Who Can Win America's Politics of Humiliation? 拜登想贏 需安撫川粉受辱的心
文/Thomas L. Friedman
Who Can Win America's Politics of Humiliation?
About four years ago, without asking anybody, I changed my job description. It used to be "New York Times foreign affairs columnist." Instead, I started calling myself the "New York Times humiliation and dignity columnist." I even included it on my business card.
It had become so obvious to me that so much of what I'd been doing since I became a journalist in 1978 was reporting or opining about people, leaders, refugees, terrorists and nation-states acting out on their feelings of humiliation and questing for dignity — the two most powerful human emotions.
I raise this now because the success of Joe Biden's campaign against Donald Trump may ride on his ability to speak to the sense of humiliation and quest for dignity of many Trump supporters, which Hillary Clinton failed to do.
It has been obvious ever since Trump first ran for president that many of his core supporters actually hate the people who hate Trump, more than they care about Trump or any particular action he takes, no matter how awful.
The media feed Trump's supporters a daily diet of how outrageous this or that Trump action is — but none of it diminishes their support. Because many Trump supporters are not attracted to his policies. They're attracted to his attitude — his willingness and evident delight in skewering the people they hate and who they feel look down on them.
People will absorb hardship, hunger and pain. They will be grateful for jobs, cars and benefits. But if you make people feel humiliated, they will respond with a ferocity unlike any other emotion, or just refuse to lift a finger for you. As Nelson Mandela once observed, "There is nobody more dangerous than one who has been humiliated."
By contrast, if you show people respect, if you affirm their dignity, it is amazing what they will let you say to them or ask of them. Sometimes it just takes listening to them, but deep listening — not just waiting for them to stop talking. Because listening is the ultimate sign of respect. What you say when you listen speaks more than any words.
Trump's goal in this campaign is to separate Biden from Biden voters by making it as difficult as possible for Biden voters to vote. Biden's goal should be to separate Trump from Trump voters by showing that he respects them and their fears — even if he does not respect Trump.
As Traffic Signals Change, Some See a Token Gesture 孟買交通號誌添女性圖案…城市規劃師：沒有更安全 毫無意義
As Traffic Signals Change, Some See a Token Gesture
At one of the most prominent street crossings in Mumbai, the little people in the signal lights have swapped their straight-legged trousers for triangular frocks.
The city, India's largest, last month installed 240 pedestrian signals that replaced male stick figures with female silhouettes along a stretch of road in the Dadar neighborhood. Mumbai is the first city in the country to install such signals, and officials say the initiative represents a commitment to empower women.
The government "is ensuring gender equality with a simple idea — the signals now have women, too," wrote Aaditya Thackeray, the tourism and environment minister for Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital.
But critics called the move a superficial token that would do little to fix entrenched issues of gender inequality in India. While women have occupied powerful positions in the country — Indira Gandhi became India's first female prime minister — instances of high-profile violence against women in public have left many reluctant to leave home unaccompanied after dark. And domestic abuse and sexual assault are the most common crimes against women and girls, according to government statistics.
Women in India also face obstacles in education and employment. For every 100 boys in the country, only 73 girls are enrolled in secondary schools, according to government statistics. And women work fewer paid hours than men, bearing the brunt of unpaid domestic labor.
"It's a gesture, but a tacky one," said Pooja Sastry, a 32-year-old urban planner from Bangalore. "Those stick figures don't make us feel any safer on the road.""It means nothing for the average Indian woman, or a female construction worker crossing the road for her daily wage job," she added. "The crime rate isn't going to come down. Domestic violence isn't going to come down."
A brutal gang rape on a Delhi bus in 2012 shook the country, setting off protests and discussions of women's safety in cities. It also led to stricter punishment for crimes against women, including the death penalty for rape.
But sexual assault, harassment and domestic violence have remained persistent. The country — which was found to be the most dangerous place for women when it comes to sexual violence and harassment, according to a 2018 Thomson Reuters Foundation poll of 550 global experts — reported 33,356 rapes and 89,097 assaults against women that year, according to government statistics.
When Thackeray tried in January to introduce more night cafes and 24-hour gyms and movie theaters in Mumbai in an attempt to add vitality to city life, his political rivals from the Bharatiya Janata Party opposed the plan because they said it would make women more vulnerable to rape.