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【VOA】切斯特·亚瑟在任期间党内纠纷不断

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Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION – American history in VOA Special English. President James Garfield was shot and seriously wounded in the summer of eighteen eighty-one. The man who shot him said he supported the political group that supported Vice President Chester Arthur. The gunman was found to be insane. But some people were ready to believe the worst about Vice President Arthur. They knew that many of the vice president's political allies disliked President Garfield. They thought the vice president might have helped the gunman in some way. This week in our series, Harry Monroe and Kay Gallant tell what happened after President Garfield was shot. For a time, it seemed the President might get better. But the bullet wound became infected. He died of the infection two months after he was shot. Vice President Arthur took the oath of office a few hours after the president's death.

欢迎收听VOA慢速英语之建国史话节目。1881年夏天,总统詹姆斯·加菲尔德中枪身受重伤。开枪射杀他的人说,他对支持副总统切斯特·亚瑟的政治团体表示支持。人们发现持枪者精神错乱,但是有些人相信亚瑟副总统参与其中。他们知道,副总统的许多政治盟友不喜欢加菲尔德总统。他们认为副总统可能在某种程度上帮助了枪手。在本周的系列节目中,哈里·门罗和凯·格兰特将讲述加菲尔德总统遭遇枪杀后发生的故事。有一段时间,总统的状况似乎有所好转。但是中枪部位被感染了,他在中枪两个月后死于感染。副总统亚瑟在总统死后几小时后宣誓就职。

Chester Arthur had been a successful lawyer. He had worked in politics for a number of years. But he had never before held an elected office. Many Americans questioned his ability to serve in the White House. One person put it this way: "Chet Arthur -- president of the United States. Good God!" Almost everyone feared Arthur would be a tool of a Republican Party leader in New York, Roscoe Conkling. They were sure Conkling would be the real power in Arthur's administration. They were wrong. Chester Arthur surprised everyone. He broke all his ties with the Conkling political machine. He remained independent of any party group. Arthur asked Garfield's cabinet to resign. He chose new men for all but one department. In his first message to Congress, President Arthur asked for changes in the way government jobs were filled. He proposed a new civil service system that would let ability -- not politics -- decide who got government jobs. Republican Party leaders opposed these proposals. The civil service system would stop them from giving federal jobs to their supporters. It would destroy much of their power. These Republican leaders controlled Congress. They refused to act on the civil service proposals.

切斯特·亚瑟是一位成功的律师,他从政多年。但是,他以前从未担任过选举指派的职务,许多美国人质疑他入主白宫的能力。有人这样说:“切特·亚瑟——美国总统,上帝啊!”几乎所有人都担心亚瑟会成为纽约共和党领袖罗斯科·康克林的工具,他们确信康克林将是亚瑟政府的真正掌权人。但他们错了。切斯特·亚瑟让所有人都感到惊讶。他断绝了与康克林掌控的政治机器的一切联系,仍然独立于任何政党团体。亚瑟要求加菲尔德的内阁辞职,除了一个部门外,他为所有部门都挑选了新人。亚瑟总统在给国会的第一封信中,要求改变填补政府工作岗位的方式。他提出一项新的公务员制度,让能力而不是政治来决定谁该得到政府的公职。共和党领导人反对这些提议,公务员制度将阻止联邦公职提供给他们的支持者,这将摧毁他们的大部分力量。这些共和党领导人控制了国会,他们拒绝实施公务员制度的建议。

Civil service reform, however, was an important issue. President Garfield had been assassinated by a man who believed he should have gotten a government job because of his politics. Also, new cases of dishonesty had been discovered in the Post Office department. The public began to demand laws to clean up the civil service. In eighteen eighty-two, a new Congress was elected. The new Congress was controlled by the Democratic Party. President Arthur again appealed for civil service reform. This time, he got results. The new Congress passed a civil service bill that required ten percent of all federal jobs to be filled through competitive examinations. This ten percent included half the officials in the Post Office Department. It included most workers at federal customs houses. The bill also said it was illegal for politicians to ask government employees for campaign money. And it set up a civil service committee to enforce the new law. President Arthur also found himself faced with an unusual problem. The government was earning more money than it needed. Most of the money came from tariffs -- taxes on imports. Each year, tariffs brought in one hundred million dollars more than the government needed.

