Sun, Nov 05, 2017 - Page 6 News List

[ LETTER ]

Taiwan will be Taiwan

It has been one year since Donald Trump was elected president of the US. What has changed in Taiwan? Not much. Taiwan is very stable. Perhaps, in that sense, Taiwan is very boring. Perhaps Taiwan is even predictable. The news in Taiwan is still mostly about traffic accidents and China.

Taiwan still has its own military. Taiwan still has its own government that is democratically elected in free and fair elections with multiple political parties. Taiwan still has very little street crime. Taiwan has less suicide and alcoholism than South Korea and Japan, but those two nations have the highest alcoholism and suicide rates in the world. Taiwan is still more accepting of tattoos than Japan and South Korea. Taiwanese are still friendly to foreigners.

Even though all of these have remained the same, there has been one big change: gay marriage. Taiwan is the first nation in Asia to legalize gay marriage. Taiwan also has the oldest and largest Pride Parade in Asia.

Taiwan seems to not only be tolerant, but accepting.

The legalization of gay marriage is not because of Trump. Trump is intolerant. Trump is hostile toward Muslims, immigrants, women and political adversaries. Trump thinks violent Nazis are good people.

Indeed, Taiwan’s relative culture of acceptance contrasts with Trump. While Taiwan continues to be hospitable, the tweeter-in-chief continues to be combative.

If little has changed thus far, will little change in the future? What will happen to Asia and Taiwan should Trump start a war with North Korea as it seems he will? What will happen to Asia and Taiwan if Japan changes its constitution so that it can legally be more militarily aggressive, as it seems it will?

Trump has not given all Americans healthcare similar to the systems in Taiwan, Canada, Europe and Japan. However, neither former US president Barack Obama before him nor former US president George W. Bush before him gave Americans healthcare.

Trump has presided over two new US wars in Chad and the Muslim region of the Philippines.

However, before him, Obama added five more US wars —in Pakistan, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. And before him, Bush invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush even stopped looking for Osama Bin Laden and continued to stay in Afghanistan. He also stayed in Iraq after no chemical, biological or nuclear weapons were found.

It seems that the US goes to war for the sake of war. So, Trump is simply continuing the US status quo of war and no healthcare. This has been the US status quo for 16 years — two presidents, Republican and Democrat — before Trump.

The problem, then, is not the president of the US. The problem is the US. We can expect the US to continue to invade countries that have not attacked it and to not give its people healthcare. We can expect the US to still be the US.

We can expect Taiwan to still be Taiwan; the same old Taiwan where there is very little street crime, no war, where everyone has healthcare, and, now, gay people can get married.

Andres Chang

Taipei

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