DPP: From the Good Fight to Dirty Pool
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China)
October 18, 2013
Summary: The DPP gained legitimacy through its calls for the lifting of martial law and for a "Taiwan independence consciousness." This historical background shaped the DPP's basic character. Today however, martial law is a fading memory. Taiwan independence is a pipe dream. Yet the DPP continues to live in the past. It continues to dwell on martial law and Taiwan independence. This reveals how anachronistic the DPP's thinking is.
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The DPP gained legitimacy through its calls for the lifting of martial law and for a "Taiwan independence consciousness." This historical background shaped the DPP's basic character. Today however, martial law is a fading memory. Taiwan independence is a pipe dream. Yet the DPP continues to live in the past. It continues to dwell on martial law and Taiwan independence. This reveals how anachronistic the DPP's thinking is.
Today's DPP cannot distinguish between providing checks on the ruling administration and harming Taiwan's interests. It cannot distinguish between opposition to Ma and undermining the nation. By aiding and abetting Wang Jin-pyng and Ker Chien-ming, it hijacked and paralyzed the Legislative Yuan. TISA is considered the most generous cross-Strait trade concession to Taiwan ever offered by the Mainland authorities. Yet the DPP has obstinately opposed it to the bitter end. It once demanded a public referendum on the Number Four Nuclear Power Plant. Now however it has done an about faced and killed it. It has not hesitated to use the Number Four Nuclear Power Plant as a political tool to undermine the nation and society. Do such actions really "oppose Ma?" Or do they merely harm Taiwan and undermine the ROC?
Martial law was unjust. The "10,000 year Legislature," the prohibition against opposition political parties, the censorship of the press, and the lack of an independent criminal justice system provided the political opposition with moral legitimacy. As a result the DPP often resorted to physical violence in the streets or in the legislature. Society supported or tolerated it. That is why the then Kuomintang government implemented a policy of "non-retaliation in response to verbal or physical attacks." Its feelings of guilt over the "original sin" of martial law" reduced it to silence in the face of DPP insults and disruptions within the legislature. The DPP's "Taiwan independence consciousness" in particular was motivated by the desire to overthrow the Republic of China. As a result, it viewed the nation, the constitution, government officials, the military, and civil servants as the enemy of a would-be "Nation of Taiwan." All were to be demeaned and destroyed. Nothing and no one were to be spared. This attitude was reflected in the recent Hung Chung-chiu case. The DPP's actions in the Hung case were motivated not by a longing for justice. They were motivated by a desire to destroy the military, discredit its reputation, and undermine its fighting ability. This was a case of partisan battles harming Taiwan and undermining the ROC. If the DPP returns to power, can we still expect the military to defend the nation and the public?
The Taiwan independence movement no longer has issues such as the "10,000 year Legislature" to demagogue. As a result, its Taiwan independence appeals no longer carry the same force. DPP social issues no longer evince idealism, morality, and legitimacy. In recent years, DPP politlcal struggles have been waged over two issues. The first is cross-Strait relations. The second is public policy. On cross-Strait relations, the DPP has been wracked by internal power struggles over Taiwan independence, unable to extricate itself. It has redoubled its efforts on behalf of Taiwan independence in an effort to rally public sentiment. But it has also expressed support for cross-Strait policies such as ECFA. It went from street protests to "acceptance of ECFA in toto." Clearly the DPP finds itself in a dilemma on cross-Strait policy. On public policy, the DPP opposes virtually every one of the ruling party's public policies. U.S. beef imports are a classic example. The DPP demands the immediate shutdown of nuclear power plants. It can suggest no alternative energy solutions, yet simultaneously objects to electricty rate hikes. It demands membership in the TPP and RCEP, yet simultaneously opposes the "Free Trade Zone Pilot Program." It even opposes TISA, the most one-sidedly beneficial to Taiwan trade agreement the Mainland has ever offered. Under the circumstances, how can Taiwan possibly withstand the TPP's acid test? Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell recently addressed the matter of Taiwan's participation in the TPP. He said it would require political courage. He said it was not something any single political party on Taiwan could achieve on its own. His remark equated partisan partisan political struggle with undermining the nation. .
The DPP obstinately opposes almost all major ruling party public policies out of sheer spite. It adopts the same posture toward all major cross-Strait policies that it once adopted toward martial law and the "10,000 year Legislature." This includes ECFA and TISA. It brings the same Taiwan independence mindset to all national policy debates, leading inevitably to total paralysis. It risks harming Taiwan and undermining the ROC. The DPP is fully within its rights to oppose Ma and the KMT. But it has no right to harm Taiwan and undermine the ROC. That is an inexcusable crime. The Chen Shui-bian regime ruled for eight years. It left the Taipei/Washington/Beijing relationship in shambles. Does the DPP really intend to reenact this political farce again in 2016?
Today the president is directly elected. The legislature is completely "localized." DPP moral legitimacy must be based on the electoral system and majority rule. In recent years, Wang Jin-pyng and Ker Chien-ming have coauthored a script. The DPP is a minority party that toccupies only one third of all seats in the legislature. But by forcibly occupying the podium and other techniques, it has exercised an influence obviously at variance with the principle of proportional representation. This is not post-martial law era constitutional rule, and it has led to DPP vainglory. It has made political progress more difficult. It has forstalled systemic improvements.
During the battle over martial law, the DPP "fought the good fight." Chen Shui-bian's "rectification of names" on the other hand, was both self-deception and deception of others. During the recent legislative turmoil the DPP Chairman became Ker Chien-ming's puppet. The DPP became Ker Chien-ming's political tool. The DPP's good fight has become dirty pool. Its sole purpose is to oppose Ma out of spite, and to harm Taiwan and undermine the ROC. The DPP has lost its badge of honor. It has lost track of time. it no longer knows what era it is living in. It has exceeded all bounds of reason.
2013.10.18 04:11 am