct domestic and international conditions. Since the 2020 election cycle, the U.S. domestic and international conditions have become very complicated.

First, the U.S. economy has started off on a high note during Trump’s presidency, and the economic crisis has begun to replace the economic boom. After taking office, Trump made significant progress in fiscal, tax, government regulation, energy, immigration, trade and other areas where he launched very radical reform initiatives. Trump has placed particular emphasis on U.S. trade policy. Since taking office, he has signed new trade agreements with many countries (including with US allies). Stimulated by strong reform policies, the U.S. economy indeed boomed for a while. The GDP growth rate in the first half of Trump’s term stayed above 2%, and even surpassed 3% in some quarters. This is a very good growth compared with the US average in recent decades. The U.S. stock market climbed rapidly on the back of this good news, with indices reaching record highs. At the same time, the unemployment rate slowly declined.

Behind the economic boom, however, signals of a crisis in the fundamentals of the U.S. economy emerged one after another. The weak growth of the U.S. economy has been highlighted by the Federal Reserve’s continual lowering of its growth forecast. U.S. Treasury yields were also inverted. Ultimately, the U.S. economy experienced a major recession of historic proportions in 2020 as it was hit by the epidemic of the novel coronavirus epidemic. U.S. GDP fell sharply during the first quarter of 2020, the largest decline in a year, and the U.S. stock market experienced an historically high series of meltdowns. With the support of the Federal Reserve’s massive quantitative easing stimulus, the U.S. economy was able to stumble through.

Secondly, domestic political struggles grew more intense and the two parties entered in vicious party rivalry. The U.S. federal government was forced to partially shut down for dozens of days in early January because of the bipartisan struggle, which was a manifestation of the polarization of the two parties. Francis Fukuyama called this system in the United States a “veto system” [8]. The main job of both parties is to tear down the other party’s program. In late 2019, the Democratic Party of the United States made a big issue of the “Trump–Ukraine scandal” to start the first impeachment against Trump. The battle between the two parties is rapidly entering an unprecedented phase. The U.S. Senate formally began hearing the Trump impeachment case in January 2020. Although both of Trump’s articles of impeachment were rejected by the Senate, the Republicans and Democrats continue to fighting over Trump’s first impeachment. The first impeachment of Trump has been fought between Republicans and Democrats. The outbreak of the new pneumonia epidemic in the United States has not stopped the two parties from continuing their battle. At a time when the American people most need bipartisan cooperation to fight the epidemic, Republicans and Democrats are fighting over issues such as “whether masks should be worn,” “distribution of anti-pneumonia supplies,” and “shifting responsibility for the epidemic.

The Republicans and Democrats continue to attack each other over issues such as “whether we should wear masks”, “distribution of epidemic supplies” and “blame shifting”. The focus of both parties is not on how to fight the epidemic, but on how to further defeat the other party in order to win the 2020 election. The two parties’ focus is not on how to fight the epidemic, but on how to further defeat the other party in order to make a profit in the 2020 election.

Thirdly, the U.S. society is characterized by the prevalence of racial and identity politics and social unrest. The United States is a nation of immigrants. These immigrants have completely different backgrounds. Guided by the idea of cultural pluralism, the United States has been trying to use the so-called “melting pot” policy to form a social consensus in order to achieve social stability. However, the U.S. “melting pot” policy is facing a severe test. Today’s Americans today are increasingly conscious of their racial, cultural, and religious identities, and are increasingly fearful and ready to raise issues about the identities of other people. Trump’s Trump’s racist initiatives since taking office contributed to the growing tear and infighting in American society, leading to a greater sense of identity among American citizens [9]. This was most evident on the subject of race. In the aftermath of the Floyd incident in 2020, racial tensions within the U.S. greatly increased. American society was further divided and torn apart, and the social order became unstable.

Fourthly, since Trump took office, he has significantly adjusted foreign relations. In accordance with the principle of America First, Trump has intentionally reduced America’s In addition to frequently “withdrawing” and “destroying” groups, Trump has asked allies and other major countries to take on more international responsibilities. Obama and successive U.S. administrations have mainly pursued multilateralism and taken care to maintain good relations with European and Asian allies. Trump, on the other hand, had come to power insisting on the principle of U.S.-first diplomacy, refusing to provide more assistance to allies for free and demanding that other countries take on more international responsibilities.

Despite criticism from domestic policy circles, this policy appealed to many U.S. voters.

The Trump administration has stepped up support for the Indo-Pacific strategy while further strategically contracting in the Middle East and Europe. The withdrawal from Syria is part of a planned U.S. strategic withdrawal in the Middle East is a reflection of further U.S. strategic contraction. The U.S. has continued to draw om India in to counterbalance China, and has even taken many extreme measures against China.

The Trump administration’s strong push to evolve the Indo-Pacific strategy from concept to policy is the central manifestation. While Trump, like previous U.S. leaders, has emphasized U.S. world hegemony, Trump has placed more emphasis on America First and Peace Through Strength.

II. Systemic Decay of the U.S. Political System Begins

The U.S. election is the most important window for observing, analyzing and judging the direction of U.S. domestic and foreign affairs. Such a “window of opportunity” opens periodically. It provides an invaluable opportunity for the outside world to understand the United States. During non-election times, U.S. politics remains “on paper” without much change. The U.S. Constitution remains the same, and the bipartisanship of the United States remains the same as it has always been. When elections come, the political landscape is volatile, the national elite and the grassroots collude with one other, and political energy is re-collected and concentrated.

This is a dynamic and intense process of power. This dynamic and intense process of power operation presents the inside of the U.S. political black box to the outside world. U.S. politics has already entered the period of parties canceling each other out before the 2020 election cycle. U.S. politics has already entered the stage of vetoing the system each other the 2020 election cycle. The Republicans and Democrats see each other as enemies in the political life of the country, trying to fight and undermine each other’s policies and actions by any means possible. The essence of this ‘veto system’ is to veto for the sake of vetoing, not on the basis of merit. The two-party system is not unique to the United States; other countries in the West also have a two-party system. But the two-party system has come to the stage of a vicious party struggle unique to the United States. This is the “political failure” of the United States. If market failure means that the market cannot provide the optimal way to allocate resources, and government failure means that the government cannot provide the optimal way to allocate public goods, then political failure means that the political system cannot provide the optimal way to achieve the national interest. Political failure means that the U.S. political system is in trouble, and the emergence of the ‘veto system’ is the reason why the U.S. political system is in trouble. The emergence of the veto system was the first stage of political failure in the United States.

The 2020 U.S. election showed the characteristics of the second stage of U.S. political failure in the following aspects.

