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        #209: The Election of 1960

        作者:Jeri Watson 發布日期:9-8-2013

        STEVE EMBER: Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION - American history in VOA Special English. I'm Steve Ember.

        (MUSIC)

        DWIGHT EISENHOWER: "Three days from now, after half a century in the service of our country, I shall lay down the responsibilities of office as, in traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the presidency is vested in my successor. This evening, I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen."

        Dwight Eisenhower was elected president in nineteen fifty-two. The following year, the Korean War ended with an armistice, a ceasefire agreement.

        A draft of President Dwight Eisenhower's farewell address, at the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas
        A draft of President Dwight Eisenhower's farewell address, at the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas

        During his presidency, Eisenhower began a tradition of meetings between the leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union. He met with Soviet leaders Nikolai Bulganin and Nikita Khrushchev. These meetings may have helped reduce the threat of a nuclear war between the two countries during the Cold War.

        By nineteen sixty, Eisenhower had served two terms. The Constitution was changed to prevent presidents from being elected more than twice, after Franklin Roosevelt won four times.

        DWIGHT EISENHOWER: "We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts, America is today the strongest, the most influential, and most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this pre-eminence, we yet realize that America's leadership and prestige depend not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment. ...

        "Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.

        "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

        At the end of Eisenhower's first term, he was still very popular. He had suffered a heart attack, but the Republican president felt strong enough to campaign again in nineteen fifty-six.

        His Democratic Party opponent was Adlai Stevenson. They had been the candidates in the presidential election four years earlier. This time, Eisenhower won almost ten million more votes than Stevenson -- an even bigger victory than in nineteen fifty-two.

        Eisenhower's second term, however, presented problems. The Soviet Union launched the space age by putting the first satellite into orbit around Earth. Fidel Castro established a communist government in Cuba. Many white Americans were fighting the Supreme Court's decision to end racial separation in schools. And the American economy suffered a recession.

        Eisenhower's popularity dropped during his second term. This would make it more difficult for the Republican Party's next candidate for president.

        The delegates who attended the presidential nominating convention in the summer of nineteen-sixty feared that their party would lose the election in November. They had to find the strongest candidate possible. Many believed that Richard Nixon was the strongest.

        Nixon had been a senator and a member of the House of Representatives. He had been Eisenhower's vice president for eight years. When Eisenhower suffered several serious illnesses, Nixon had a chance to show his abilities to lead the nation. He showed great strength while facing an angry crowd during a trip to South America. He also gained support when he defended the United States to Khrushchev during a trip to the Soviet Union.

        Nixon's closest opponent for the Republican nomination was Nelson Rockefeller. Rockefeller was the governor of New York state. He came from one of the richest families in America.

        Richard Nixon easily won the support of the party. The delegates nominated him on the first vote. He accepted the nomination. And he called for new efforts for peace and freedom around the world.

        The race for the Democratic nomination was much more difficult. The Democratic Party thought it would have no problem winning the presidential election. Many candidates entered the race for the nomination. One was Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota. Another was Senator John Kennedy of Massachusetts.

        Humphrey had been elected to the Senate three times. He was a strong activist for civil rights and peace. Kennedy was a Navy hero in World War Two. He was handsome and only forty-three years old. He was also Roman Catholic. No Catholic had ever been elected president of the United States.

        Kennedy and Humphrey began to compete in state primary elections, the first step in the nominating process. Kennedy won an important primary in Wisconsin. But voters in Protestant areas of that state did not support him. The question then became: could he win in another state, West Virginia. Most of the voters in that state were Protestant.

        On the last night of the primary campaign in West Virginia, Kennedy spoke about his religion. He said the president of the United States promises to defend the Constitution. And that, he said, includes the separation of the government from any religion or church.

        Kennedy won a big victory in West Virginia. He then went on to win many votes in other primaries. He received the nomination on the first vote at the Democratic convention.

        In his acceptance speech, he said he would ask Americans to help their country and sacrifice for their country.

        After the party conventions, the two candidates -- Kennedy and Nixon -- began to campaign around the country. Nixon charged that Kennedy was too young to be president. He said Kennedy did not know enough about governing. Kennedy attacked the Republican record of the past eight years. He said President Eisenhower and Vice President Nixon had not done enough to bring progress to the nation.

        Protestant groups expressed concerns about Kennedy's religion. They wondered if he would be influenced by the pope. They wondered if the leader of the Roman Catholic Church would try to make policy for the United States. Kennedy answered by repeating his strong support for the constitutional separation of church and state.

        Vice President Richard Nixon, left, and Senator John Kennedy during their fourth presidential debate, on October 21, 1960
        Vice President Richard Nixon, left, and Senator John Kennedy during their fourth presidential debate, on October 21, 1960

        Public opinion surveys showed the election campaign to be very close. Then the candidates agreed to hold four debates on television.

        In the first debate, the candidates showed they did not differ too widely on major issues. Kennedy appeared calm and sure. But Nixon did not feel well. He appeared thin and tired. Many people who had not considered voting for Kennedy now began to change their minds. To them, he looked more presidential.

