Amid all of the public “sympathy” for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on the night of Nov. 26 and during the elections the following day, it was easy to miss the major implications the shooting of Sean Lien (連勝文) had for Taiwan.
After the shooting death of Huang Yun-sheng (黃運聖) and the wounding of Lien, the KMT orchestrated a wonderful media blitz campaign which, although far from subtle to most knowledgeable observers, appears to have had a major effect on the election results.
Although the shooting may not have claimed the elections in Taipei, Sinbei and Taichung, it almost certainly widened the margins of victory that the KMT enjoyed.
It is quite obvious that the KMT gained from politicizing the tragic event (while simultaneously warning the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) not to make the tragedy a political issue). It is also disgraceful how certain groups in society tried to shame the DPP — for making the exact same appeal.
In my estimation, the media — as well as the DPP — both missed a key aspect of the shooting. Instead of spending so much time and effort mourning the loss of an individual and the injury to another, the DPP and the media should have taken some time to assess the threat posed to the real victim in this situation: the broader Taiwanese public.
True, this approach would have been hard for society to swallow.
Indeed, I’m sure stating the reality of the situation would have sounded insensitive, heartless, cruel and all those other adjectives that are used to make the truth sound evil.
It is difficult to describe society as a victim when a single individual is dead and his family mourns him. It is hard to call society a casualty when another individual is shot through the face and his father weeps bitterly for the entire world to see.
However, the reality of the situation is, before the election, at least to my knowledge, neither the DPP nor the media asked the really difficult questions that were on every interested, knowledgeable and concerned observer’s mind: just what in the hell are gang members and others with gang affiliation doing at a KMT political rally, and just what are KMT politicians doing having relations with gang members?
Some, of course, passed it off as a DPP political ploy from the beginning, comparing it to the “staged” political violence of March 19, 2004, when former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was shot.
By this line of reasoning, the DPP orchestrated the shooting to win political support and public sympathy for then-candidate Chen.
The ironic twist when comparing the two shootings is that last month’s incident involved the DPP “conspiring” to shoot a KMT candidate. The argument, then, loses all credibility as it makes the acts contradictory and at least one of them counterproductive.
It seems the DPP can be blamed for everything. The DPP injures its own and injures (and kills) others, all for its political amusement. The DPP destroyed Taiwan’s economy. The DPP upset China. And, contrary to all historical evidence, it is in fact the DPP that has the strongest ties to the Taiwanese (and, for that matter, Chinese) underworld.
This is all preposterous, but arguably the most preposterous of all is the claim by some KMT supporters that the DPP’s hands are the deepest of all in the underworld grime. It is of course possible that the shootings of both March 19, 2004, and Nov. 26, this year, were organized and carried out by the DPP and/or its supporters.