First, the credibility of the U.S. election results dropped sharply. According to common sense and U.S. tradition, the activities of both parties in the U.S. election cycle are “all about the November election. It is “all about the November election, everything stops at the November election”. This means that when voting day is over in November and the election results are in, everything is essentially a done deal. When the election results come in, the dust has basically settled. Leaders and members of both U.S. parties, along with the American people, should believe in and support the results of the U.S. elections. However, in the 2020 U.S. election, electoral controversy was rampant. On the one hand, because the vote gap between Trump and Biden was not very large, we can understand the cautious attitude of supporters of both parties toward the election results. Members of both parties and a large number of people seriously questioned the election results. They believed that someone stole the election results. This went beyond prudence and reduces the credibility of the election results. Many Trump supporters put up banners and signs saying that the Democratic Party “stole the election”. They demanded recounts and ballot checks, and some even demanded that some ballots be annulled and some ballots be added. In fact, the U.S. voting system and ballot inspection system are carefully designed and strictly protected. The results of the U.S. election are not 100% accurate. However, the reliability of the election results is not in question. But in the face of such facts, it is surprisingly difficult to guarantee the credibility of the U.S. election results. Once the credibility of the election results has been weakened, the results of each future election may be challenged and opposed, and the consequences will be even more serious.

Secondly, the U.S. election political values were denied. Behind a political system arrangement is a political value, and the development of this institutional arrangement depends upon the support of political values. This is a mutually reinforcing relationship. The reason why U.S. electoral politics has been able to operate smoothly for more than 200 years. The most important of these is the “electoral system”. One of the most important values is “willingness to gamble and to lose, and to come back next time”. Both sides in an election contest have to respect and support the election results, no matter they win or lose. The loser will not be a loser forever, because he or she will be able to continue to compete four years later. The winner will not always be the winner, because four years later they will be challenged on an equal footing. Such an electoral political value provides a time-based expectation for both sides of the competition equally, so that neither the winner nor the loser has sufficient incentive to oppose the U.S. electoral arrangement. This has largely ensured the smooth development of the U.S. electoral system over time. This extremely important value of electoral politics was largely rejected by the losers in this election. Trump, before the election results were fully announced first announced to the public that he had won the election, and then turned to claim election fraud when the results were unfavorable. Trump refused to acknowledge the defeat of the election and refused to participate in the inauguration ceremony for the new president, even though he could not change the election result by any means. The election was not a success. The words and actions of political leaders have political implications. Trump’s rejection of American electoral political values has a huge political impact on both internal and external perceptions and political implications of Trump’s denial of American electoral political values are enormous. The denial of U.S. electoral political values will not only cost the U.S. “face” but may also cost the U.S. “face” for a long time to come.

Third, violence and the military have become involved in the country’s major political life. On January 6, 2011, violence broke out in the United States against Congress. Some of the participants were active and retired military personnel, so the storming of Congress became a quasi-military uprising. As the loser of the election, Trump not only refused to acknowledge the results of the election, but also used extreme violence to try to force a change in the results. This political act was a quasi political coup. Although it ultimately failed to force a change the outcome of the U.S. election, it struck a blow at the U.S. political system. Many economically backward developing countries have been able to maintain political stability, even as the United States has experienced political instability. The military had to intervene to maintain political stability in the U.S. The inauguration of President Biden in 021 was done under military protection and without the usual joyful atmosphere. The inauguration of President Biden in 2011 was guarded by the military, and the scene was not as joyful as usual. The military became involved in major American political life as a result of violent attempts by the election losers to change the outcome of the election. This is a phenomenon that has not occurred in the United States for a long time.

III. The Trump Double Whammy Effect and U.S. Politics

The United States has always boasted of being a “beacon of the world,” a “template and model for development”. However, 2020 U.S. elections reveal its systematic political decay. The author believes that the U.S. political system is not as perfect as the West and the U.S. itself have advertised, but has many imperceptible flaws. Once these systemic flaws are exploited, U.S. political problems will be exposed, and the political consequences will often be serious. The reason for the systematic political decline in the United States today is essentially due to the flaws in the American system. Trump’s actions have formed the Trump double whammy effect, which has fully exposed the problems caused by the defects of the U.S. system and further pushed the U.S. from a ‘veto system’ into political decline.

Trump had no experience in politics. The United States as a large country needs a qualified political leader. The U.S. political system is not designed to impose restrictions on the background of presidential candidates. This led to Trump’s election by winning a majority of the electoral votes. From an electoral perspective,

The Electoral College system is a backward system that is rarely used in Western countries because under this system, the person who receives the most popular votes is not necessarily elected. This is a system set up in direct violation of public opinion, which is unscientific, unreasonable and undemocratic. At the same time, Trump, as a person with no experience in politics, is bound to encounter many problems, when he enters the White House, specifically in the area of personnel. If a mature politician is in the White House, he will be able to form an efficient team. And Trump could not do this because he did not have a professional team. He is full of distrust of professional bureaucrats, and small-circle decision-making and cronyism have become his choices. These practices of Trump are not in line with the requirements of modern political development, and will certainly bring trouble to the United States.

The author derives a theoretical concept from what Trump and his ruling team have done, namely the Trump Double Whammy effect. Trump’s double whammy effect is a political phenomenon in which a person or an organization can at once strike a major blow both to the ruling party and to a country’s political system.

The Trump double whammy effect became obvious after the 2020 U.S. election, and both the Republican Party and the U.S. political system have suffered serious blows. The Trump double whammy effect does not occur very often in world politics, because it is difficult to satisfy both conditions of a major blow to a country’s ruling party and political system.

The first dimension of the Trump double whammy is the blow to the U.S. Republican Party. The U.S. Republican Party not only failed to win the 2020 presidential election, but also lost its dominance in the Senate, and the House of Representatives remains in Democratic control. After the 2020 election, the U.S. presidency and the House of Representatives and Senate will be in the hands of the Democratic Party.

After the 2020 election, the U.S. presidency and the House and Senate are in the hands of the Democrats. Trump has been impeached twice, and although he was not convicted in the second impeachment, the two impeachments have been recorded in U.S. history and form an ignominious part of the history of Trump’s and of the Republican Party. More importantly, Trump has not only deprived the Republican Party of real governing power, but also put the Republican Party at risk of internal division. The Republican Party is in danger of splitting. The relationship between the Republican Party and Trump has been in a very “screwy” state. In the 2016 election cycle, Trump won the election by defeating both the establishment and other Tea Party candidates in the Republican Party. The Republican Party, in order to win the election, had to

to put aside their own convictions and work with Trump for the time being. After Trump unexpectedly won the 2016 election, Republican Party leaders switched to fully supporting Trump. After a period of friction between the two sides, most of the Republican Party leaders lined up with Trump, but a part of the Republican Party establishment represented by Mitt Romney, has always been critical of Trump. These attitudes of “appeasement and opposition” has persisted throughout Trump’s term.

This “appeasement and opposition” attitudes existed during Trump’s tenure, and have been relatively balanced. It was only after Trump lost the election and refused to acknowledge the results, and after he instigated the violent attack on Congress on January 6, 2021, that the “no” attitude in the Republican Party began to prevail. The “appeasement” attitude was temporarily extinguished. The second impeachment of Trump has been the subject of much bickering within the Republican Party. The Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy visited Trump at the end of January 2021, indicating that there is still a large part of the Republican Party that wants to continue to work with Trump. Trump’s rise to power has objectively divided the Republican Party, and this intra-party split has been widened by Trump’s ouster. In Trump’s second impeachment, as many as seven Republican senators voted to find Trump guilty. This is a public demonstration of the divisions within the Republican Party. In the future, whether appeasement or opposition prevails, the Republican Party will continue to be divided. The Republican Party will continue to face internal problems. If the appeasement attitude toward Trump continues, the image of the Republican Party will suffer a bigger blow. If Trump continues to be appeased, then the Republican Party’s image will take a bigger hit. If Trump is removed from the picture, then the Republican Party will face the danger of further division.

