Anyone who remembers some history should know that the democracy movement was made up of people from different ethnic groups, both sexes and different social classes. That means that if the martial law culture inflicted collective damage on Taiwan's society as a whole, then the victims will not belong to a specific ethnic group, sex or social class.
There is no doubt that the power biases of DPP rule are proportional to the shortcomings of its Taiwan discourse. A lack of historical vision is gradually distancing the government from Taiwanese society.
During the dangwai era, many women, workers, farmers, Aboriginals and Mainlanders joined the democracy movement, and it is these groups in particular that have now been alienated. Why is that so? That is something that those in power must think long and hard about.
Many people have realized that the KMT now is making an earnest effort to build a Taiwan discourse. In particular, the KMT is trying to gain the right to interpret Taiwan's history. Writing the history of Taiwan is no longer the exclusive preserve of the DPP. This situation is placing strict demands on the DPP that it take an active and positive approach to handling the issue of "Taiwan."
During the dangwai area, maybe the interpretation of Taiwan's history could focus on the Japanese era, the 228 Incident, and the negative impact of martial law culture. Once the DPP took over government, however, it could no longer continue to stress only its own tragic history of suffering, it also had to deal with the collective historical memories of all other ethnic groups.
The DPP has entered an era of instability and uncertainty. The president should not only delegate power, but the party also must soften its stance. It should treat Taiwan's society with humility and pragmatism, and find its way back to the bravery and wisdom of the dangwai era in order to re-establish a wider government discourse, lest it lose Taiwan altogether.
Chen Fang-ming is a professor of Chinese literature at National Chengchi University.
Translated by Perry Svensson