        Most people seemed to feel that Kennedy won the first debate. Nixon probably won the second one. And both men did about the same in the last two.

        In the fourth debate, they expressed widely different opinions about whether the United States was making progress. Kennedy believed there had been little progress under Eisenhower and Nixon.

        JOHN KENNEDY: "Franklin Roosevelt said in nineteen-thirty-six that that generation of Americans had a rendezvous with destiny. I believe in nineteen-sixty and sixty-one and two and three, we have a rendezvous with destiny. And I believe it incumbent upon us to be defenders of the United States and the defenders of freedom. And to do that, we must give this country leadership. And we must get America moving again."

        Nixon disagreed. He believed the United States had not been standing still, but there was more to be done.

        RICHARD NIXON: "It is essential with the conflict that we have around the world that we not just hold our own, that we not keep just freedom for ourselves. It is essential that we extend freedom, extend it to all the world. And this means more than what we've been doing. It means keeping America even stronger militarily than she is. It means seeing that our economy moves forward even faster than it has. It means making more progress in civil rights than we have, so that we can be a splendid example for all the world to see."

        Another issue in the nineteen sixty presidential debates was the Chinese attack on the islands of Quemoy and Matsu in the Taiwan Strait. And another was how to deal with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

        After the debates, the presidential candidates campaigned around the country again. Nixon proposed that if he were elected, he would travel to Eastern Europe and meet with Khrushchev.

        Kennedy proposed the Peace Corps, a program to send Americans to developing countries to provide technical aid and other help.

        On Election Day in November, the voters chose John Kennedy as their thirty-fifth president. His victory, however, was a close one. Almost sixty-nine million people voted. Kennedy won by fewer than one hundred twenty thousand votes. The beginning of his presidency will be our story next week.

        You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts, and pictures at www.squishedblueberries.com. And you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. I'm Steve Ember, inviting you to join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English.

        ___

        This was program #209.

        今天我們來介紹1960年的總統大選 。艾森豪威爾總統說:"三天過后,在為國家服務半個世紀后,我將卸任,將總統的職責交給我的繼任者。今晚,我將與大家告別,并最后與你們分享我的一些想法。"

        艾森豪威爾1952年當選美國總統。次年,朝鮮戰爭交戰雙方達成?;饏f議。艾森豪威爾任期內,還開始跟蘇聯領導人接觸。他就曾與當時的蘇聯領導人布爾加寧和赫魯曉夫會面。這在一定程度

        上減少了冷戰期間美蘇兩國間爆發核戰爭的威脅。

        1960年的時候,艾森豪威爾已經連任兩屆總統。羅斯福連任四屆后,美國憲法得到修正,規定總統任期不得超過兩屆。艾森豪威爾總統說:"現在,世紀中葉已經過去十年了,在這期間,世界經歷了四場重大戰爭,我們的國家參與了其中三場。盡管經歷了這些災難,但今天的美國是世界上最強大、最有影響力、生產力最高的國家。我們為這些成就感到自豪,但是我們也知道,美國的領導力和威望并不僅僅依靠無與倫比的物質進步,國家財富和軍事實力,更為重要的是我們如何用這種力量為世界和平和人類進步做出貢獻。"

        艾森豪威爾總統還說:"在美國歷史上,巨大的軍事存在和龐大的武器工業二者的結合是以前沒有過的。每個城市,每個州議會,聯邦政府的每個部門,都能感受到它的影響,不論是經濟上,政治上,甚至是精神上。我們承認這種發展的必要,但我們必須同時明白這種發展可能帶來的負面影響。這涉及到我們的努力、資源、生活,也涉及到我們社會的架構。"

        艾森豪威爾總統還說:"對政府來說,我們必須避免軍工復合體自覺或不自覺帶來的影響。錯位權力災難性上升的可能性是存在的,而且會繼續下去。我們絕不能讓這二者的結合危及自由和民主進程。我們不能認為這是理所當然的。唯有謹慎而睿智的人民能將巨大的工業和軍事國防技術與我們追求和平的目標和途徑結合起來,唯有這樣安全和自由才能共同繁榮。"

        艾森豪威爾第一屆任期接近尾聲時,民眾支持率仍然非常高。他雖然得了一次心臟病,但覺得自己身體還夠硬朗,并于1956年參選連任。當時,他的民主黨對手是史蒂文森,跟四年前上次大選一樣。這次,艾森豪威爾以將近1千萬張選票的優勢勝出,比1952年大選的優勢還要大。

        艾森豪威爾的第二個任期內出現了一些問題。蘇聯開啟了空間時代,向太空發射了第一顆繞地衛星??ㄋ固亓_在古巴建立起共產黨政權。很多美國白種人反對聯邦最高法院做出的結束學校種族分離政策的決定。而美國經濟也經歷了一次衰退。

        艾森豪威爾的支持率在第二個任期里下滑,給下一位共和黨總統候選人的勝出增加了難度。1960年夏天參加共和黨候選人提名大會的代表擔心共和黨將在11月的大選中失利。他們需要找出最有力的候選人,而他們認為這個人是理查德.尼克松。