The second dimension of Trump’s double whammy effect is a major blow to the U.S. political system.

The U.S. political system has long been characterized by strong external leadership and internal cohesion. This has been an indispensable factor in sustaining U.S. hegemony and global leadership. The U.S. political system has been the cornerstone of U.S. soft power and has long been used to export values to the outside world. At the same time, the U.S. political system has been an important component of U.S. soft power.

The U.S. political system has played a large role in uniting people of different colors, races, and religions in the country. Trump was not been in power for long, but the wave of Trumpism he has created is likely to be long-lasting and will continue to have a significant impact on the U.S. political system. The Trump Doctrine has revealed that the U.S. political system is not as strong as it could be. Trumpism exposes the backward and negative aspects of the U.S. political system. For example, Trump’s cronyism, coterie rule, and lack of trust in the country’s professional bureaucracy. Trump has proposed and implemented the America First approach, sacrificing soft power for real material benefits. Trump has tried to change the neutrality of the military in American national political life and threatened violence in an attempt to change the country’s

Trump’s threat of violence is an attempt to change the outcome of national elections. Trump’s blow to the American political system is unprecedented. And this harm did not disappear with Trump’s ouster

And it didn’t go away completely with Trump’s ouster. That’s why President-elect Biden has been emphasizing “restoring the soul of America”. As a representative figure of the American political establishment Biden knows better than anyone that if Trump had been re-elected, the American political system would suffer an even greater blow. However, Trumpism will not disappear when Trump is out of office, because the root of Trumpism is not Trump himself, but the more than 74 million American citizens who voted for him in the 2020 election. If he had not done such a poor job fighting the novel coronavirus pandemic, there would have been still more who voted for Trump. They did so to counter all the political correctness that has been incubated by the American political system for so long. This battle of political correctness is also a battle of American institutions [10]. These U.S. citizens are disillusioned with the performance of the mainstream American system.

The Trump double whammy reflects American and Western political realities. It signals a certain turn in the path of Western political development. The lack of domestic political leadership in the United States will further affect its development. The decline of U.S. politics will have further domestic and foreign implications.

IV. The Domestic and Foreign Relations Impact of U.S. Political Decay

As the only superpower in the world today, every move of the United States is closely watched by the outside world. After a century of unprecedented changes, once the U.S. has entered the stage of its political decay, it will have a significant impact on the whole world. The U.S. has already started to move from a mutual canceling ‘veto system’ of political party viciousness to systemic political decay. Therefore U.S. U.S. national governance will get into deeper trouble. The U.S. will experience from both greater domestic instability on the domestic front and stronger irrational attacks on its foreign policy.

First, the impact of U.S. political decay on the domestic front is increased instability. Once domestic governance policies face huge adjustments, the entanglement of interests between different groups in the country will inevitably increase. This will have a very negative impact on domestic order and social cohesion. Many policy differences between the Republican and Democratic parties in the U.S. have led to significant policy fluctuations in domestic affairs. This created much policy turmoil in the United States on the domestic front. In the wake of political decay, the problems of the political system will be transmitted into the policy arena which in turn will lead to increased instability on the domestic front. One of the most direct manifestations of this instability is the extraordinary policy pendulum effect. Trump began his presidency with a major reversal and revision of policies of his predecessor, Barack Obama. These policy adjustments include changing U.S. immigration policy, withdrawing from the TPP, adjusting health care policy, redeveloping traditional energy sources, tearing up the Iran nuclear deal, and so on. Obama’s policy legacy was repudiated by Trump in short order. The same story was repeated when Biden took office. Biden has done more than his share of repealing Trump’s policy legacy. Biden signed 25 executive orders in nine days, far exceeding not only the number of executive orders signed by his predecessor, but also contradicting Trump’s executive orders. Biden signed several executive orders on issues such as immigration policy, gender orientation, racial equality, justice, climate change, and health care, with the goal of changing the Trump administration’s policies on these issues. Every so often, major national policies undergo significant adjustments, and one administration’s policy legacy is overtaken by the next. This has resulted in the inability of U.S. national governance to address fundamental, long-term, systemic issues. This has led to the inability of U.S. national governance to address fundamental, long-term, and systemic problems. The development experience of other countries shows that once fundamental, long-term, and systemic domestic governance problems cannot be solved, the national regime will face greater challenges. The U.S. government is unable to solve the fundamental, long-term, and systemic problems of domestic governance, the state will face a greater crisis and political decay will intensify [11]. The problems of race, equality, and debt within American society are all systemic. The debt problem is a major systemic problem. These problems are not only not effectively solved under the influence of the policy pendulum effect, but also show the trend of further deterioration.

Second, the impact of U.S. political decay on foreign policy is the increase of irrational attacks. U.S. foreign policy has always had an aggressive aggressive style [12]. AnyU.S. government, no matter whether it pursues multilateralism pr unilateralism, it strives to defend U.S. interests in its dealings with other countries. Relying on the power of the U.S. military, the U.S. tends to be aggressive in conducting foreign policy. The U.S. military is a powerful force, and the U.S. foreign policy is often aggressive. This aggressiveness, which is necessary to protect U.S. national interests, can be called rational aggression. And in the event of a systemic political decay, more irrational attacks are likely to occur in the future. Irrational attacks are those in which the U.S. displays external aggressiveness not necessarily motivated by the need to defend U.S. national interests. This would likely be motivated by irrational factors such as diverting attention away from domestic conflicts or to influence changes in public opinion. One example is how the Trump administration has disregarded U.S. national interests. The Trump administration insisted on launching trade frictions against China despite much domestic opposition [13]. The Trump administration insisted on initiating trade frictions against China in spite of many opposing voices in the U.S. [13], and substantially increased tariffs on Chinese imports to the U.S. market. China had to raise tariffs on U.S. goods imported into the Chinese market in response. As a consequence of U.S.-China trade friction, U.S. exports of agricultural and industrial products to China have been significantly affected. Many of the Trump administration’s irrational initiatives have proven to be aggressive in appearance but much less effective in implementation and do not really meet the needs of the U.S. national interests. After the Biden Administration takes office, irrational attacks will not necessarily decrease, but may increase. The U.S. Congress and the president can both have a significant impact on foreign policy. Although Biden has abandoned the “America First” policy, the U.S. Congress is still filled with irrational voices. The serious hostility and internal conflicts in U.S. society are the basis and source of the increase in irrational attacks in the United States.

Of course, we should not underestimate the ability of the United States to innovate its own institutions. The U.S. has a strong ability to correct mistakes and has historically made many changes domestically under difficult circumstances and thereby regained its vitality and vigor. However, over the short term, the United States does not have a good chance of stopping its political decline. The Biden Administration will continue to be hampered in its efforts to fight the new pneumonia epidemic, recover the economy, and adjust its foreign strategy. The Biden administration will still be constrained by the Republican Party in fighting the novel coronavirus pneumonia pandemic, in recovering the economy, and adjusting its foreign strategy. And Biden himself, because of his age, is likely to serve only one full term. In the limited time he has, he faces many challenges, but few goals can be achieved.

