Tue, Jan 11, 2000 - Page 8 News List

Developing political analysis skills

By Tang King-Su

When I am facing patients with mental disorders, I often use a psychotherapy method known as dynamic orientated psycho-analytical therapy to deal with a patient's internal psychological conflicts and to lead the patient to think about the root of his or her problems.

When patients are facing problems and cannot reply clearly to my questions or try to be ambiguous, I pull them back to reality and hope to help them face their own difficulties.

I always try to show my support and acceptance of the patients, to make them realize the crux of the problems. Hopefully they will develop their own capabilities to solve problems.

However, for a long time I couldn't do that myself when it came to political issues.

I remember when in 1975, while I was a senior in high school, I saw on TV a news report about the death of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石). For some reason, I started to cry inside my heart. The education I had had at that time told me that he was a great national hero.

It wasn't until many years later, when I happened to read Peng Ming-min's (彭明敏) autobiography, did I realize that many political and social events had happened around me, but I had never thought them over carefully or used my judgement to evaluate them.

I just relied on the dull and boring propaganda-type of education I had received. I felt like I had my own personal Kaohsiung Incident: I could only wonder why Taiwan had mobsters, why they wanted to ruin and destroy our peaceful and stable society?

After 20 years, as I look back and read about the biased reporting by the media at that time and the verdicts from the courts, I said to myself why do I feel so differently? I was between tears and laughter, totally embarrassed.

When I see kids fight, I try to let them know that we adults know it is not comfortable to be beaten, and I also show them that it is not right to beat other people up. I teach them how to deal with conflicts. I ask them to think that besides hitting back, are there other good ways to solve the problems?

Returning to politics, I have been thinking a lot about the James Soong (宋楚瑜) scandal.

Whether Soong actually embezzled money or not seems like a trivial thing to me.

What I do care about is whether our government is efficiently using the financial resources it has to serve the public -- and not using the money as a tool for maintaining its power or as bargaining chips for political deals.

After Soong's recent news conferences, I asked myself: "Am I being an idiot? Why is it that I don't understand what's going on? I am not sure where the money came from. I only care about whether Soong explains his stance towards the way the money is used in the system. Maybe this is part of a private agreement that Soong does not want anybody else to know about. But it is also hurting people who care about the country's politics."

I hope my children understand when I tell them that it is wrong to hit other people and not to justify their behavior by saying "other people hit, too."

I see the same thing in money politics. Can Soong say that I am not wrong because everybody else is engaged in money politics?

I have been watching the evolution of Taiwan's democracy and trying to learn from it. Sometimes I am happy and sometimes I am worried.

I am happy that our progress in democratic development is shown to the public through open and fair reports in the media, and that through the Soong scandal, the public may see into the workings of party politics.

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