2008年01月17日01時13分掲載  無料記事


【39】change 米国政治の聖杯 

 今年の米大統領選挙では民主、共和両党の候補者は誰もが”change agent”(変革者)、”candidate of change”(変革の候補者)であると訴え、”change”(変化)がwatchword(標語)になっている。”change”は”Holy Grail of American politics”(米国政治の聖杯)になった。(鳥居英晴) 
 He has rewritten the terms of the 2008 race. Mr Obama was the first person to put “change” at the heart of his campaign. Now everybody―Republican as well as Democrat―has leapt on to the change bandwagon. Mrs Clinton promises “smart change”. John Edwards promises “real change”. John McCain touts his record of changing Washington from within. In the twinned Republican and Democratic debates on January 5th the presidential candidates used the word “change” 120 times。 
 (オバマ氏は2008年選挙の言葉を塗り替えた。彼は選挙戦の中心に”change”をすえた最初の人物であった。今では誰もが、民主党も共和党も”change”に便乗している。クリントン氏は“smart change”を約束し、ジョン・エドワード氏は“real change”を約束している。ジョン・マケインは内部からワシントンをchangeした実績を売り込んでいる。1月5日の共和・民主両党の討論会で大統領候補者は”change”という言葉を120回使った) 
 ブッシュ大統領までもが1月11日のNBCニュースのデビッド・グレゴリーとのインタビューで、もし出馬するとしたら”change agent”として出ると述べた。 
Q: Do you see this message of change as anything other than a rejection of your presidency? 
BUSH: No, listen. If you’re running for office, you can’t run for office and not say ‘I am an agent of change.’ It’s just American politics. If I were running for office at this point, I’d be saying, ‘Vote for me. I’m gonna be an agent of change.’ 
 ロサンゼルス・タイムズ(1月13日)でSlate のシニアライター、Timothy Noahは“Change: the empty word”(Change:空虚な言葉)と題し、次のように述べている。 
 A LexisNexis database search tells the story. The phrases "change agent" and "candidate of change" turned up in news sources 50 and 70 times, respectively, in 1988. By 1992, they turned up 483 and 557 times. A cliche was born. A similar search for 2008 shows the phrases turning up 217 and 300 times -- and that's only two weeks into the year. On an annualized basis, that's 5,642 and 7,800 times, respectively. 
 (LexisNexisのデータベースの調査によると、大統領選挙があった1988年に"change agent" と"candidate of change"という言葉はニュースにそれぞれ50回と70回出現した。1992年の時には、それぞれ483回と557回。月並みな表現が生まれた。2008年に同様な調査をしたところ、217回と300回。今年に入ってからわずか2週間のあいだのことである。これを年に直すと、それぞれ5642回と7800回になる) 
 It's hard to think of a more meaningless political watchword than "change," but "change" is what the presidential candidates are promising. 
 But why? Since when did "change" become the Holy Grail of American politics -- and what can the word possibly mean if all these disparate candidates are for it? 
 That began to, um, change in 1988, the year Michael Dukakis announced in his race against Vice President George H.W. Bush that "I want to be a force for positive change." "We are the change," answered President Reagan at that year's GOP convention. The counter-slogan proved such a success that Reagan repeated it at the 1992 convention. 
 That time, though, it didn't work, because Bill Clinton had made himself Mr. Change. Clinton uttered the word 10 times in his nomination speech…. "It's time to change America," Clinton said. 
 Obsession with the word "change" is at least partly a consequence of the decline in Democratic Party affiliation between 1977, when 48% of Americans self-identified as Democrats, and 1987, when only 38% did. Since then, party affiliation for Democrats and Republicans has hovered between 30% and 40%. As a result, in presidential years the two parties have ended up competing fiercely for the votes of political independents. 
 This has altered political rhetoric. When a candidate seeks votes from the party faithful, he has at least a general idea of what concrete policies and themes might appeal. But when a candidate seeks votes from independents, he's less clear on what the pitch should be because different people resist party affiliation for different reasons. The only thing he knows for sure about independents is that they're not totally happy with the ideological choices they've been offered thus far. Hence, "change." 
 シカゴ・トリビューン(1月11日)のJulia Kellerの“What does 'change' mean, anyway?”(とにかく、changeは何を意味するのか)という記事は次のよう述べている。 
 It has become the political version of the Gregorian chant. Candidates from both parties repeat it endlessly. Campaign operatives bleat it mindlessly. High school gyms commandeered for rallies seem to bounce and throb with it. 
 But what does the word "change" really mean? Is it more than just an empty slogan -- the "equivalent of a smiley-face," as conservative columnist John O'Sullivan complains? 