V. Conclusion

The 2020 U.S. election has concluded but it has brought us a lot of thoughts and insights. The shortcomings of the Western electoral and multiparty system were exposed in this election. Before this election in the United States, few people could have predicted that there would be so much controversy, conflict, and even violence. The political decline in the United States today is not the result of Trump alone, but Trump has accelerated the process. Ultimately, we need to reflect on the competitive party system. The competitive party system places too much weight on the tension between political parties while it does not provide enough incentives to promote cooperation between parties [14]. In the long run, party relations will become a kind of vicious rivalry. Political parties are the state’s public instruments, and the vicious struggle between political parties eventually hurts the interests of the whole society and the core interests of the country.

A cooperative political party system can avoid this problem, if there is a strong incentive for political parties to work together to protect and further the interests of the country as a whole. When the overall interests of the country are developed, this in turn brings stronger positive feedback to the political parties. When the overall national interest is developed, it will in turn bring stronger positive feedback to each political party, thus further enhancing the harmony, unity and cohesion of political party relations. The multi-party cooperation and political consultation system under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party is a typical cooperative system. This system not only ensures that the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party can be continuously consolidated and improved but also ensures that the participating parties can continually make their own contributions to national development.

Political development is a dynamic and long-term issue that is faced by developed and developing countries alike. Developed countries are not necessarily successful in political development, nor are developing countries necessarily failures in political development. A country’s political development needs political parties with a mission to promote political development, and political development must be carried forward in an orderly and gradual manner according to the country’s national conditions, the people’s conditions and the party’s conditions. Only in this way can we come up with a political development that is truly in line with the national conditions, the people’s conditions and the party’s conditions. Only in this way can a path of political development be developed that is truly in line with the country’s national conditions and can be sustained [15]. Western countries are not the “masters” of political development, and their model of political development is not the only one. China should firmly follow the path of socialist political development with Chinese characteristics and promote its own political development according to the actual situation in China.

References

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[2 ] Zhao Chen. “Trump’s ‘brute power’ diplomacy and U.S.-European relations”赵晨.特朗普的“蛮权力”外交与美欧关系 [J]. World Economy and Politics, 2020 (11): 71-88.

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[5] Bu Yongguang. [Google Translated:] “The Main Manifestations, Mechanisms and Evolutionary Logic of the Systemic Dilemma of U.S. National Governance: A General Explanation of the 2020 U.S. Election美国国家治理系统性困境的主要体现、关联机理与演化逻辑——对2020 年美国大选的总体性解释 [J]. United Front Studies, 2021 (1): 77-90.

[6] Pang Jinyou. [Google Translated:] “The Unbreakable Tear: The Conflict of Values and Divergent Ideas Behind the U.S. Election” [J]无法摆脱的撕裂:美国大选背后的价值冲突与观念歧异. Contemporary American Review, 2020 (4): 42-56.

[7] Diao Daming.”The 2020 U.S. election and the new dynamics of U.S. foreign policy” 2020 年美国大选与美国对外政策新态势[J][recent similar themed article by same scholar in Google Translate: Diao Daming: The particularity and impact of the 2020 U.S. election 刁大明:2020年美国大选的特殊性及其影响.on the Chinese American Professors and Professionals Network website.] American Studies, 2020 (6): 9-10.

[8] Francis Fukuyama.”America in Decay: The Sources of Political Dysfunction”[J].Foreign Affairs. 2014 (5): 5-8.

[9] Nazita Lajevardi, Kassra Oskooii.”Old-Fashioned Racism, Contemporary Islamophobia, and The Isolation of Muslim Americans in The Age of Trump” [J].Journal of Race, Ethnicity and Politics, 2018 (1): 112-152.

[10] Fang Ning. The Battle for “Political Correctness”-A Study of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election 政治正确性”之争——2016 年美国总统大选研究报告 [M]. Beijing: China Social Science Press, 2017: 3.

[11] Zhang Chunman.[Google Translated:] “The Rise, Governance and Collapse of the True Whig Party in Liberia, Africa” 张春满.非洲利比里亚真辉格党的兴起、治理与崩溃 [J]. Foreign Theoretical Dynamics, 2020 (5): 127-133.

[ 12] Daniel Yankelovich and Larry Kaagan, Assertive America[J].Foreign Affairs, 1980(3):696-713.

[13] Douglas A Irwin.”The False Promise of Protectionism:Why Trump’s Trade Policy Could Backfire” [J].[J].Foreign Affairs, 2017(3):45-56.

[14] Zhang Chunman. “The practice, research paradigm and methodology of Chinese and Western party politics: a theoretical reflection” 张春满.中西政党政治的实践、研究范式和方法:一个理论反思[J]. Comparative Economic and Social Systems, 019(5): 126-137.

[15] Zhang Chunman. Political Development in Transitional China and Political Decline in the United States: An Analysis Based on Party Centrism []. Learning and Exploration, 020 (10): 60-66. 张春满.转型中国的政治发展与美国的政治衰败:基于政党中心主义的分析

Editor in charge:Gong Jingyang

特朗普双击效应:从恶性党争到政治衰败

张春满

(复旦大学 社会科学高等研究院,上海 200433)

摘 要:美国国内政治正在发生重大变化,其走向何方值得关注。2020 年美国大选从整体上显示,美国政治开始从恶性党争的“否决体制”走向系统性政治衰败。今天的美国之所以出现系统性政治衰败,本质上是因为美国的制度缺陷。特朗普的所作所为形成了双击效应,即一个人或者一个组织能够同时对本国的执政党和本国的政治体制形成重大打击的政治现象。特朗普双击效把美国制度缺陷所造成的问题完全暴露出来,进一步推动了美国从恶性党争走向政治衰败。出现系统性政治衰败的国家往往也会遭遇国家治理困境,并且在内政和外交方面展现出极强的不稳定性和攻击性。我国学界要加强对美国政治衰败和西方国家政治秩序变动的研究。

关键词:美国大选;恶性党争;政治衰败;特朗普双击;政治极化;治理困境

中图分类号:D771.2 文献标识码:A 文章编号:2096-3378(2021)02-0101-08

DOI:10.13946/j.cnki.jcqis.2021.02.009

作者简介:张春满,复旦大学社会科学高等研究院副研究员,美国约翰霍普金斯大学政治学博士。基金项目:上海市哲学社会科学规划课题青年项目“两级数据库建设与美国比较政治学的百年发展研究”(2019EZZ002);中央社会主义学院统一战线高端智库课题“中西比较视野下中国参政党的实践优势与理论价值研究”(ZK20200234)引用格式:张春满.特朗普双击效应:从恶性党争到政治衰败[J].统一战线学研究,2021(2):101-108.

2021 年1 月11 日,大量美国军人荷枪实弹进驻美国国会山,武装保护美国最高立法机构。美国国防部之所以大规模派兵进驻国会山,是因为在2021 年1 月6 日国会正式确认拜登当选新任总统的

过程中,美国国会遭遇了史无前例的半武装性质的暴力冲击。特朗普拒不承认2020 年美国大选结果,

煽动支持者到国会示威,企图影响大选结果。这一幕在其他国家上演的时候,美国政客往往会大声

斥责这些国家的现任领导人,并用“政变”“舞弊”“丑闻”来定义这些现象。然而当相似一幕发

生在美国时,即使美国的议员在国会冲击过程中一度惊慌失措,事后他们也没有承认这是一场政变。

那么,美国的这种双重标准带给我们什么学理启示呢?

