2023年10月12日 星期四

The Biden-Trump Rematch That Nobody Wants 沒有人想看的第二次拜川大戰

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2023/10/13 第454期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 The Biden-Trump Rematch That Nobody Wants 沒有人想看的第二次拜川大戰
'Peak China' (Post-Dynasty Version) 盛極必衰 大陸發展已「觸頂」?
The Biden-Trump Rematch That Nobody Wants 沒有人想看的第二次拜川大戰
文/Lisa Lerer, Reid J. Epstein


Emma Willits, a mental health counselor from Des Moines, is looking for a candidate who cares about climate change and universal health care. She voted for President Joe Biden and will probably do so again, though Willits, 26, says "it feels a little hopeless, honestly."


Sitting on a bench just across the fair midway, John Hogan described how he believed Biden was a criminal who should be "hung" — before his wife shushed him for being unkind. He said he voted for Donald Trump twice and would probably do so again, if the former president wins his party's nomination for a third time.


But Hogan, too, would like more options.


"These two jokers compared to Ronald Reagan?" said Hogan, a 58-year-old retiree from Pella, a small town an hour southeast of Des Moines. "Come on."


In an era when American politics are defined by discord, there's one issue on which voters across the divided political landscape appear to be able to find common ground: Please, not another round of this.


Five months before the first nominating contest in Iowa, the country appears headed for the first presidential-election rematch since 1956, when President Dwight Eisenhower defeated Adlai Stevenson II for the second time.


Interviews with more than two dozen strategists, voters and candidates indicate that many see the country as slowly marching not toward a new season but into reruns. And even in Iowa, where voters invest deeply in presidential politics, a whole lot of them would really like to change the channel.


"That's surprisingly one of the few things Americans can agree on right now — they don't want a rematch," Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota, one of the lesser-known Republicans challenging Trump, said in an interview while riding the Ferris wheel. "Presidential campaigns should be about a vision of where our country should go. In both cases, there's a lot of discussion of the past."


Emily Wiebke grimaced when asked whether she was excited for a Biden-Trump rematch. She would vote for Biden again, she said, but would really like some less seasoned options.


"Last time I kind of felt like, why are you making me choose between these two people?" said Wiebke, 48, a high school English teacher from Fort Dodge, Iowa. "Maybe get some younger people with some new ideas and kind of see where that is."


'Peak China' (Post-Dynasty Version) 盛極必衰 大陸發展已「觸頂」?
文/Ephrat Livni

盛極必衰 大陸發展已「觸頂」?

We live in an era of many peaks. If cultural commentators have it right, we have reached peak TV, peak girl, peak avocado, peak fish — even peak peak. Now China — perhaps prematurely — is getting the peak treatment in political science circles and the news media.


"Peak China" refers to the hotly debated concept that China has reached the height of its economic power. Michael Beckley, head of the Asia Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, believes he coined the term in a 2018 article that argued China's economy, the world's second largest, would not necessarily overtake the U.S. economy, as many had long projected. He said he had been inspired by "peak oil."


"Political scientists write a lot about rise and decline, but there isn't a phrase that summarizes when a rising power starts to slow down," Beckley said. The term has since been widely adopted in debates about Chinese power and the trajectory it will take.


"Peak China" began making its way into headlines in 2021 when a Politico Europe article argued that China's international investments in infrastructure were producing disappointing results. The next year, Foreign Affairs used the phrase to counter the contention that the superpower was on a downswing. Soon, "peak China" chatter reached new heights. Think tanks internationally took up the question practically en masse. Political scientists debated it on YouTube. The Economist got on it.


Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois, the top Democrat on a House committee focused on competition with China, said he saw "real warning signs" that the Chinese economic engine might be sputtering. But he dismissed talk of "artificial peaks and plateaus," cautioning against basing assumptions about the nation's economic situation on the opaque and limited data it produces.


"I absolutely don't believe it's true," said Ian Bremmer, founder of the Eurasia Group, a political risk consulting company. He believes the concept that China's best days are behind it is "ideologically freighted," advanced by those with an adversarial worldview who ignore the country's continued growth and the fact that American businesses are interested in Chinese markets.


"A hell of a lot of people are very excited to make money in China," he said. "It's objectively premature to use the phrase."


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