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        #226: The Presidential Election of 1988

        作者:Steve Ember 發布日期:9-25-2013

         Republican presidential candidate, Vice President George Bush, right, and his running mate Indiana Senator Dan Quayle, at the Republican National Convention in 1988
        Republican presidential candidate, Vice President George Bush, right, and his running mate Indiana Senator Dan Quayle, at the Republican National Convention in 1988

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

        This week in our series, we look at the presidential election of nineteen eighty-eight.

        (MUSIC)

        Ronald Reagan was finishing his second term. He was America's fortieth president and one of the most popular. During his eight years in office, many Americans did well financially. Many felt more secure about the future of the nation and the world. The possibility of nuclear war with the Soviet Union did not seem as great a threat as it had in the past.

        The Constitution limits presidents to two terms. So, in nineteen eighty-eight, the country prepared to elect a new chief executive.

        There were three main candidates for the Republican Party nomination. They were George Herbert Walker Bush, Bob Dole and Pat Robertson. Bush had just served eight years as Reagan's vice president. Dole was the top Republican in the Senate. Robertson was a conservative Christian who had his own television program.

        Ronald Reagan's popularity helped George Bush gain the Republican nomination. Neither Dole nor Robertson won enough votes in the primary election season to be a threat. Bush was nominated on the first vote at the party convention. The delegates accepted his choice for vice president, Senator Dan Quayle of Indiana.

        Eight candidates competed for the nomination of the Democratic Party. One of the candidates was Jesse Jackson, a black minister and political activist. He won about twenty-five percent of the delegates. He had also sought the nomination four years earlier.

        The Democrats chose Michael Dukakis, the governor of Massachusetts. His running mate was Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas.

        Vice President George H.W. Bush, left, and Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis at their final debate in the presidential campaign of nineteen eighty-eight
        Vice President George H.W. Bush, left, and Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis at their final debate in the presidential campaign of nineteen eighty-eight
        In public opinion surveys Dukakis looked like a strong candidate after the party conventions. But then he began to lose popularity. Many observers said he had waited too long to launch a nationwide campaign.

        The candidates heavily attacked each other through campaign advertising on television.

        Dukakis also came under attack from the Bush campaign, targeting his record as a governor. Campaign ads said Dukakis had not been tough enough with criminals.

        ANNOUNCER: "Bush and Dukakis on Crime. Bush supports the death penalty for first degree murderers. Dukakis not only opposes the death penalty - he allowed first degree murderers to have weekend passes from prison. One was Willy Horton, who murdered a boy in a robbery, stabbing him nineteen times. Despite a life sentence, Horton received ten weekend passes from prison. Horton fled, kidnapped a young couple, stabbing the man and repeatedly raping his girlfriend. Weekend prison passes - Dukakis on crime."

        Ads by the Bush campaign also said Dukakis would weaken America's military power. And they accused him of not protecting the environment by seeking a permit to dump sewage from Massachusetts off the coast of New Jersey.

        ANNOUNCER: "The Environmental Protection Agency called Boston Harbor one of the dirtiest harbors in America. But not long ago, Governor Dukakis proposed a way to help clean it up - by dumping Massachusetts sewage sludge off the New Jersey shore, just one hundred and six miles from New York. Now, Michael Dukakis says he wants to do for America, what he's done for Massachusetts. New Jersey can't afford to take that risk."

        DUKAKIS: "I'm fed up with it -- never seen anything like it in twenty-five years of public life."

        Dukakis fought back.

        DUKAKIS: "George Bush's negative TV ads distorting my record -- full of lies, and he knows it."

        Dukakis accused Bush of not telling the truth about his part in the secret sales of arms to Iran to finance contra rebels in Nicaragua. He also criticized Bush for being part of an administration that reduced social programs.

        DUKAKIS: "I must have been living through a different eight years from the ones the vice president's been living through, because this administration has cut and slashed, and cut and slashed programs for children, for nutrition, for the kinds of things that can help these youngsters to live better lives.

        "It's cut federal aid to education, has cut Pell Grants and loans, to close the door to college opportunity on youngsters all over this country. And that, too, is a major difference between the vice president and me."

        (MUSIC)

        In the end, Bush's campaign succeeded in making Dukakis look weak on crime and defense. Dukakis did not help himself with a commercial in which he was looking out of a moving tank while wearing a large helmet. Many people made fun of the ad.

        On Election Day in November, Bush defeated Dukakis by almost seven million votes.