它带给我们的学理启示是西方国家的政治发展面临系统性问题。西方国家一直标榜自己是政治

发展的先行者、引领者、成功者,不会在政治发展的大问题上出现纰漏。美国等西方国家在政治发

展上号称拥有最好的制度安排,享有政治发展独特的“奢侈品”。它们认为,像拒不承认选举结果、

冲击立法机构并妄图改变选举结果这种“准政变”性质的政治丑闻,只能是发展中国家的“土特产”。

在西方国家眼中,发展中国家是政治发展的追赶者、落后者、失败者。诚然,一些发展中国家确实

在政治发展过程中遭遇了很多挫折和挑战,但是发达国家同样需要面对政治发展的考验。骇人听闻

的2021 年1 月6 日美国国会遭遇暴力冲击事件,只是2020 年美国大选诸多引人深思的问题之一。

2020 年美国大选从整体上传递出的最重要的一个信息就是,美国政治开始走向系统性政治衰败。这

个事实不仅与美国倡导的话语体系格格不入,也与很多人对美国的认知大相径庭。

鉴于特朗普的政策具有很强的不确定性,我国学术界对特朗普上台以来的美国对外政策调整非

常关注。王缉思对特朗普政府对外政策的特点和影响中美关系的因素进行了分析[1]。赵晨利用“蛮

权力”概念对特朗普政府的对外战略进行了概括[2]。张玉环分析了特朗普政府的对外经贸政策与中

美经贸关系的博弈状况[3]。国内学术界加强了对2020 年美国大选的研究。王浩从选情和疫情叠加的

角度对美国政治的最新变化进行了总结,并且重点分析了下一轮美国政党重组的趋势[4]。卜永光透

过2020 年美国大选这个“机会之窗”,剖析了当前美国国家治理遭遇的系统性困境[5]。庞金友从价

值观和身份认同的角度对2020 年美国大选进行了解读[6]。刁大明研判了2020 年美国大选对美国外

交政策新态势的影响[7]。本文将国内学界对于特朗普对外的冲击效应由国际政治转入美国国内,通

过特朗普双击效应这个概念揭示美国政治从政党政治极化到系统性政治衰败的重大转变。

一、大选周期与美国政治衰败的环境

四年一次的美国大选具有一定的政治周期性质。美国每一个大选周期都有特定的国内和国际状

况。进入2020 年大选周期以来,美国国内外状况变得非常复杂。

其一,特朗普任内美国经济高开低走,经济危机开始取代经济繁荣。特朗普上台以来在财税、

政府监管、能源、移民、贸易等领域推出了非常激进的改革举措。特朗普尤其重视美国的贸易政策,

上任后陆续与很多国家(包括其盟国)签订了新的贸易协议。在这些强力改革政策的刺激下,美国

经济确实一度呈现繁荣景象。特朗普任期前半段GDP 增长率一直维持在2%以上,在个别季度甚至突

破了3%。这在近几十年的美国都是非常好的增长表现。美国股市受利好影响迅速飙升,指数更是达

到了阶段性历史最高位。与此同时,失业率在缓步下降,美国就业形势转好。但是在经济繁荣的背

后,美国经济基本面的危机信号陆续出现。美联储不断下调美国经济增长预测,凸显了美国经济增

长的乏力。美国国债收益率也出现倒挂现象。最终,在新冠肺炎疫情的打击下,美国020 年经济出

现历史性大幅衰退。020 年第一季度GDP 下滑严重,创下了1 年来的最大跌幅;美国股市也历史性

地经历了多次熔断,之后全年经济走势险象环生。在美联储大规模量化宽松刺激政策的扶持下,美

国经济才得以踉踉跄跄地走完020 年大选周期。

其二,国内政治斗争加剧,两党争斗进入恶性党争阶段。政治斗争在美国共和党与民主党之间

呈现愈演愈烈之势。019 年初美国联邦政府因为两党争斗被迫部分关门长达几十天,这是两党争斗

极化的表现。弗朗西斯·福山把美国的这种体制称为“否决体制”[8]。两党的主要工作是拆对方的

台,利用本党的一切政治资源否决对方的方案和政策,目的是使对方什么事情都做不了。2019 年底,

美国民主党利用“通乌门”事件大做文章,着手启动针对特朗普的第一次弹劾。进入2020 大选年,

两党之间的争斗迅速进入一个前所未有的阶段。美国参议院在2020 年1 月份正式开始审理特朗普弹

劾案,尽管特朗普的两项弹劾条款均被参议院否决,但共和党和民主党围绕特朗普的第一次弹劾已

经斗得不可开交。新冠肺炎疫情在美国的爆发依然没有阻止两党继续争斗。在美国人民最需要两党

紧密合作抗击疫情的关键时刻,共和党和民主党却围绕着“是否应该戴口罩”“抗疫物资分发”“疫

情责任推诿”等问题继续攻击对方。美国两党的重点不是如何抗击疫情,而是如何进一步打垮对方,

以期在2020 年美国大选中获利。

其三,美国社会种族和身份政治大行其道,社会秩序动荡不安。美国是一个由移民组成的国家,

这些移民具有完全不同的背景。在文化多元主义的指导下,美国一直试图用所谓的“大熔炉”政策

来形成社会共识,从而达到稳定社会的目的。然而,美国的“大熔炉”政策面临着严峻的考验。今

天的美国人对种族、文化、宗教的身份意识越来越强,对他人身份的恐惧和不满与日俱增。特朗普

上台之后的种族主义举措起到了推波助澜的作用,大大地激化了美国社会日益严重的的撕裂和内斗,

导致美国公民的身份意识更加强烈[9]。这一点在种族问题上表现得最为明显。2020 年弗洛伊德事件

之后,美国内部的种族矛盾被彻底激发。美国社会内部进一步分化和撕裂,社会秩序动荡不安。

其四,特朗普上台以来大幅度调整了对外关系。按照美国优先的原则,特朗普有意减少美国的

国际责任,在频繁“退群”和“毁群”的同时,要求盟国和其他主要国家承担更多的国际责任。奥

巴马和历届美国政府主要奉行多边主义,注意维持与欧洲和亚洲盟友的良好关系。而特朗普上台以

来坚持美国优先的外交原则,拒绝免费为盟友提供更多协助,要求他国承担更多的国际责任。这一

政策尽管遭到了国内政策圈的批评,但是对很多美国选民来说具有吸引力。特朗普政府在中东和欧

洲进一步战略收缩的同时,加强了对印太战略的支持力度。从叙利亚撤军是美国在中东有计划地战

略撤出的一部分,是美国进一步战略收缩的体现。而不断拉拢印度抗衡中国,甚至对中国采取诸多

极端措施,不顾中美关系陷入困难境地,则是特朗普政府强力推进印太战略从概念到政策演化的集

中体现。虽然特朗普与历任美国领导人一样强调美国的世界霸权,但是特朗普在美国优先和用实力

换和平的信条下更加注重为美国保存实力。

二、美国系统性政治衰败的开启

美国大选是观察、分析和研判美国内政外交走向的最重要窗口。这样的“机会之窗”定期打开,

为外界了解美国提供了难能可贵的机会。在非大选时间,美国政治停留在“纸面上”,没有太多的

变化。美国宪法还是那部美国宪法,美国的两党关系还是一如过往。而一旦到了大选周期,政治行

为体蠢蠢欲动,政治格局出现波动,国家精英与底层民众相互串联,政治能量出现重新集聚和集中

释放。这个动态的激烈的权力运行过程,把美国政治黑箱的内部呈现给外界。美国政治在2020 年大

选周期之前已经进入了否决体制的阶段。美国的共和党和民主党在国家的政治生活中互视对方为敌

人,想尽一切办法打击和破坏对方的政策和行动。这个否决体制的本质是为了否决而否决,而不基

于是非曲直。两党制不是美国一国独有,西方其他国家也有两党制。但是两党制走到了激烈斗争的

恶性党争阶段唯美国独有。这是美国的“政治失灵”。如果市场失灵意味着市场无法为资源配置提

供最优的方式,政府失灵意味着政府无法为公共物品的配置提供最优的方式,那么政治失灵意味着

政治制度无法为国家利益的实现提供最优的方式。政治失灵意味着美国的政治体制出现了问题,而

