Sun, Jul 22, 2007 - Page 8 News List


The death of the KMT

"For the people of Taiwan, the KMT must win the `war' over the presidential and legislative elections. If it loses again, Taiwan will exist no more," Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said on July 7 during a speech at a rally for three KMT representatives who will battle for seats in the legislature in the upcoming election.

Ma's manifesto is more than just a football coach's pep talk before a game, however. It denotes a speaker who at once assumes the role of savior and the head of a terrorist organization.

Ma the savior claims that Taiwan has "fallen" since the transfer of power to the Democratic Progressive Party, that the nation has been "standing still" and that Taiwanese are "angry" and "no longer laughing."

Ma is saying, somewhat grandiosely, that it is his destiny to take the lead in fighting a "holy war" of great historical significance concerning the future happiness of Taiwanese.

At the same time, Ma is also issuing a threat to the people who are not supporting him and the KMT, warning of an impending catastrophe of apocalyptic magnitude that could mean the end of Taiwan.

Ma's conclusions would have us believe that should he and the KMT lose the elections next year, the nation would continue to lose economic power, with no hope of recovery.

This reading, however, does not bear up with the nation's rosy stock indexes and can be refuted almost instantly.

Ma's pretentious prophetic proclamation is meant to inspire fear. It is pregnant with a very effective weapon in rhetorics -- silence -- that stems from privileged knowledge the audience is not privy to.

Whether his speech reflects an imminent invasion by the People's Liberation Army or a naval blockade from China in reaction to a KMT loss in the elections or of other factors that would endanger the future of the nation, we simply cannot know.

These are just some of the plausible scenarios, manipulated with diabolical dexterity since the ice-breaking pilgrimages to China by former vice president Lien Chan (連戰) and People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜).

Who knows how many secret pacts they have signed with their Chinese Communist Party counterparts and what measures would be taken should they once again lose the elections.

This, of course, exploits the legacy of fear from the Martial Law era. Ma and his ilk are experienced terrorists, knowing that terror is still very much alive in a large part of the population.

Beyond Ma's posturing as the savior of the people or as a terrorist boss, however, one also senses desperation in his speeches, as if this were the KMT's last chance to regain power and claim political viability, as the outcome of next year's elections will be the deciding factor in whether the KMT dynasty will continue on or die.

The KMT dynasty, however, was pronounced dead in 2000, when a Nationalist expatriate in the US told a NPR reporter that he and countless other overseas Nationalists were about to return to Taiwan to vote for the KMT presidential candidate because "the Nationalists cannot afford to lose. If they were to lose," the man said, the "ROC would be no more."

Yang Chunhui

Salt Lake City, Utah

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