America’s Democratic Party held its convention last week to formally select Joe Biden as its candidate for the November elections. It also made history by formally selecting Kamala Harris as its candidate for vice president. Harris is the first non-white woman to be selected as a vice-president candidate. Her father is black and her late mother was an immigrant from India. It was a virtual convention because of the coronavirus. Many leading Democrats gave speeches online. One of them was former president Barack Obama, who is an excellent speaker. He gave a stirring speech urging Americans to vote out Donald Trump. The word "stirring" used this way means very inspiring and emotional. A stirring speech is a speech that inspires people.
Obama urged his online audience to “nail down the votes”. The expression “nail down” has different meanings but used this way it means to get enough votes to make victory happen. He also urged voters to vote for candidates “up and down the ticket”. This is an American expression that is used for elections. A US president serves four years and can only be president twice. Members of the House of Representatives can serve indefinitely but their term is for two years. They must run for re-election every two years. Senators serve six years. About a third take turns running for re-election every two years.
When Obama urged voters to vote for candidates “up and down the ticket” he meant people should vote for a Democratic Party president, who is at the top, all the way down to Democratic Party senators, House of Representatives members, state governors, and local officials. During the virtual convention, Kamala Harris used the expression “Stand with our allies, stand up to our adversaries”. To “stand with” someone means to support or be loyal to that person. During last year’s anti-extradition protests, some famous people used Twitter to say they would “stand with” Hong Kong. The expression “stand up to” means to defend yourself or not allow yourself to be treated badly by powerful people, countries, or organizations.
美國民主黨上周舉行了大會，正式提名拜登成為十一月總統大選中代表其黨的候選人。大會正式提名賀錦麗為其副總統的候選人，亦創造了歷史。賀錦麗是第一位非白人女性獲選為副總統候選人。她的父親是黑人，已故的母親則是來自印度的移民。因着新冠肺炎疫情，大會以視像形式舉行。許多民主黨的領袖亦在網上致辭，其中一位就是前總統奧巴馬，他是位出色的演說家。他發表了一場激動人心的演說（stirring speech），促請美國人以投票否決特朗普。Stirring在這裏是指富啟發性的、令人激動的。A stirring speech就是鼓舞人心的演說。
奧巴馬力勸正在看網上直播的觀眾“nail down the votes”。習語“nail down”有不同的意思，但在這裏是指取得足夠的選票去勝出大選。他也力促選民投票時要兼顧「上上下下」（“up and down the ticket”）的候選人。“Up and down the ticket”是選舉時所用的美式習語。一位美國總統的任期是四年，只能做兩任；眾議院並無連任限制，但眾議員的任期是兩年，每兩年必須競選才能連任；參議員的任期則是六年，每隔兩年改選約三分之一的席位。
當奧巴馬竭力主張選民要選candidates“up and down the ticket”，他的意思是人們投票時，上至總統，下至參議員、眾議員、州長、地方官員，都要選出民主黨黨員。在視像大會舉行期間，賀錦麗用了一個習語「與我們的盟友站在一起，勇於面對敵人」（Stand with our allies, stand up to our adversaries）。 To “stand with” someone意即支持某人或對某人忠心。在上年的反修例示威中，一些知名人士便在推特說他們會“stand with” Hong Kong。習語“stand up to”是指保護自己，不讓有權勢的人、國家又或組織去惡待自己。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