否决体制的出现是美国政治失灵的第一阶段。

2020 年美国大选揭开了美国政治失灵第二阶段的序幕,彻底揭开了美国从否决体制到政治衰败

的现实。2020 年美国大选在以下方面展现出美国政治失灵第二阶段的特征。

其一,美国大选结果的公信力急剧下降。按照常理和美国的传统,美国两党的活动在大选周期

是“一切为了11 月的选举,一切止于11 月的选举”。这就意味着,当11 月选举投票日结束之后,

选举结果出来之际,一切基本上就尘埃落定了。美国两党的领袖和成员与美国民众一道都应该相信

和支持美国大选的结果。然而在2020 年美国大选中,选举争议此起彼伏。一方面,因为特朗普和拜

登的选票差距没有很大,我们可以适当理解双方支持者对于选举结果的慎重态度。但是另一方面,

两党成员和大量民众严重质疑大选结果,认为有人偷窃了选举结果。这就超越了慎重态度的范畴,

降低了选举结果的公信力。很多特朗普的支持者打出横幅和标语,认为美国民主党“偷走了选举”,

要求重新计票和查验选票,甚至有些人要求废除一些选票和加入一些选票。事实上,美国的投票系

统和验票系统是经过缜密设计和严格保护的,美国大选的结果虽然做不到100%精准,但是大选结果

的可靠性是没有问题的。但是在这样的事实面前,美国大选结果的公信力竟然难以保证。而一旦选

举结果的公信力被削弱,未来每次大选结果都可能遭遇质疑和反对,后果将更加严重。

其二,美国选举政治价值遭到否定。一个政治制度安排的背后反映的是一种政治价值,这个制

度安排的发展也需要政治价值的支撑。这是一种相辅相成的关系。美国的选举政治之所以能够平稳

运行200 多年,其背后的选举政治价值功不可没。其中最为重要的一条就是“愿赌服输、下次再来”。

参与大选竞争的双方无论输赢都要尊重和支持选举结果。输家不会永远是输家,因为4 年之后还能

继续参与竞争;赢家也不会永远是赢家,因为4 年之后还要平等地接受挑战。这样的一种选举政治

价值给竞争双方平等地提供了一种基于时间安排的预期,促使赢家和输家都没有足够的激励机制去

反对美国的选举制度安排。这在很大程度上确保了美国选举制度长时间的平稳发展。这样一个极端

重要的选举政治价值在本次大选中被败选者基本否定了。特朗普在选举结果还没有完全公布的情况

下,先是对外宣布自己赢了选举,后在选举结果不利的情况下转而宣布选举舞弊。之后,在借助各

种手段依然无法改变选举结果的情况下,特朗普仍然拒不承认选举失败,拒绝参加新总统的就职典

礼。政治领导人的一言一行都具有政治影响。特朗普否定美国的选举政治价值,对内对外的政治观

感和政治影响都是巨大的。否定美国的选举政治价值不仅会让美国失去“面子”,更可能在未来很

长一段时间让美国失去“里子”。

其三,暴力和军队开始介入国家重大政治生活。021 年1 月6 日,美国爆发了暴力冲击国会事

件。一部分参与者是现役和退役军人,所以这次冲击国会事件具有半武装性质。特朗普作为大选败

选者,不仅拒不承认选举结果,还利用极端暴力的方式试图强行改变选举结果。这是一种准政变性

质的政治行为。尽管最终它没有改变美国的选举结果,但是它打击了美国的政治制度。很多在经济

上落后的发展中国家尚且能够保持政局稳定,而美国竟然发生了政局不稳的一幕。为了维护美国的

政局稳定,军队不得不出兵干预。021 年的拜登总统就职仪式是在军队保卫下完成的,现场也没有

往常的欢乐景象。大选败选者试图用暴力形式改变选举结果,导致军队开始介入美国重大政治生活,

这是美国长久以来未曾发生过的现象。

三、美国政治的特朗普双击效应

美国一直自诩为“世界的灯塔”“发展的模板和典范”,而2020 年美国大选揭示出美国系统性

政治衰败。笔者认为,美国的政治制度并不像西方及美国自身所宣传的那样完善,反而具有很多不

易察觉的缺陷。这些制度缺陷一旦被利用,美国的政治问题就会暴露出来,产生的政治后果往往也

会比较严重。今天的美国之所以出现系统性政治衰败,本质上是因为美国的制度缺陷。特朗普的所

作所为形成了特朗普双击效应,把美国制度缺陷所造成的问题完全暴露出来,进一步推动了美国从

否决体制走向政治衰败。

特朗普毫无从政经验,而美国作为大国需要一个合格的政治领导人。美国的政治制度设计没有

对总统竞选人的履历做出较多限制,这导致特朗普通过赢得选举人票就当选了总统。从选举的角度

来看,选举人团制度是一个比较落后的制度安排,西方国家已经很少采用选举人团制度。因为在这

种制度之下,获得民众选票最多的人不一定当选。这是直接违反民意的一种制度设定,是不科学、

不合理、不民主的。同时,特朗普作为一个毫无从政经验的人,入主白宫必然碰到很多问题,尤其

是人事问题。如果是一个成熟的政治家入主白宫,他能够组建一个高效的团队。而特朗普做不到这

一点,因为它没有专业的团队。他对专业官僚充满了不信任,小圈子决策、任人唯亲成为他的选择。

特朗普的这些做法是不符合现代政治发展要求的,必然会给美国带来麻烦。

笔者从特朗普及其执政团队的所作所为中提炼出一个学理性概念,即特朗普双击效应。所谓的

特朗普双击效应是指,一个人或者一个组织能够同时对本国的执政党和本国的政治体制形成重大打

击的政治现象。2020 年美国大选之后的特朗普双击效应已经十分明显,共和党和美国的政治体制都

遭遇严重打击。特朗普双击效应在世界政治中出现的频次并不是很多。因为要同时满足对本国的执

政党和政治体制形成重大打击这两个条件是比较困难的。

特朗普双击效应的第一个层面是对美国共和党的打击。美国共和党在2020 年大选中不仅未能赢

得总统大选,而且失去了在参议院的主导权,众议院也依然处于民主党的掌控之中。经过2020 年大

选,美国的总统和参众两院都处于民主党的实际掌握之下。特朗普被弹劾了两次,尽管其在第二次

弹劾中依然未被定罪,但两次弹劾案已经被美国历史记录在案,成为特朗普本人和共和党不光彩的

历史。更重要的是,特朗普不仅使共和党失去了实实在在的执政权力,更让共和党内部面临分裂的

危险。共和党与特朗普的关系一直处于非常“拧巴”的状态。在016 年大选周期中,特朗普以战胜

共和党内的建制派和其他茶党代表人物的方式获得了总统候选人资格。共和党为了赢得选举,不得

不放下成见与特朗普暂时合作。而特朗普意外赢得016 年大选之后,共和党领袖转而全力支持特朗

普。双方经过了一段磨合期之后,共和党内的大部分领袖都倒向了特朗普,但是以米特·罗姆尼为

代表的一部分共和党建制派人士始终对特朗普持批评态度。这种“绥靖与反对共存”的态度在特朗

普任期内一直存在,并且处于相对均衡的状态。而当特朗普输掉了大选并且拒绝承认选举结果,以

至于在021 年1 月6 日煽动了针对国会的暴力冲击事件之后,共和党内的“反对”态度才开始占据

上风,“绥靖”态度暂时熄火。围绕特朗普的第二次弹劾,共和党内部吵得不可开交。而共和党众

议院领袖凯文·麦卡锡在021 年1 月底拜访特朗普时表明,共和党内部仍然有很大一部分力量希望

继续与特朗普合作。特朗普的上台在客观上已经造成了共和党的分裂,而特朗普的下台则继续扩大

了这种党内分裂。在特朗普第二次弹劾案中,有多达7 名共和党参议员投票支持认定特朗普有罪,

这公开向外界展示了共和党内部的分裂。在未来,不管是绥靖的态度占据上风还是反对的态度占据

上风,共和党都将继续面临内部问题。如果继续对特朗普采取绥靖态度,那么共和党的形象就会遭

