Blues Vote for a Government, Greens Vote for a Nation
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
December 1, 2010
Academia Sinica political scientist Hu Fo said that during elections on Taiwan, the Green Camp votes for a nation, while the Blue Camp votes for a government. That is why the nation remains trapped in a democratic and constitutional dilemma.
Hu hit the nail on the head. In a normal nation, voters share a common national identity. The opposition is a loyal opposition. If elections lead to changes in the ruling party, the government changes hands, but citizens do not question their national identity. As Hu Fo put it, elections are supposed to be about choosing a government. But on Taiwan, ever since the DPP's rise amidst the Taiwan independence movement, it has conflated "democratization" with "ethnic revolution." It has trumpeted a "new and independent nation" in its attempt to appeal to voters. With the change in ruling parties in 2000, it assumed power over the Republic of China. The Chen regime made political hay out of the "rectification of names" and the "referendum to join the UN." Today, during DPP mass rallies, one sees only "Nation of Taiwan" flags fluttering in the wind. One never sees ROC flags. As Hu Fo noted, for the Green Camp, elections are all about choosing one's nation.
The Blue Camp votes for a government. The Green Camp votes for a nation. During elections, the Green Camp uses the Republic of China playing field to play its "Nation of Taiwan" ball game. During elections the Blue Camp defends the Republic of China. Given the two camps' fundamental differences, it is little wonder our political system is in trouble.
The Taiwan independence movement cites several reasons for its repudiation of the Republic of China. First, it argues that beginning with the 2/28 Incident, martial law and authoritarian rule deprived Taiwan of democracy. Secondly, it argues that the Republic of China is incapable of resisting CCP threats to Taiwan. Thirdly, it argues that the Republic of China is not recognized internationally, therefore this undermines our dignity. In fact, these three reasons are very different in nature. The first, the imposition of martial law and the lack of full democracy, were long ago resolved. Even the DPP, which advocates Taiwan independence, has already ruled for eight years. What better proof that the Republic of China is a democratic nation? The second and third concern national strategy and national policy. The Republic of China must survive amidst coopetition between the Mainland and Taiwan. Can champions of the Republic of China better allay Beijing's concerns about Taiwan than the Taiwan independence movement? Can they better overcome international isolation? Which camp's approach is more feasible? In fact this is a question that can be easily answered by rational analysis and empirical evidence.
The fact is, the Taiwan independence movement has never been endorsed by a democratic majority on Taiwan. If it had, support for the DPP would not have collapsed after it promoted Taiwan independence for eight years. Moreover, the international situation has undergone dramatic change over the past 60 years. Taiwan independence is incapable of resolving the threat posed by Beijing. It is incapable of breaking Taipei out of its international isolation, All Taiwan independence can do is paint Taipei into a corner. Leave aside the shadow of war. Taiwan independence is hardly conducive to economic survival. This has been confirmed by the experience of the past two decades.
Taiwan independence has had a highly detrimental effect on Taiwan. It has distorted constitutional democracy, worsened cross-Strait relations, and damaged its economic vitality. But the most serious problem is that Taiwan independence has become a scourge of civilization. It has destroyed morality, and inverted right and wrong. Taiwan independence ideology argues that, "Taiwan independence is the supreme moral goal. Therefore it trumps the Republic of China, trumps the constitution, trumps the justice system, trumps all standards of morality and all concepts of right or wrong. Since one has already trumped the Republic of China, what else cannot be trumped? As long as one is opposing the Republic of China, one need no longer concern oneself with morality. Therefore, big issues such as Chen Shui-bian's corruption and his 3/19 Shooting Hoax, smaller issues such as Chen Chu's press conference on the per diem matter, Chen Chih-chung's solicitation of prostitutes, Su Chia-chuan's plagiarism, the controversy over water spinach, over Cheng Hung-yi's shouting of obscenities, are all considered legitimate, all considered moral. The winning formula is simple. Founding a "Nation of Taiwan" is our most transcendent moral vision. Therefore as long as we support a Nation of Taiwan, then we are liberated from all moral constraints. The net result? Although founding a Nation of Taiwan has become a political chimera, the demise of morality and the inversion of right and wrong have become a social reality.
The result of this morally fraudulent reasoning, is that DPP members refer to themselves as "Taiwanese." Whosoever does not support Taiwan independence is not "Taiwanese." "Love for Taiwan" has become the DPP's exclusive franchise. Whosoever does not support Taiwan independence "does not love Taiwan." Whosoever advocates Taiwan independence is, ipso facto, a champion of democracy. Whosoever opposes Taiwan independence is, ipso facto, an enemy of democracy. Whosoever advocates Taiwan independence is a paragon of virtue. Whosoever opposes Taiwan independence is the embodiment of evil.
This Taiwan independence rhetoric may once have had a leg to stand on, during the martial law era, when the Mainland maintained a Closed Door Policy, and the Cold War was still on. But times have changed. It is now 2010. The situation has changed, internationally, on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, and on Taiwan. If Taiwan independence was ever a viable national strategy, it is no longer. Instead, it has become a political weapon that has divided the nation and destroyed morality. It is neither feasible nor moral. How can it continue to monopolize the "Taiwanese" label, and claim that it alone "loves Taiwan?"
During the recent five cities elections, the DPP avoided all mention of national identity and cross-Strait policy. The KMT, meanwhile,has never had the guts to point out the moral defects in the Taiwan independence argument. As a result, the DPP has continued making substantial gains in the five cities election, winning support from its "Deep Green biological mother" and from its "swing voter wet nurse." The fundamental problem on Taiwan today is that for most Green Camp members advocacy of Taiwan independence is the epitome of of virtue, and defense of the Republic of China is the essense of evil.
The DPP's reasoning is morally and politically fraudulent. It is detrimental to the survival of the nation. If this fraud is not exposed, Green Camp masses will remain forever trapped. The Republic of China will remain forever trapped in a tragic paradox, in which the Blue Camp votes for a government, and the Green Camp votes for a nation.
The 2012 presidential election is fast approaching. Let us come together and reaffirm out support for the Republic of China, which we all depend upon for our survival. Let us cease and desist from fraudulent attempts to found a entirely separate nation, under the pretext of electing a new government.