Monday, July 27, 2015

Democratic Civil War or Democratic Progress?

Democratic Civil War or Democratic Progress?
China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
July 28, 2015

Executive Summary: The green camp is waging democratic civil war.The 2016 election will inevitably be a showdown between anti-China and anti-anti-China forces. On this battlefront, the KMT and those who advocate the "China concept" have no reason to shrink or retreat.

Full Text Below:

Blue vs. green political opposition and the defects of democracy have plagued Taiwan ever since democratization. Taiwan seems destined to change ruling parties every eight years. Go back seven or eight years. The Chen Shui-bian regime was neck deep in corruption. It was could not complete the nation's economic transformation. It could not narrow the nation's wealth gap, Therefore it provoked the Chinese mainland in order to win populist support on Taiwan. Democratic civil war escalated. Blue vs. green opposition intensified to unprecedented levels. The DPP went to extremes. It permitted itself to be hijacked by Taiwan independence fundamentalists and deep green media. It conducted an intraparty witch hunt for "traitors" such as Lin Cho-shui, Li Wen-chung, Julian Kuo, and the rest of the "Eleven Brigands."

Seven or eight years later, Ma Ying-jeou finds himself lost in political confusion. An election platform that stressed cross-Strait peace got him elected president twice, both times with an absolute majority. Most members of the public hoped to transcend "ethnic" politics and blue vs. green divisions. They hoped for a peaceful and stable cross-Strait environment. They hoped to focus on solving economic problems and ensuring sustainable development. But the Ma administration was surprisingly inept at domestic policy. The DPP refused to act responsibly. Instead it accused the Ma administration of "cozying up to [Mainland] China and selling out Taiwan". It accused it of "pandering to [Mainland] China". Alas, the KMT's debating skills were non-existent. It could not defend itself. It could not govern the nation. Peoples' livelihoods were affected. Wave upon wave of political struggle ensued. Last year's nine in one local elections were ostensibly about local governance. But the green camp argued that "Unless the KMT falls, Taiwan will not prosper". It turned the election into a one-sided democratic civil war. This civil war did not end with the KMT's election defeat and the resignation of its chairman. Instead, it escalated.

The term "democratic civil war" was coined on Taiwan. In 2005, Lee Teng-hui alleged that "Some people are taking advantage of Taiwan's democracy to wage civil war. They are using freedom and human rights as cover. They are part of [Mainland] China's united front conspiracy. The people of Taiwan must distinguish between friend and foe. They must see where the enemy is." Lee spun blue camp oversight of Democratic Progressive Party rule as a "struggle between [Mainland] China and Taiwan". This grotesque attempt at red-baiting swept aside reason. More importantly political opponents were cast as Communist sympathizers and as enemies of the people. Fighting against them was not considered anti-democratic. it was not considered persecution of political opponents. Instead, it was transformed into a "Love of Taiwan" Holy War.

Taiwan independence extremist Chin Heng-wei has been demagoguing Lee's rhetoric. He has spun the Red Shirt anti-corruption movement as an attempt by "reactionary forces" to prevent "nativist rule". He demands democratic civil war because "It is essential to the development of Taiwan's democracy." To Taiwan independence extremists, only by voting out the KMT can they transform the "China Party" into the "Taiwan Party". Only by voting out the KMT, can they "resolve the civil war, and complete the consolidation of democracy". Only by voting out the KMT, can they transform Taiwan into a "normal nation". Their words show that "democratic civil war" is nothing more than hatred of Mainland China and antipathy toward Mainland China. It is the substitution of reunification vs. independence "ethnic" antagonism for democracy and conventional party politics. It is crypto-fascist dictatorship and dangerously bigoted ultranationalism.

The DPP may not have formally endorsed the concept of democratic civil war. But in 2007, when Frank Hsieh ran for president. he too characterized the struggle between Taiwan's ruling and opposition parties as democratic civil war. He said future national leaders must "End the Civil War". He said they must "reconcile and co-exist". He apparently hoped to distance himself from Chen Shui-bian. But during the 2008 election Frank Hsieh continued to incite hatred against of the Mainland in an attempt to reverse his political fortunes.

Eight years later, the green camp continues to believe that "democratic civil war is indispensable". The 2016 election looks promising for the DPP. Yet it persists in playing its "hate China" and "anti-China" card.

Tsai Ing-wen has paid lip service to "maintaining the status quo" and "honoring the ROC constitutional framework". She has used feel-good language to reduce outside wariness towards Taiwan independence. But she has never done a thing to show that the DPP is willing to forsake Taiwan independence.

The Democratic Progressive Party advocates Taiwan independence. But most people focus on the Taiwan independence party platform. In fact the "Resolution for a Normal Nation" approved by the DPP in September 2007 is a clearer and more concrete declaration of democratic civil war. It is the DPP's basic program to change the name of the nation, author a new constitution, and eradicate vestiges of Chinese tradition. The DPP has not forsaken its agenda. It is merely waiting for an opportune moment to implement it.

Tsai Ing-wen as DPP leader may present a more rational, moderate, and temperate front. But she still betrays a democratic civil war mentality in certain venues. Several days ago, she addressed a Southern Society fundraising luncheon. She pontificated, saying that "If the DPP does not shape up, the KMT will never fall". She appeared to be urging DPP reform, but her premise that the KMT must fall is antithetical to healthy partisan competition and necessary democratic oversight.

Following the Sunflower Student Movement, the green camp demanded an amendment to the referendum law that would eliminate blue camp legislators and wipe out KMT party assets. These and other issues failed to rebuild anti-STA momentum. Society's "quiet force" continued to moderate the forces of extremism. When the KMT nominated Hung Shiu-chu, the green camp democratic civil war of 2015 and 2016 officially began. The object of this wave of democratic civil war is of course to bring down the Kuomintang, and promote hatred of Mainland China.

The DPP and the Taiwan Solidarity Union support the "anti-curriculum movement". Tsai Ing-wen and green camp county chiefs and city mayors have even intimidated the Ministry of Education, warning it not to file suit. The "anti-curriculum movement" constitutes a new battleground in the "anti-democratic civil war". Lee Teng-hui was the initiator of "democratic civil war". He urges "gratitude for Japanese rule" and alleges that "the Diaoyutai Islands belong to Japan". Those too are part of the battleground for democratic civil war.

The green camp is waging democratic civil war.The 2016 election will inevitably be a showdown between anti-China and anti-anti-China forces. On this battlefront, the KMT and those who advocate the "China concept" have no reason to shrink or retreat.

20150728 中國時報













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