Mon, Jul 18, 2016 - Page 6 News List

Taiwan eclipses bloated monoliths

By William Stimson

I am not Taiwanese. I am an American resident in Taiwan. Politics do not interest me — neither Taiwan’s nor the US’. However, how can I not feel the different mood in this nation since the election of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文)? Taiwanese were given a choice between the past and the future. They chose the future. Every moment of every day I see that was the right decision.

How different this same choice is playing out in the US right now.

Americans just rejected US Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders, who, like Tsai, came forward with a voice and a vision that is true, and that could have led the US forward to a new and sustainable prosperity. Unlike Taiwan, the US voted against its tomorrow and instead chose its yesterday.

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has for some time trumpeted that the US’ era has come to an end and China’s has begun.

From Taiwan, it does not look like that. It is Taiwan, not China, that is eclipsing the US. Consider this: All the policies put forward by Sanders and rejected by US voters as too impractical and too pricey are already firmly in place in Taiwan and have been successful for some time.

Day in and day out I see the effect and it is good all around.

None of this will happen in the US any time soon, thanks to presumptive Democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and her establishment cohorts. Expect instead the same old military adventurism to go on as before. All this machismo in the name of “America’s first female president.”

Well, Taiwan already has a female president and instead of getting elected because she was a woman she got elected because she was the best candidate for the job.

She promises to carry Taiwan forward beyond what the US turned its back on, which Taiwan already has, to a future that might have to be invented here and in other similarly smaller and enlightened nations.

This future promises to breach the socialism/capitalism divide that so terrifies US voters, draw out the best features of each system, and open the way for democratic innovations that can only now be envisioned, perhaps in this very island nation.

The unfortunate PRC stands to be foiled again. The way Beijing envisions it, it is a matter of their big ferocious dinosaur empire replacing the US’ waning Tyrannosaur power.

However, I see evidence all around me in remarkable little Taiwan, and I saw it as well as in Denmark, Finland and Sweden, where I have traveled in recent years, that small forward-thinking nations are a new and superior breed that has come into being.

It is clear that just as diminutive mammals prevailed in the end over the monster reptiles of the past, so enlightened little nations like Taiwan will take the torch of world leadership from a fatigued and frightened backward-looking US, as a disappointed wannabe China looks on.

William Stimson is an American who lives and writes in central Taiwan.

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