        George Bush was sworn into office on January twentieth, nineteen eighty-nine.

        GEORGE BUSH: "No president, no government can teach us to remember what is best in what we are. But if the man you have chosen to lead this government can help make a difference, if he can celebrate the quieter, deeper successes that are made -- not of gold and silk, but of better hearts and finer souls -- if he can do these things, then he must. We as a people have such a purpose today. It is to make kinder the face of the nation and gentler the face of the world. My friends, we have work to do."

        (MUSIC)

        George Bush was the son of a United States senator and had led a life of public service. He joined the Navy when America entered World War Two. He flew attack planes. He was just eighteen years old -- at that time, the youngest pilot the Navy ever had. He flew many bombing raids against the Japanese in the Pacific. He was shot down once and rescued by an American submarine.

        George Bush came home from the war as a hero. He became a university student and got married. He and his wife, Barbara, then moved to Texas where he worked in the oil business. He ran for the United States Senate in nineteen sixty-four, and lost. Two years later, he was elected to the House of Representatives.

        He ran for the Senate again in nineteen seventy, and lost again. But by that time, he had gained wider recognition. Over the next eight years, he was appointed to a series of government positions. He was ambassador to the United Nations. He was chairman of the Republican National Committee. He was America's representative in China before the two countries had diplomatic relations. And he was head of the Central Intelligence Agency.

        In nineteen eighty, Bush ran against Ronald Reagan for the Republican nomination for president. Bush lost but became Reagan's running mate.

        After two terms as vice president, he felt ready to lead the nation himself.

        The new president took seven foreign trips during his first year in office. In Europe, Bush met with the other leaders of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He proposed a major agreement on reducing troops and non-nuclear weapons in Europe. The Soviet Union considered his proposal an important step in the right direction.

        (MUSIC)

        In June of nineteen eighty-nine, the Chinese government sent tanks and troops to crush pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Hundreds and perhaps thousands of demonstrators were killed. President Bush took some steps against China, but many critics felt the sanctions were not strong enough.

        In central and eastern Europe, communist governments also faced protests. Since nineteen eighty-seven, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev had let countries in the Warsaw Pact experiment with political and economic reforms.

        But those reforms were not enough to stop the fall of communist governments in one country after another.

        In the summer of nineteen eighty-nine, President Bush visited Hungary and Poland. Both nations were trying to develop free-market economies. Both were suffering as they moved away from central control.

        (AUDIO: Polish Solidarity Union demonstrators singing)

        In Poland the leader of the Solidary trade union, Lech Walesa, led the push for reform.

        (AUDIO: Walesa addressing rally in Polish)

        He would later become president of a democratic Poland.

        [MONTAGE: BERLIN WALL]

        (AUDIO: West German "Tagesschau" television evening news program anchor announcing opening of Berlin Wall; car horns; crowds at wall)

        November of nineteen eighty-nine brought a dramatic expression of the changes taking place in eastern Europe.

        On November ninth, East Germany opened the wall that had divided it from the West since nineteen sixty-one.

        ANNOUNCER (over ABC New Theme): "From ABC, this is World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, reporting tonight from Berlin."

        PETER JENNINGS: "From the Berlin Wall specifically. Take a look at them. They've been there since last night. They are here in the thousands; they are here in the tens of thousands. Occasionally they shout 'Die Mauer muss weg!' - the Wall must go!

        "Thousands and thousands of West Germans come to make the point that the wall has suddenly become irrelevant. Something, as you can see, almost to party on. How do you measure such an astonishing moment in history?

        "The East German government said tonight they were going to make more openings in the wall, at least a dozen more, put bulldozers right through the wall, so that more people could cross to the West. The East German communist leadership tonight said there'd be a new election law guaranteeing secret elections which the rest of the world could monitor.

        "And only twenty-four hours after East Germans were told they could go anywhere, anytime, the Soviet Union said - That was a sensible move!"

        Within days, citizens and soldiers began tearing the wall down as the world watched with hope for a new era of peace.

        SONG: "Freiheit" (Freedom)

        JENNINGS: "What's it feel like to be standing on top of the Wall?"

        YOUNG GERMAN MAN [#1]: "Incredible. For me, it's...I can't describe really my feelings. It's something unreal for me."

        YOUNG GERMAN MAN [#2]: "If there is someone who sleeps for eight weeks, and you told him what happened here, he thinks you are crazy. It's unthinkable [hard to imagine]."