遇更大的打击。如果清算特朗普,那么共和党将面临进一步分裂的危险。

特朗普双击效应的第二个层面是对美国的政治体制形成重大的打击。长期以来,美国的政治体

制具有很强的外部引领性和内部凝聚性,是维系美国霸权和全球领导力不可或缺的因素。美国的政

治体制一直是美国软实力的重要组成部分,长期被用来向外输出价值观。与此同时,美国的政治体

制对于团结国内不同肤色、不同种族、不同宗教信仰的人曾经起到了较大的作用。特朗普上台执政

时间不算长,但是它所掀起的特朗普主义浪潮可能会长期存在并持续对美国的政治体制形成重大打

击。特朗普主义暴露出美国政治体制落后和消极的一面。例如,特朗普任人唯亲、用小圈子治国,

不信任国家的专业官僚体制。特朗普提出和贯彻美国优先的方针,以牺牲软实力作为代价换取现实

的物质利益。特朗普试图改变军队在美国国家政治生活中的中立地位,以暴力相威胁妄图改变国家

选举结果。特朗普对美国政治体制的打击之大是前所未有的。而且这种打击没有随着特朗普的下台

而完全消失。正因如此,美国当选总统拜登一直在强调“恢复美国的灵魂”。作为美国政坛建制派

的代表性人物,拜登比任何人都清楚如果特朗普连任的话,那么美国的政治体制将遭遇更大的打击。

但是特朗普主义不会因为特朗普下台而销声匿迹,因为特朗普主义的根源并不是特朗普本人,而是

在2020 年大选中投票支持他的7 400 多万美国公民。在抗击新冠肺炎疫情如此不力的情况下,仍然

有这么多的人投票支持特朗普连任总统,他们的目的是对抗美国长久以来政治体制所孵化出的种种

政治正确。这种政治正确之争也是美国体制之争[10]。这些美国公民对美国的主流制度所带来的治理

绩效充满了失望。

特朗普双击效应是美国和西方政治现实的集中反映,预示着西方政治发展道路的某种转向。美

国在百年未有之大变局的今天同样面临着严峻的考验,美国国内政治领导力的缺乏将会进一步影响

其发展。美国政治衰败将产生进一步的内政外交影响。

四、美国政治衰败的内政外交影响

作为当今世界唯一的超级大国,美国的一举一动都得到外界密切关注。在百年未有之大变局的

今天,美国一旦进入政治衰败阶段将对整个世界产生重大影响。美国已经从政党恶斗的否决体制开

始走向系统性政治衰败。在此背景之下,美国的国家治理会陷入更深的困境之中。其在内政方面会

出现较大的不稳定性,而在对外政策方面则会出现较强的非理性攻击。

其一,美国政治衰败在内政方面的影响是不稳定性上升。一旦国内治理政策面临巨大的调整,

国内不同群体之间的利益纠葛就会不可避免地增多。这将对国内秩序和社会团结产生非常消极的影

响。美国的共和党和民主党一直存在很多政策分歧,这导致美国在内政方面已经出现很大的政策波

动。而在政治衰败之后,政治系统的问题会进一步传导到政策领域,导致内政方面的不稳定性上升。

这种不稳定性最直接的一个表现就是政策的钟摆效应异常明显。特朗普上台伊始就大肆撤销和修改

其前任奥巴马的政策。这些政策调整包括改变美国的移民政策、退出TPP、调整医保政策、重新发展

传统能源、撕毁伊核协议等。奥巴马的政策遗产在短时间内被特朗普否定。同样的故事在拜登上台

之后重演。拜登在废除特朗普的政策遗产方面有过之而无不及。拜登上台9 天时间就签署了25 项行

政命令,不仅在数量上远超前任所签署的行政命令,更是与特朗普的行政命令相抵触。拜登在移民

政策、性别取向、种族平等、司法正义、气候变化、医保等问题上签署了多项行政命令,目的是改

变特朗普政府在这些议题上的政策。国家的重大政策每隔一段时间就会经历大幅度的调整,甚至一

届政府的政策遗产会被下一届政府全盘否定,这导致美国的国家治理无力解决根本性、长期性、系

统性问题。从其他国家的发展经验来看,一旦根本性、长期性和系统性的国内治理问题无法得到解

决,国家政权会面临更大的危机,政治衰败也会愈演愈烈[11]。美国社会内部的种族问题、平等问题、

债务问题都是系统性的大问题。这些问题在政策钟摆效应的影响下不仅没有得到有效解决,反而呈

现进一步恶化的趋势。

其二,美国政治衰败在对外政策方面的影响是非理性攻击增多。美国的对外政策一直具有咄咄

逼人的风格[12]。无论是奉行多边主义的美国政府还是奉行单边主义的美国政府,在处理与其他国家

的关系时都极力维护美国的国家利益。依仗美国军队的强大力量,美国在实施对外政策方面往往充

满了攻击性。出于维护美国国家利益的需要而展现出的攻击性可以被称为理性攻击。而在美国出现

系统性政治衰败的情况下,未来可能会出现更多的非理性攻击。所谓非理性攻击是指美国对外展示

出的攻击性不一定是出于维护美国国家利益的需要,很可能只是出于转移国内矛盾或者迫于舆论等

非理性因素而实施的攻击性行为。比如,特朗普政府不顾美国国内很多反对声音执意对中国发起贸

易摩擦[13],大幅度提高中国向美国市场输入的商品关税。中国为了反制,不得不提高美国商品输入

中国市场的关税。中美贸易摩擦的后果是,美国的农业和工业产品对华出口受到了很大的影响。事

实证明,特朗普政府的很多非理性举措看起来咄咄逼人,实施效果却大打折扣,并不真正符合美国

的国家利益需要。而在拜登政府上台之后,非理性攻击不一定会减少,还有可能增多。美国的国会

与总统都能对外交政策产生重大影响。虽然拜登放弃了美国优先的政策,但是美国国会内部依然充

满着非理性声音。美国社会戾气严重,内部矛盾重重,这都是美国非理性攻击增多的基础和源泉。

当然,我们也不应该低估美国革新自身体制的能力。美国具有很强的纠错能力,历史上多次在

困难的处境之下调整自己的内部状况,重新获得了生机与活力。但是短期来看,美国没有很好的机

会来阻止自身的政治衰败。目前,美国的党争依然尖锐,拜登政府在抗击新冠肺炎疫情、恢复经济、

调整外交战略等方面依然会受到共和党的掣肘。而且拜登本人因为年龄原因,大概率只能做满一届

任期,在有限的时间内他面临的挑战很多,而能实现的目标却寥寥无几。

2020 年美国大选虽然已经落幕,但是带给我们很多的思考和启示。西方的选举政治和多党竞争

体制的弊端在这场大选中被暴露出来。在美国本次大选之前,几乎没有人能够预料到美国大选会出

现如此多的争议、冲突乃至暴力。美国今天的政治衰败不是特朗普一人造成的,但是特朗普加速了

五、结 语

这个进程。归根结底,我们需要从竞争型政党体制作反思。竞争型政党体制过分强调政党之间紧张

激烈的竞争关系,没有提供足够的激励机制来促使政党之间的合作[14]。长此以往,政党关系就会变

成一种恶性争斗关系。政党是国家公器,政党之间恶性斗争最后伤害最深的是整个社会的利益,是

整个国家的核心利益。而合作型政党体制能够避免这种问题,政党之间有足够强的激励因素来齐心

协力地维护和发展整个国家的利益。当国家的整体利益得到发展的时候,反过来又会给各个政党带

来更强的正向反馈,从而进一步增强政党关系的和谐、团结和凝聚力。中国共产党领导的多党合作

和政治协商制度是典型的合作型政党体制,这种制度不仅确保了中国共产党的领导权能够不断巩固

和完善,也确保了参政党能够不断为国家的发展贡献重要力量。

政治发展是一个动态的长期问题,是发达国家和发展中国家共同面临的问题。发达国家不一定

就是政治发展的成功者,发展中国家也不一定就是政治发展的失败者。一个国家的政治发展需要有

担当有使命的政党来推动,而且政治发展一定要根据本国的国情、民情和党情有序、渐进地向前推