然而,公务员制度改革是一个重要的问题。加菲尔德总统遭到一名男子刺杀,他认为自己的政治倾向,应该能够得到一份政府公职。此外,邮政部门也发现了新的欺诈案件。公众开始要求通过法律来整顿公务员队伍。1882年,选举产生出一个新的国会。这个新国会由民主党控制。亚瑟总统再次呼吁进行公务员制度改革。这次,他得到了结果。新一届国会通过了一项公务员法案,要求通过竞争性考试填补10%的联邦公职。这10%包括邮政部门的一半官员,其中包括联邦海关的大部分工作人员。该法案还表明,政客向政府雇员索要竞选资金是违法行为。它还成立了一个公务员委员会来执行这项新法律。亚瑟总统也发现自己面临着一个不寻常的问题,政府挣的钱比需要的多。大部分资金来自进口关税。每年,关税带来一亿美元的收入,超过了政府所需。

The import taxes had been set high to protect American industries from foreign competition. President Arthur wanted to reduce the tariffs. Congress wanted to keep them high. Industrial leaders wanted to keep them high, too. They did not want to compete with low-priced foreign products. Congress saw no problem with the extra money brought in by high tariffs. It found many ways to spend it. For example, Congress raised payments to soldiers who had fought in the Civil War during the eighteen sixties. It also approved money to build roads, bridges, and waterways throughout the country. Many of these things were not needed. They were approved for political purposes. They put government money into the home areas of powerful congressmen. In eighteen eighty-two, Congress passed the "Rivers and Harbors Bill." The bill would cost almost nineteen million dollars. President Arthur vetoed the bill. He said it would waste too much money. But Congress passed the bill into law over his veto.

为了保护美国工业不受外国竞争的影响,进口关税制定得很高。亚瑟总统想降低关税,国会想让这些关税保持在高水平上。工业领袖们也是如此希望的,他们不想与低价的外国产品竞争。国会认为高关税带来的额外资金并不是问题,它找到了很多消费这些资金的方法。例如,对于那些在19世纪60年代曾参加内战的士兵,国会提高了拨给他们的钱款。国会还批准拨款在全国修建道路、桥梁和水道。很多东西是不需要的,都是出于政治目的才批准修建。他们把政府的钱款拨到有权势的国会议员的家乡。在1882年,国会通过了《河流港口法案》,该法案将花费近1900万美元。亚瑟总统否决了这项议案。他表示,那样做会浪费太多钱款,但是国会通过了这项法案使之成为法律。

Next, President Arthur urged Congress to form a committee to find a way to reduce tariffs. Congress formed the committee. The committee proposed that tariffs be reduced by twenty percent. But Congress did not consider the proposal when it began debating a new tariff bill. President Arthur was more successful in getting Congress to reduce the public debt. During his term, the debt was cut by more than four hundred million dollars. Chester Arthur's efforts for honest government and lower taxes won him much support among the people. But he could not win the support of his Republican Party. Arthur wanted to serve another four years in the White House. His name was put before the Republican nominating convention in eighteen eighty-four. The name of Senator James Blaine of Maine also was put before the convention. On the first ballot, Blaine received three hundred thirty-four votes. Arthur got only two hundred seventy-eight. Three ballots later, Blaine won the presidential nomination. However, many Republicans refused to support Blaine. They accused him of being dishonest. They said he was controlled by powerful politicians. The Democratic Party chose New York Governor Grover Cleveland as its presidential candidate. Like Chester Arthur at the national level, Grover Cleveland was known for fighting dishonesty in government at the local level.

