Monday, December 10, 2007

How long must We endure these Outrages?

How long must We endure these Outrages?
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
December 10, 2007

Is the public on Taiwan simply too well brought up, hence slow to anger? Or has it patiently endured so many insults that it is already numb? Every day the public on Taiwan is subjected to tasteless profanity. Does the ruling DPP think we are idiots? Are we truly being punished, as former president Lee Teng-hui suggested, for putting it in power?

During the heated controversy over the demolition of "The Golden Mean, the Way of Righteousness" name plaque on the ceremonial gate to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Ministry of Education Secretary General Chuang Kuo-jung boasted that if Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-ping dared to resist, he would "send him home crying for his momma." His remark made him even more infamous than Minister of Education Tu Cheng-sheng and Government Information Office Chief Hsieh Chih-wei. Chen Shui-bian was no shrinking violet either. His utterances were no less inflammatory. Ma Ying-jeou declared that if elected he might restore the name plaque to its original condition. Chen mocked Ma, saying that attempting to reinstall the name plaque was like trying to reattach Qing dynasty eunuch Li Lien-ying's testicles after he had been castrated. Chuang Kuo-jung, who was charged with demolishing the plaque, mocked Ma, saying "He is so gay."

The ruling regime may consider such words and deeds mere electioneering. It may assume that grass roots supporters will find their words and deeds enormously satisfying. But when a nation's leaders resort to tasteless profanity more appropriate for street thugs, then act pleased as punch with themselves, they betray their underlying contempt for the general public.

If a public school teacher were to threaten a student by saying he would "send him home crying to his mother," parents would file a lawsuit. The teacher would be forced to apologize and be punished. Yet we have a high-ranking official within the Ministry of Education making these kinds of utterances. How are teachers and parents supposed to teach their children right and wrong? It is not that the name of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, or the plaque reading "The Golden Mean, the Way of Righteousness" cannot be changed. But can't we retain a modicum of civility in the process? Are such vicious personal attacks and tasteless profanity really necessary? How can the ruling DPP, from the president on down to DPP lawmakers, ignore the concerns of parents who must cover the ears of their children in front of their television sets?

If certain individuals habitually use coarse language when addressing us and assume that doing so won't offend us, it means they think we are low-lifes, just like them. What could be more insulting than that? Intentionally or otherwise? Remember that we elected these high-ranking government officials and support them with our tax monies.

It is bad enough that the character of the people on Taiwan has been demeaned. Their intelligence has been insulted as well. The four characters reading "The Golden Mean, the Way of Righteousness" were originally penned by Wang Yang-ming. The plaque was a play on Chiang Kai-Shek's name, "zhong zheng." What does it have to do with Li Lien-ying or some unenlightened ruler of antiquity? Who doesn't want some profound remarks as part of his epitaph? The fact that Li Lien-ying's tombstone displays the same four characters is a coincidence. How can one conclude that others are emulating some eunuch? As for Chen Shui-bian's linkage of the name plaque with a eunuch's testicles, what is that but tasteless profanity, not to mention bewildering illogic? Why can't a name plaque that has been taken down be reinstalled? What connection is there between reinstalling a name plaque and reattaching some eunuch's testicles? Didn't you, Chen Shui-bian, just replace the old plaque with a new one? Applying your own "logic," didn't you just install false testicles on a eunuch as surrogates for the original ones?

These nonsensical sophistries have scraped bottom. Yet the ruling regime acts as if it is making perfect sense. It has decided that its audience has single digit IQs, and cannot discern the gaping holes in their logic. Why must ordinary citizens, who carry the weight of the nation on their shoulders, and who are not permitted to pay a single dollar less in taxes, endure such insults?

The public on Taiwan is viewed with contempt. But that's just the beginning. Chen Shui-bian takes the lead inciting "ethnic strife," which would be more accurately characterized as communal strife. He uses his Anti-Chiang Purge and his Plebiscite to Join the UN to play up differences in provincial origin. His motive is simple. His political record is a joke. He has nothing whatsoever to show for his eight years in office. So he plays the "race" card, compelling the public to choose sides. Countless families have committed suicide by means of charcoal fires, bags of charcoal now come with suicide hotline numbers. Families with five children must share a single bowl of noodles. A single working mother with only one arm is reduced to stealing electricity to allow her daughter to do homework. Have any of our ruling regime's high officials offered an apology, engaged in self-introspection, or shown genuine concern? Not only have they not, they regard these tragedies as threats to their political power. They either look but don't see, or see them only as isolated exceptions. Chen Shui-bian believes that no matter how dismal his political record might be, as long as he can manipulate reunification vs. independence issues, provincial origin issues, reopen historical wounds, incite "ethnic" opposition, the majority of "native Taiwanese" voters will unconditionally back the Democratic Progressive Party.

The common people on Taiwan really have been abused beyond endurance! A leader whose entire family has been living high off the hog, thinks that as long he can play the "race" card, it won't matter that the people are starving and cannot survive til the next day. As long as Chen rings the "nativist" bell, they will behave like marionettes. They will forget that they can no longer survive, that they can no longer afford their chidrens' tuition. If he says jump, they will ask "How high?" When he equates the Democratic Progressive Party with Taiwan, with himself, he assumes everyone will respond, "Why yes, of course!" He has decided that Taiwanese lack the ability to think and form judgments, or worse, the will to climb out of their hole of self-pity. He has decided he doesn't need to take responsibility for his abysmal political record. All he needs to do is play the "race" card and the people will fall in line and dance his tune. They will go at each other, hate each other, suspect each other. They will totally forget that we are all in the same boat.

The ruling nomenklatura has taken the people for simpletons without standards, without intelligence, without souls. This, to the people, is the most grievous insult of all. But let's not forget that how others treat you is the result of how you instruct them to treat you. If the people on Taiwan do not wish to be treated like idiots, they must tell their politicians to wash out their mouths, and stop treating the common people with contempt!

中國時報 2007.12.10 











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