 (だが、”change”という言葉は実際にはどのような意味なのか?単なる空虚なスローガンではないのか。保守派のコラムニスト、John O'Sullivanが言ったように「笑い顔に相当する言葉」なのか?) 
 "Change has been a huge question since the very beginning of Western thought," says H. Peter Steeves, associate professor of philosophy at DePaul University. "Socrates and Aristotle thought change was one of the biggest problems we ever have to solve. What remains stable? Change is built into the very ontology -- the very being -- of the world." 
 (「changeは西洋の思想の初めから大きな問題であった」とDePaul大学の哲学の准教授、 Peter Steevesは言う。「ソクラテスとアリストテレスはchangeはわれわれが解かなくてはならない大きな問題のひとつであると考えた。安定しているものは何か。changeは世界の存在論に組み込まれている」) 
 "The question that needs to be asked is, 'Change to what?'" declares Michael Fauntroy, assistant professor of public policy at George Mason University, who writes often about his reservations about Obama's "change" message. "Challengers always run on the notion of change -- it's in the electoral lexicon -- but I don't think the electorate is clear on the concept. 
 "Barack Obama's version of change is very different from Mitt Romney's version of change." 
 (「問われなければ疑問は『何をchangeする』のかである」とジョージマンソン大学の公共政策准教授、Michael Fauntroy,は言う。彼はオバマの”change”メッセージについて留保することを述べている。「挑戦者はいつもchangeという概念で出馬する。それは選挙用語だ。だが、選挙民はその概念についてはっきり分かっていないと思う」) 
 O'Sullivan, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who worked for Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in his native Britain, says, "Actually, the word 'change' is utterly vacuous. It tells you nothing about content. Hitler ran on a program of change. Mussolini ran on a program of change." 
 The genuine riddles of change, however, long predate 21st Century elections. As Steeves notes, the pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus pointed out that one cannot step in the same river twice; the moment passes, never to return, and all is altered. Change is inevitable. Yet to Socrates' way of thinking, Steeves says, some things must remain stable and eternal. 
 (だが、changeの真の謎は 21世紀の選挙よりずっと以前にさかのぼる。Steevesが言うように、ソクラテス以前の哲学者、ヘラクレイトスは同じ川に二度入ることはできない、と指摘した。瞬間は過ぎ去り、元に戻らない。すべては変化する。変化は避けられない。Steevesによれば、それでも、ソクラテスの考え方にとって、何かは安定し、永遠でなかればならない) 
 "The word 'change' is tossed around as a buzzword," Steeves acknowledges, "but there are very ancient questions embedded in the idea of 'change': If something is changing, what is the 'it' that's changing? And is there something universal and stable beneath the change?" 
 ワシントン・ポスト(1月13日)のコラムニスト、David Ignatiusは“Riding the Change Horse”(changeの馬に乗る)で次のように述べている。 
 "Change is really a difficult horse to ride," explains Richard Morin, a senior editor with the Pew Research Center. "It's easy to get on, but hard to stay on. As soon as you get specific about change, you make enemies." 
 (「”change”は実際、乗りこなすのが難しい馬である」とピュー・リサーチ・センターの上級編集者、Richard Morinは説明する。「上に登るのは簡単だが、とどまるのは難しい。changeについて各論に入るやいなや、反感を買う」) 
 What complicates the change equation is that the public often wants things that conflict with each other. Americans want a balanced budget but don't want to cut Social Security, Medicare or military spending. They want health-care reform but don't want bigger government. 
 Obama's change message is appealing in part because it's so unspecific. Rather than calling for programs that might prove divisive, he summons the country to gather in a new bipartisan consensus. It's a somewhat vapid version of change, but it appeals to the country precisely because most Americans don't see themselves in ideological terms. They want to be in the new center Obama describes, which transcends racial and ideological lines. 
 Hartford Courant(1月15日)でWord Watchのコラムを書いているRob Kyffによれば、changeの語源は古いケルト語にあり、それがラテン語とフランス語になって、再び英国諸島に戻ってきたのだという。 
 The word "change" clings like Chap Stick to the lips of presidential candidates these days. But if Hillary Clinton and the chaps knew the origin of the word "change," they might not stick with it. 
 “change”は1200年代にMiddle English(中英語)に最初、動詞と名詞として現れた。 
 The word "chaunge" was imported into Middle English from the Old French "changier," which, in turn, had been derived from the Latin "cambiare," meaning "to exchange." But here's the game-changer: There's strong evidence that "cambiare" came from the Old Irish "camm," which meant ― (Get ready to wince, politicians) ― "crooked." 

Copyright (C) Berita unless otherwise noted.
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