随后,亚瑟总统敦促国会成立一个委员会,来寻找降低关税的方法。国会成立了委员会,委员会建议将关税降低20%。但是,国会在开始就新关税法案进行辩论时,并没有考虑这一提议。亚瑟总统在使国会减少公共债务方面更为成功。在他的任期内,债务减少了4亿多美元。切斯特·亚瑟为政府廉洁和降低税收做出的努力,为他赢得了人民的支持。但是,他却无法赢得共和党的支持。亚瑟想在白宫继续任职四年。1884年,在共和党提名大会上公布了他的名字。缅因州参议员詹姆斯·布莱恩的名字也在大会召开前被提交上去。在第一轮投票中,布莱恩获得了334票,亚瑟只有278票。三轮投票过后,布莱恩赢得了总统提名。然而,许多共和党人拒绝支持布莱恩。他们指责他不诚实,说有权势的政客控制着他。民主党选择纽约州州长格罗弗·克利夫兰作为总统候选人。正如切斯特·亚瑟在全国进行的反对欺诈行为的运动一样,格罗弗·克利夫兰也因在当地打击政府中存在的欺诈行为而闻名。

He began as mayor of the city of Buffalo, New York. He cleaned up the city government and saved the taxpayers much money. Next, he was elected governor of New York state. There, too, he helped end dishonesty in government. Cleveland refused to give jobs to Democrats because of their political ties. Instead, he filled state jobs with men of ability. This early success helped him win the Democratic presidential nomination. The campaign of eighteen eighty-four between Republican Blaine and Democrat Cleveland was one of the most bitter in American political history. A group of Republicans who opposed Blaine published letters to prove he was dishonest. Blaine had written the letters several years earlier during a shameful incident concerning the sale of railroad stock. Now, he was forced to defend himself against those old charges. Blaine's supporters fought back by discovering a scandal in Cleveland's past. Grover Cleveland had never married. But more than ten years earlier, he had been involved with a young woman. The woman gave birth to a boy. Cleveland was not sure the boy was his son. But he accepted responsibility for the child. He sent money to help care for him.

他最初是纽约州布法罗市市长。他整顿了市政府,为纳税人省了不少钱。随后,他被选为纽约州州长。在那里,他也帮助终结了政府的欺诈行为。克利夫兰拒绝给民主党人提供公职,因为他们存在政治关系。相反,他用有能力的人来填补州政府的公职。这一早期的成功帮助他赢得了民主党总统的提名。1884年,共和党人布莱恩和民主党人克利夫兰之间的竞选,是美国政治史上最激烈的一次。一群反对布莱恩的共和党人写信证实他确有欺诈行为,几年前,布莱恩在一次有关出售铁路股票的可耻事件中写了一些信件。现在,他被迫为自己辩护,反对原有的那些指控。布莱恩的支持者们发现克利夫兰过去的一段丑闻,以此向他进行反击。格罗弗·克利夫兰从未结过婚。但10多年前,他曾与一名年轻女子发生关系。那女人生了一个男孩。克利夫兰不确定那个男孩是他的儿子。但他接受对孩子负起责任,寄钱帮助照顾他。

A Republican newspaper published the story. Soon, Republican crowds were shouting a joke about it. "Ma! Ma! Where's my Pa. Gone to the White House, ha ha ha!" Both candidates campaigned hard. It was clear to everyone that the vote would be close. Election day was cold and rainy. Early results showed the two candidates with almost the same number of electoral votes. The winner would be the one who captured a majority of the popular votes in New York state. That candidate would then get all of New York's electoral votes. It was not until three days after the voting that election officials announced Cleveland had won. His victory set off wild celebrations among Democrats across the country. Grover Cleveland really was going to the White House -- ha ha ha! His election would bring some important changes to the country. That will be our story next week.

一家共和党报纸刊登了这个故事。不久,共和党人就对此大开玩笑。“妈妈!妈妈!我的爸爸呢。他去白宫了,哈哈哈!”两位候选人都努力参与竞选。大家都清楚,投票结果将非常接近。选举日当天下着雨,天气也很冷。初步结果显示,两名候选人选举团投票票数几乎相同。获胜者将是在纽约州赢得多数选票的人。随后,这名候选人将获得纽约州所有的选举人选票。直到投票三天后,选举官员才宣布克利夫兰获胜。他的胜利在全国的民主党人中引起了热烈的庆祝。格罗弗·克利夫兰真的入主白宫了——哈哈哈!他的当选将给这个国家带来一些重要的变化。这将是我们下周要讲述的故事。



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