He is clearly working up to delivering his punchline. In other words, the more he says, the less sincere his words appear to be.
Even farces have a positive side and this one has given all Taiwanese three things to reflect upon.
The first is that Ma’s mask of amiability has now completely slipped off, revealing the total indifference and lack of compassion of the man Taiwanese elected as their president. The second was only revealed when the fight erupted, and that was the almost unlimited powers of the president, including violations of due process such as the bugging of private conversations and the leaking of information to the president by the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division. The third one, which is especially worth reflecting on, is what kind of society and culture will countenance the alleged illegal lobbying of the judiciary and politicians acting as behind-the-scenes facilitators, and consider this to be perfectly natural behavior, as if it were part and parcel of the legislative speaker’s job?
When it comes down to it, politicians from both camps are doing it: The strongly partisan are always trying to lobby for their own interests and those who play the image card are likely just hypocrites. Yet all of them pale in this regard when compared with Wang and Ma.
To conclude, rejecting Ma is not the same thing as supporting Wang. Looking to the future, Taiwanese should not accept either.
From here on, Taiwan can use the collective disenchantment the public feel over this sorry affair as an opportunity to turn a new page. For example by finding a solution to the problems inherent in the nation’s system of constitutional government and the independence of the legislature, or in the distinction between morals and responsibility, to forge a new generation of politicians.
If something constructive comes out of all this, then the price paid by society for being put through all this turmoil may well turn out to be worth it in the end.
Ping Lu is an author.
Translated by Paul Cooper