Mon, Sep 07, 2015 - Page 12 News List

A Soong of Mud and Ire

Joey Neihu sees some similarities between characters in the hit series ‘Game of Thrones’ and the four main protagonists in the upcoming presidential election

By Joey Neihu  /  Staff reporter

Photo credit Taipei Times

As the election unfolds, I can’t help but notice the similarities between some characters from the hit series Game of Thrones, and those vying for president.

There is the old, battle-worn guy with his unassailable sense of entitlement and the feisty little girl wandering around the country, orphaned, friendless, waving her little sword around and reciting the names of those she’s going to stick it to. There is the dashing, well-coiffured, goateed man driven by revenge; and the queen on the other side of the water, searching for a way across.

But even as I bade farewell to Season 5, I see we have our own four characters vying for the top spot here, and so I can sit down in front of the telly and put my feet up with a pint and some Nachos. Winter is coming here, too, and come January, we will know which of them finally ascends the throne.

We started the month with the news that a US magazine lambasted Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for orchestrating student occupations.

“The occupation of government agencies is a typical Middle Eastern terrorist group’s practice; the US is really worried that Taiwan could get ‘ISIS-ized,’” said the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Lin Te-fu (林德福), referring to the article and apparently managing to keep a straight face.

Those nasty terrorist DPP peeps. And this from the party that oversaw the 228 Massacre and the White Terror, and which is now disporting with the Commie Threat. But that’s all behind us now, and winter is coming.

Meanwhile, James Soong (宋楚瑜), part of the KMT establishment during the White Terror, remains convinced he is the legitimate heir to just about everything. Director-General of the Government Information Office from 1979 to 1984. Personal Secretary to the President from 1978 to 1981, and 1984 to 1989. KMT Secretary-General from 1989 to 1993. Governor of Taiwan Province with 56 percent of the vote.

But then he got greedy and, seething at the idea the bastard son of the king should succeed him, took up arms against the Anointed Ones and plunged the party into civil war.

Soong lost that battle, was excommunicated in 1999, but almost won the war when he got 37 percent of the vote in the 2000 presidential, routing the Anointed Ones’ army. Unfortunately, by dividing their forces he allowed the evil DPP to wrest power from them. He’s thrown his sword in the ring at every opportunity since.

There’s even a song on Youtube saying how you know that another four years have passed, ‘cos Soong is standing for president again. Ten years ago, a new Anointed Alliance almost seized the throne. But only 4 percent of Taipeites fancied him as their leader in 2006, and he was again routed in the presidential election in 2012, winning only 2.77 percent of the popular vote. No matter, he’s standing for president once more.

Enter Shih Ming-te (施明德), the goateed leader of the Red Shirt Army. Now circling Soong, weapon in hand, saying, “you imprisoned me for 25 years, you epitomize the banality of evil, you would bring back the old regime: These are the last words you shall hear, for I shall have my revenge.”

But you have to give it to Soong, the seasoned soldier. If he’s going to stand again he needed to re-invent himself, and thank heavens there’s a politician in Taiwan willing to go beyond that tired election poster of the candidate in monogrammed jacket, fist clenched and upright as if that actually means anything.

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