        尼克松曾經擔任聯邦參議員和眾議員,在艾森豪威爾八年任期內任副總統。艾森豪威爾重病在身的時候,尼克松顯示了他領導國家的能力。在對南美洲的一次訪問中,面對憤怒的人群他顯示了強大的領導力。訪問蘇聯期間,他在赫魯曉夫面前為美國辯護,也因此贏得了很多支持。

        在共和黨總統候選人提名上,尼克松最有力的對手是洛克菲勒。洛克菲勒曾任紐約州州長,出身美國最富有的家庭之一。尼克松輕松贏得共和黨的支持,第一輪投票就通過了對他的提名,尼克松欣然接受,并呼吁全世界為和平和自由而努力。

        相比之下,民主黨的提名過程就艱難多了。民主黨人認為這次他們贏定了,很多候選人都參與角逐,其中包括明尼蘇達州參議員漢弗萊和麻薩諸塞州參議員肯尼迪。漢弗萊曾三次當選參議員。他是民權與和平活動的活躍人士??夏岬鲜嵌饡r的海軍英雄,很英俊,而且年僅43歲。他還是一名羅馬天主教徒。而在美國歷史上,當時還沒有天主教徒擔任過美國總統。

        民主黨的兩位主要候選人肯尼迪和漢弗萊首先在各州初選中擺開陣勢,這是候選人提名的第一步??夏岬馅A得了關鍵性的威斯康星州初選的勝利,但是該州新教徒集中的選區并不支持他。那接下來的問題就是,肯尼迪能否贏得西維吉尼亞州的初選,因為那里的大多數選民都是新教徒。

        西維吉尼亞州初選的前一天晚上,肯尼迪發表講話。談到了自己的宗教信仰。他說,美國總統保證要捍衛憲法,而這就意味著,他必須要保證政教分離??夏岬显谖骶S吉尼亞州大獲全勝。接著又贏得了其他很多州的初選。在民主黨的總統提名代表大會上,第一次投票就通過了肯尼迪的總統提名。

        在接受提名的演講中,肯尼迪說,他將呼吁美國人幫助自己的國家,為自己的國家做出犧牲。隨后,民主共和兩黨的候選人,肯尼迪和尼克松開始在全國競選。尼克松指責肯尼迪太年輕,不知道如何管理國家。而肯尼迪的矛頭則指向共和黨八年來的執政業績。他說,艾森豪威爾總統和尼克松副總統沒有盡力給國家帶來進步。

        新教徒們對肯尼迪的宗教信仰表示質疑。他們懷疑他會受教皇影響,害怕教皇會影響美國的政策制定??夏岬戏磸蛷娬{,他尊重憲法中政教分離的條款。民意調查顯示雙方勢均力敵。兩位候選人同意在電視上進行四輪辯論。

        在第一輪辯論中, 兩位候選人對主要議題沒有太大分歧??夏岬侠潇o而充滿自信。但尼克松看起來并不太好,消瘦而且疲憊。很多原本并不打算投票給肯尼迪的人改變了他們的想法。在他們看來,肯尼迪似乎更有總統風范。

        很多人認為肯尼迪贏了第一輪辯論,尼克松贏了第二輪。而在后兩輪辯論中,這兩名候選人不相上下。在第四輪辯論中,他們兩人對美國是否在進步這個問題上各自闡述了大相徑庭的觀點??夏岬险J為,在艾森豪威爾和尼克松執政期間,美國并沒有取得什么進步。

        肯尼迪說:"富蘭克林.羅斯福1936年時說,當時那一代美國人與命運有約。我認為,1960年,1961年,1962年,1963年,我們也與命運有約。我認為我們有義務保衛美國,保衛自由。為了實現這個目標,這個國家必須有人領導。我們必須讓美國再次前進。"

        尼克松不同意這個觀點。他認為美國并沒有原地不動,但還有很多工作要做。尼克松說:" 世界各地的沖突使我們不能只關注自己的發展,我們不能只讓美國享受自由。我們需要把自由傳播到全世界。這就意味著更多的任務。這就意味著增強美國的軍事實力,這就意味著更快地發展我們的經濟,這就意味著在民權方面取得更大的進步,只有這樣,我們才能成為全世界效仿的榜樣。"

        1960年大選的另一個重要議題是中國對臺灣海峽金門和馬祖的襲擊。另一個則是如何對付蘇聯領導人赫魯曉夫。辯論結束后,兩位候選人繼續在全國各地競選。尼克松表示,如果當選,他會訪問東歐,并與赫魯曉夫會面??夏岬蟿t提議成立志愿組織和平隊,派美國人到發展中國家去,提供技術等方面的幫助。

        11月的選舉日上,選民們選擇肯尼迪成為美國第35任總統。然而尼克松與他的差距并不大。大約有6千9百萬張選票??夏岬弦圆坏?2萬票的優勢勝出。

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