        SONG: "Freiheit"

        (MUSIC)

        The fall of the Berlin Wall pointed to the end of the Soviet Union, the end of Communist rule in most of the countries in the former Soviet Bloc - and the end of more than 40 years of the Cold War between the East and West. The presidency of George Herbert Walker Bush will be remembered as the time during which these world changing events took place, as well as the beginning of the Persian Gulf War with Iraq, following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. We'll look at those and other events in the Bush presidency, both at home and abroad, next week.

        You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and pictures at www.squishedblueberries.com. You can also 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.

        ___

        Contributing: Jerilyn Watson

        This was program #226. For earlier programs, type "Making of a Nation" in quotation marks in the search box at the top of the page.

        羅納德.里根是美國第40任總統,也是美國歷史上最受歡迎的總統之一。里根八年任期里,很多美國人日子過得挺好,對國家和世界的未來比過去更放心,美蘇爆發核戰爭的威脅也不像原先那么大了。

        根據美國憲法,總統最多只能連任兩屆。因此,1988年,美國人民需要選擇一位新的領導人。

        參加共和黨總統提名角逐的主要有三個人選。他們分別是喬治.布什;鮑勃.多爾和帕特.羅伯遜。里根任期內,布什當了八年的副總統,多爾是參議院最重要的共和黨議員,羅伯遜是著名保守派基督徒,是電視節目主持人。

        里根總統的威望,幫助布什贏得了共和黨總統候選人的提名。多爾和羅伯遜在初選中都沒能對布什構成威脅。共和黨提名大會第一輪投票,布什就當選勝出了。

        與此同時,角逐民主黨黨內提名的一共有八個人選,其中包括四年前參加過提名角逐的黑人牧師和政治活動家杰西.杰克遜,他在提名大會上贏得了大約百分之25與會代表的支持。

        最后,民主黨人選擇了麻薩諸塞州州長邁克爾.達卡克斯,他的副總統競選搭檔是德克薩斯州參議員勞埃德.本特森。

        提名大會后的民意調查顯示,達卡克斯很受歡迎,但是沒過多久,他的支持度就開始下滑。很多觀察家認為,達卡克斯的問題出在,他在全國范圍內開展的競選活動起步太晚了。

        競選期間,參選人通過電視競選廣告,大肆攻擊對方。達卡克斯也受到了來自布什陣營的攻擊。布什的競選班子把達卡克斯擔任州長期間的業績做為攻擊目標,競選廣告里說,達卡克斯對犯罪分子過于心慈手軟。

        廣告里說:"在犯罪問題上,布什和達卡克斯不一樣。布什支持對一級謀殺犯處以死刑。達卡克斯不僅反對將一級謀殺犯處死,而且還讓他們享受周末出獄的待遇,其中包括在一次搶劫中在一個男孩身上連捅19刀將其致死的威利.霍頓?;纛D被判終身監禁,但卻先后十次獲準,周末出獄度假,結果逃跑,綁架了一對情侶,捅死了男的,并多次強奸其女友。監獄周末度假券--這就是達卡克斯對犯罪的態度。"

        布什競選班子制作的競選廣告還說,達卡克斯會削弱美國的軍事力量,并指責他不積極環保,因為他曾申請許可,將麻薩諸塞州的下水道廢物扔到新澤西州的岸邊。

        廣告詞里說:"環境保護署稱波士頓港口為美國最骯臟的港口之一。但是就在不久前,達卡克斯州長還提議,將麻薩諸塞州的下水道廢物丟到距離紐約只有106英里的新澤西海岸去。邁克爾.達卡克斯說,他要把麻薩諸塞州的經驗用在美國身上,新澤西可擔不起這份風險"。

        達卡克斯也不甘示弱。他說,"我簡直受夠了,從政25年,我從來沒見過這種事兒。"他說:"喬治.布什的負面電視廣告扭曲了我的記錄,其中充滿謊言,他自己心里清楚得很。"

        達卡克斯指責布什隱瞞了自己在向伊朗秘密出售武器,用收入款項支持尼加拉瓜反對派一事中所起的作用。他還對布什擔任副總統期間,政府減少社會保障項目的做法提出批評。

        達卡克斯說:"副總統跟我在過去八年的經歷完全不同。他領導下的美國政府大幅度削減涉及讓兒童營養充分、過更好生活的各種保障兒童的項目。他領導下的美國政府削減了對教育的聯邦資助款,削減了貝爾獎學金和學生貸款,讓很多年輕人上不了大學。這也是我跟副總統的重大區別。"

