Thu, Nov 25, 2004 - Page 8 News List

Editorial: KMT must find the right path

To celebrate its 110th anniversary, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) held a large campaign rally in Taoyuan yesterday. Not only did the KMT gather all its county and city heads, but they also brought out the Sun Yat-sen (孫中山) spirit tablet. This was an attempt to consolidate Sun's position of "founding father," and to woo traditional supporters in Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli.

A growing party always explores new territories while marching toward the land of its enemies. Only a party that is dying makes a priority of defending its old territory. Over the past few years, the KMT's Hakka supporters in Taoyuan, Hsinchu, and Miaoli have been shaken. Hence, the party is in a panic, pulling the party elite to these areas, and trying to politically hypnotize its traditional supporters by upholding a founding father.

The rise of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), as well as its various campaign strategies, are targeting both the KMT's party-state system and its greater-China ideology. A founding father, national anthem and emblem, the party's assets inappropriately obtained through all kinds of political and administrative means over the past half a century are genuine symbols of the party-state system. Let us not forget that Sun was also one of the founders of the KMT, and that it is called the "Chinese" Nationalist Party.

If our nation's "founding father" were Sun Yat-sen, who was a founder of the "Chinese" Nationalist Party, why shouldn't the DPP's democratic pioneer, Cheng Nan-jung (鄭南榕) be one, too? This is purely an identity issue, not one of ethnicity. Attention should be paid to the fact that Cheng is a Mainlander, and his wife, Vice Premier Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭) is Hakka. Cheng sacrificed his life for democracy and freedom. An advocate of Taiwan's independence, he committed suicide by burning himself alive.

The KMT's confusion on the issue of national identity is at issue. KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) prostrated themselves and kissed the soil of Taiwan before the 2004 presidential elections, but they also advocate "the three links" policy. This empties Taiwan of capital, promotes the use of Taiwanese people's money toward the development of a greater China, and leaves Taiwanese workers unemployed.

Opposition parties have the democratic chance of winning power, but they also must show their loyalty to the nation and its people. An opposition party that is so disloyal, constantly forecasting Taiwan's doom, and viewing "Taiwan consciousness" as something pernicious, is clearly pushing the limits of treachery.

An announcement of a merger between the KMT, the People First Party (PFP) and the New Party was scheduled for today's anniversary celebrations, but was cancelled. From where we stand, this plan indicates a drowning KMT clutching at straws. The KMT does not have the courage to cut away the wart-like excrescence of the one-party state and maintain an ambivalence to national identity. Whatever political actions it takes -- even prayers to the gods -- won't save them, or slow down their slide to destruction.

Yesterday's KMT slogan: "We must find the right path if Taiwan is to have a future." We agree. For only by putting Taiwan first and breaking down the party-state will the KMT have a future.

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