Moral Bankruptcy: Lethal Threat to Green Camp Survival
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
November 18, 2010
Society on Taiwan has been divided into two political camps, the Blues and the Greens. These two political camps have evolved very different styles, cultures, traditions, and value systems.
Cheng Hung-yi and Li Tao are television personalities. They can be considered Deep Green and Deep Blue political icons. When Cheng Hung-yi stumped for a Green Camp political candidate recently, he spread rumors about "30,000NT subsidies for Mainland exchange students." He repeatedly shouted "F**k your mother!" in an effort to incite mob passions. The mob enthusiastically shouted "F**k your mother!" in response. By contrast, one can hardly imagine Li Tao shouting obscenities while stumping for a candidate he approves of. One can hardly imagine Blue Camp supporters shouting obscenities in response. The Blue and Green camps evince entirely different styles, entirely different cultures, entirely different traditions, and entirely different value systems.
Cheng Hung-yi and Li Tao are not the same. The former is willing to stump for a candidate. The latter is not. The former hosts a TV talk show rife with rumors and full of commercials. The latter hosts a TV talk show featuring only public service announcements. The former backs Chen Shui-bian to the bitter end, The latter blasts the Ma administration until its ears burn. The former demagogues the issue of water spinach. The latter opens phone lines to accused parties, providing them with the opportunity to defend themselves. Even the television networks these two talk show hosts work for are different. So are their viewers. If Li Tao were to shout "F**k your mother!" while stumping for a Blue Camp candidate, the very next day TVBS headquarters would be besieged by stone and egg throwing Green Camp masses. Its administration building would be vandalized beyond recognition. Li Tao would probably be unable to stay on. He was once forced to resign as general manager because a reporter under his charge made a mistake. By contrast, SET has turned Cheng Hung-yi into a political "designer label" and cash cow. No Blue Camp supporters have ever held mass protests outside SET headquarters. Li Tao and Cheng Hung-yi are media icons. They exemplify the vastly different styles, cultures, and value systems held by the Blue and Green camps.
These differences between the Blue and Green camps extend from media stars to the man in the street. They have a long history, and have already evolved into traditions. Twenty-five years ago today, on November 18, 1985, Wu Shu-chen was struck by a tractor driven by Chang Jung Choi. The collision was clearly an accident. But it was spun by Ah-Bian and Ah-Chen into a [KMT] political conspiracy. Ever since then, whenever Chen Shui-bian ran for political office, he would carry Wu Shu-chen onto the podium in his arms. Both the Democratic Progressive Party leadership and masses knew in their hearts of hearts that the alleged conspiracy was a lie. But together with Ah-Bian and Ah-Chen, they tacitly agreed to co-star in this charade, and eventually sent Chen Shui-bian into the Presidential Palace. Green camp leaders and followers alike engage in this game of self-deception. They distort reality and numb themselves to the truth. This distortion of reality and numbing oneself to the truth enabled Green Camp masses to swallow the 3/19 Shooting Hoax without question. It enabled Green Camp masses to pretend that bribe money was "earmarked for a nation-building fund." It enabled Green Camp masses to deny that the "Referendum to Join the UN" was merely a ploy by Chen Shui-bian to rally public sentiment in order to evade criminal prosecution. This Green Camp culture and tradition is the result of long practice. When Chen Chu engaged in smear tactics, alleging that "Huang Chun-ying has been caught engaging in bribery," it enabled Green Camp masses to consider Chen Chu's sleazy move as a "master stroke." It enabled Green Camp masses to pretend that Chen Chih-chung never solicited the services of a prostitute, but instead to depict him as an innocent victim and to "demand justice for him at the ballot box." Chuang Jui-jung raised a stink over water spinach and was seen as a hero. Cheng Hung-yi shouted "F**k you mother!" and was seen as a "God of War." Is this not bizarre beyond belief? Yet this style, this culture, this tradition, is what the Green Camp perceives as perfectly normal. In sum, this underscores the Green Camp's moral bankruptcy.
The problem confronting the Green Camp and the DPP is not merely that it advocates Taiwan independence, even though Taiwan independence is a dead end. It is not merely that it incites "ethnic" (communal group) hatred over the 2/28 Incident, even though 60 years of healing have already taken place. It is not merely that it hates [Mainland] China and opposes [Mainland] China, even though cross-Strait rapproachment is a fait accompli. The real problem confronting the DPP and the Green Camp is its moral bankruptcy.
The Green Camp's most serious problem is that its moral bankruptcy is not confined to Green camp leaders and talking heads, but has trickled down to its core supporters. Its leaders have resorted to immoral political ploys to retain the allegiance of their supporters. Its supporters have abandoned their moral bottom line in order to support their leaders. Cheng Hung-yi stands on the podium shouting "F**k your mother!" The masses in the audience shout "F**k your mother!" in enthusiastic response. This is a classic Green Camp scenario. This style, this culture, this tradition, means that the greatest threat the Green Camp and the DPP poses is no longer its advocacy of Taiwan independence, its attempts to divide society, and its attempts to undermine cross-Strait relations. Rather, the greatest threat the Green Camp and the DPP poses is its destruction of fundamental moral concepts, of integrity and conscience.
Without morality, there can be no nation. The Green Camp and the DPP already know they cannot establish a Nation of Taiwan. Yet they demand the annihilation of morality and honor on Taiwan. The Democratic Progressive Party's prospects in the five cities elections are good. It is all geared up to play the "Sacrifice Ma, Defend Taiwan" sympathy card. But do the Green Camp and the DPP intend to confront the moral bankruptcy that now plagues our nation?
The DPP's latest lie is its alleged "ability to govern" and "ability to execute policy." In fact the DPP's only real ability is its ability to manipulate the election process. The failure of its Taiwan independence demagoguery led to its moral bankruptcy. The failure of its "ethnic" (communal group) demagoguery led to its moral bankruptcy. The failure of its cross-Strait demagoguery also led to its moral bankruptcy.
Eight years of the DPP's alleged "ability to govern" and "ability to execute policy" ended in total fiasco, in preoccupation with political intrigue, and the thorough repudiation of DPP members' fundamental humanity. Even assuming the DPP wins the five cities elections, how will it confront the Green Camp's moral, cultural, and traditional bankruptcy? Without morality, without conscience, without a sense of right and wrong, without distinctions between what is true and what is false, whither one's "ability to govern?" Whither one's "ability to execute policy?"