        最后還是布什的競選班子占了上風,他們讓達卡克斯在打擊犯罪和國防上顯得軟弱無力。達卡克斯自己也做了個適得其反的廣告。在廣告中,他頭戴一個大頭盔,站在一架正在行駛的坦克里向外看,很多人都覺得他在廣告里的樣子很可笑。

        總統大選中,布什以將近七百萬張選票的優勢擊敗了達卡克斯。1989年1月20日,布什宣誓就職。布什說: "沒有哪位總統,沒有哪個政府能教導我們記得,人性才是最重要的。但是,如果你們選擇領導政府的那個人能帶來變化,如果他能更注重由善良的心靈和美好的靈魂,而不是由黃金和綢緞,所帶來的那種無聲無息,更深層的成功,如果他能做到這些的話,那他一定要這樣做。作為一個民族,今天的我們充滿了使命感,那就是讓我們的國家和世界更美好。朋友們,我們有很多工作要做。"

        喬治.布什的父親是美國聯邦參議員,他一輩子都在政界打拼。布什18歲加入海軍,在二戰期間駕駛殲擊機,是當時美國海軍歷史上最年輕的飛行員。布什多次在太平洋執行對日本的轟炸任務,他駕駛的殲擊機有一次被日軍擊落,結果被美軍潛艇救起。

        布什以戰斗英雄的身份榮歸故里,上大學,結婚,他和妻子芭芭拉后來搬到德克薩斯州,靠油田賺錢。1964年,布什參選美國聯邦參議員,結果落選,兩年過后,他當選了聯邦眾議員。1970年,布什再次參選參議員,結果又一次落選,但通過競選極大地增加了知名度。在接下來的八年時間里,布什擔任過不少政界要職,包括美國常駐聯合國大使,美國共和黨全國委員會主席,美中兩國正式建交前,布什曾任駐華代表,還曾擔任美國中央情報局局長。

        布什曾在參加共和黨總統候選人提名的角逐中,輸給了里根,但是卻成了里根的競選搭檔,跟里根一起當選連任,八年過后,布什覺得自己已經做好了當總統的準備。任期第一年,布什七次出國訪問。他在歐洲會見了北約成員國領導人,提出了減少歐洲兵力和非核武器的重要提議,蘇聯覺得布什的提議是向正確方向邁出的一步。

        1989年6月,北京發生六四事件,中國政府出動坦克和部隊鎮壓民主抗議示威者,造成成百上千人死亡。布什總統對中國采取制裁行動,但是很多批評人士認為,制裁措施不夠強硬。在東歐和中歐,共產黨政權紛紛面臨抗議示威。1987年以來,蘇聯領導人戈爾巴喬夫允許華沙公約成員國進行政治和經濟改革的大膽嘗試,但是這些改革也沒能改變這些國家共產黨政權下臺的命運。

        1989年夏天,布什總統訪問了匈牙利和波蘭,這兩個國家都在努力發展自由市場經濟,在脫離中央集權控制的過程中,舉步維艱。波蘭團結工會主席萊赫.瓦文薩是改革的領導人,后來成了民主制度下的波蘭總統。

        1989年11月9號,從1961年開始將柏林一分為二的柏林墻被打開了。美國廣播公司ABC的著名新聞主播彼得.詹寧斯從柏林發來報導說:"這里是柏林墻,看看這些人,他們從昨天晚上開始就一直在這里,成千上萬人,他們高呼口號‘柏林墻一定要推倒。'數以千計的西德人,通過這種方式表明,柏林墻忽然間無關緊要了,大家能看到,這好像是件值得慶祝的事情,這種歷史性時刻的重要性實在是難以衡量。東德政府今天晚上說,他們準備在柏林墻上再開幾個門,至少增加12個,讓更多的人能到西邊去。東德共產黨領導人今天晚上說,他們將出臺一部新的選舉法,保證秘密選舉接受全世界的監督。東德人得知自己可以想去哪去哪,想什么時候就什么時候去,短短24小時后,蘇聯就表態說,這種做法很合理。"

        幾天內,民眾和士兵就開始拆除柏林墻了,全世界都在關注,希望這是一個新的和平時代的開始。柏林墻的倒塌意味著蘇聯,前蘇聯影響下大多數東歐國家共產政權的結束,也意味著40多年東西方冷戰的結束。這些重大國際事件發生的時候,正趕上布什總統任期,他的任期內,還有伊拉克入侵科威特后發生的海灣戰爭。

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