The recent visits by Lian and Song have got me thinking about their perspectives. This will be a bit long-winded, so bear with me.
T.I.ers like to attack Lian and Song with personal insults just because of their opposing political positions, even going so far as to bring in Song’s mother, and Lian’s wife, etc. This is consistent with the street-fighting style that T.I.ers have adopted in the years before gaining political power and the uncouth, lowbrow tactics they use to garner support from uneducated southern peasants. Agitation is the method of choice and the mouth is the weapon of choice for T.I.ers.
This is all fine and well for internal consumption, but problem arises whenever T.I.ers, now in power, take such choice methods to the international scene. The problem is, they can’t actually defend their ideology by themselves. They need help from the US, from Japan, or from whomever else willing, but act as if those helpers are at their command and disposal.
Some people are shocked to see this mentality. T.I.ers themselves see it as a sign of “the brave Taiwanese that can’t be scared.” They often say things like they want T.I. now come the end of the world, whatever the consequences, whatever the costs. In fact, they don’t really consider the costs very much, a habit which has been brought into the current administration’s pro-T.I. propaganda. They don’t truly know it. This is also where Lian and Song come in.
Both men, while in mainland China, have mentioned their childhood experiences of large-scale destruction, deaths, and flight associated with years of war and turmoil. It is evident that these weigh heavily on their outlook and shape the values of at least part of the pan-Blue constituency. War often has a sobering effect on those who have experienced it, especially the ultimate pointlessness of it, a poignant point which I am sure Lian realized when the KMT chairman shook the hands of his CCP counterpart.
Those in power now and the T.I.ers never did experience war. Some of them experienced injustice during 228, but not the wholesale destruction that was the Chinese Civil War. They simply do not know it. Lian and Song and the mainlander families, whom T.I.ers make the butt of all kowtow jokes, in fact have the most credentials to speak about the potential costs of T.I. Fortunately, most Taiwanese agree with the pan-Blues on the issue of costs of carrying out T.I. and therefore reject it in favor of maintaining status quo. If Chen Shui Bian and T.I.ers believe in a civil society, they should shut up and respectfully listen, too.