进。只有这样,才能走出一条真正符合本国国情又能持续进步的政治发展之路[15]。西方国家不是政

治发展的“师爷”,政治发展的模式也不是唯一的。我国要坚定地走中国特色社会主义政治发展道

路,根据我国的实际情况推动政治建设。

参考文献:

[1] 王缉思.特朗普的对外政策与中美关系[J].当代美国评论,2017(1):1-11.

[2] 赵晨.特朗普的“蛮权力”外交与美欧关系[J].世界经济与政治,2020(11):71-88.

[3] 张玉环.特朗普政府的对外经贸政策与中美经贸博弈[J].外交评论(外交学院学报),2018(3):12-36.

[4] 王浩.选情与疫情叠加下的美国政治:认同分裂、政党重组与治理困境[J].统一战线学研究,2020(5):78-85.

[5] 卜永光.美国国家治理系统性困境的主要体现、关联机理与演化逻辑——对2020 年美国大选的总体性解释

[J].统一战线学研究,2021(1):77-90.

[6] 庞金友.无法摆脱的撕裂:美国大选背后的价值冲突与观念歧异[J].当代美国评论,2020(4):42-56.

[7] 刁大明.2020 年美国大选与美国对外政策新态势[J].美国研究,2020(6):9-10.

[8] Francis Fukuyama.America in Decay:The Sources of Political Dysfunction[J].Foreign Affairs,

2014(5):5-8.

[9] Nazita Lajevardi,Kassra Oskooii.Old-Fashioned Racism,Contemporary Islamophobia,and The Isolation of

Muslim Americans in The Age of Trump[J].Journal of Race,Ethnicity and Politics,2018(1):112-152.

[10] 房宁.“政治正确性”之争——2016 年美国总统大选研究报告[M].北京:中国社会科学出版社,2017:3.

[11] 张春满.非洲利比里亚真辉格党的兴起、治理与崩溃[J].国外理论动态,2020(5):127-133.

[12] Daniel Yankelovich and Larry Kaagan,Assertive America[J].Foreign Affairs,1980(3):696-713.

[13] Douglas A Irwin.The False Promise of Protectionism:Why Trump’s Trade Policy Could Backfire

[J].Foreign Affairs,2017(3):45-56.

[14] 张春满.中西政党政治的实践、研究范式和方法:一个理论反思[J].经济和社会体制比较,019(5):126-137.

[15] 张春满.转型中国的政治发展与美国的政治衰败:基于政党中心主义的分析[].学习与探索,020(10):60-66.

责任编辑:龚静阳

About 高大伟 David Cowhig

After retirement translated, with wife Jessie, Liao Yiwu's 2019 "Bullets and Opium", and have been studying things 格物致知. Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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5 Responses to 2021: PRC Party United Front Journal on US Political Decline, Perspectives on Chinese and Foreign Political Defense Issues

  1. Pingback: PRC Researcher on President Biden’s China Experts 中国通 | 高大伟 David Cowhig's Translation Blog

  2. Alhric says:

    First, the background of the era of China’s rise. Most of the new generation of “China Experts” grew up in the period of great development of U.S. power near the end of the Cold War. They are confident in U.S. power. In the past decade or so, they have experienced the historical transition characterized by the decline of U.S. influence and the rise of the developing countries, and so are alert to possible challenges from other countries. Although many of them are fluent in Chinese and have studied and worked in China for a long time, they have not experienced the process of China’s transition from closure to reform and opening up, and lack a deeper understanding of China’s history, and think about China more from the perspective of the power structure of the international system and U.S. hegemonic interests. In contrast, the older generation of American “China Experts” such as Ezra Vogel and David Lampton have real feelings and memories of the devastation of war and the tensions brought by the Cold War.

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  5. Pingback: Huang Renwei: The U.S.-China Strategic Stalemate Phase and Its Battle Relaxation Periods | 高大伟 David Cowhig's Translation Blog

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