Showing posts with label bluesplaining. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bluesplaining. Show all posts

Monday, December 2, 2019

It's not independence that is "hopeless", it's unification: like many, Terry Gou is answering the wrong question

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Screenshot from NowNews video with subtitles added

Let me start this by saying I don't care about Terry Gou. He's just some rich guy, he'll never be president. While he's obviously got business acumen, he's foolish to think that running a country is similar to running a business. I've never forgiven him for saying "you can't eat democracy" as a way of saying he thought money was more important than freedom (and therefore unification would be potentially acceptable), and I have a whole host of new reasons to renew my dislike.

However, please allow me, after saying "I don't care about Terry Gou", to write a lot about my opinion on Terry Gou. Or rather, his views on Taiwanese independence.

The other day, at a rally for some other guy, Gou appeared alongside that candidate, James Soong and Ko Wen-je for a whole lineup of people I don't care about. Around the 19-minute mark of this video, Gou said:

搞台獨都是垃圾...台獨沒有希望、垃圾、違憲 
Translation: "All Taiwan independence supporters are garbage...Taiwan independence is hopeless, trash and unconstitutional!" 

Notably, he tried to make it sound as though he was just repeating and agreeing with something he insists Ko Wen-je said. Ko denied this, saying that he said some independence supporters are scammers and liars, but not all of them, and he respects people who sincerely believe in it.

I'm not sure what that's supposed to mean, because people who actively but insincerely support Taiwanese independence are not a thing. I suppose he is trying to create a distinction between people who care about Taiwan independence, and those who only say so to get votes but again - not a thing. It's the other side of that which is true: people who have said they oppose unification, but actually don't, or quietly support it (see: Ma Ying-jeou).

The pan-blue/red and the pan-green media have all covered this, mostly from the "Ko said that wasn't what he meant" angle, which really isn't the story here. It doesn't matter who said it first. That it was said at all is the problem. UDN (pan-blue) notably focused on "Taiwan independence is hopeless, garbage and unconstitutional" - the sort of thing their readers might agree with even if they'd blanche at calling people they disagree with "garbage". Pan-green media focused on "Taiwan independence supporters are all garbage", because that's more of an offensive slur against actual people than merely a stupid opinion on an issue. Rest assured, dear readers, he said both. And both are awful. 


That's not all Gou said, but I'll get to his other stand-out remark later.

First, I'd like to tell you why I'm writing about Gou when I do not care about him. It's because his dumb remarks give me a good 'in' to make a point that's been clonking around in my head for months now.

And that is this: when we talk about whether Taiwanese (or Hong Kong) independence is possible or hopeless, most people are asking the wrong question.

They ask (and answer) "how could Taiwan (or Hong Kong) possibly gain independence? China would never allow it for Hong Kong, and never allow recognition of it for Taiwan! It's impossible! China's too big, too strong!


But what they really should ask themselves first is this:

"How could Taiwan and Hong Kong possibly become a part of China?"

Especially as it exists now, what would it take for such an annexation/integration to be successful?

It would require Taiwanese and Hong Kongers to willingly give up their rights and freedoms and submit to authoritarian Chinese rule. It would require this even though people from both places have seen the way that China treats its own citizens - that is, not well at all.

It would therefore entail people from these places not only agreeing that it's acceptable to be 'a part of China', but to actually think of themselves as Chinese. Hong Kongers no longer believe the former, in large part, and are slowly moving away from the latter (considering how common it is now to refer to themselves as "Hong Kongers" rather than as "Chinese"). Taiwanese haven't believed either for quite some time.

How would Taiwanese (and Hong Kongers) ever come to believe and willingly submit to these things? What would it take to accomplish that?

The answer is that there is no way to accomplish that. There is no way to peacefully and straightforwardly convince Taiwan (or Hong Kong) to unify. The only option is violent annexation following underhanded attacks on democratic norms.

Taiwanese are already soured - probably permanently - on the notion of being a part of China. The youth are soured on considering themselves Chinese in any sense. Hong Kong is quickly moving in that direction, which I would argue was an inevitable development given what China is like.

By starting with the wrong question, unificationists like Gou - and yes, he is a unificationist - delude themselves into believing that unification could possibly be peaceful, that a general pro-China consensus will ensure that it's not necessary for the PLA to come in and start shooting at Taiwanese, and therefore that this outcome is better than the threat of war under continued independence.

That's not what will happen, though, because there won't be a general pro-China consensus. Ever. Unification will not make the differences in culture, belief systems and society between Taiwan and China go away. The only option left is prolonged Hong Kong-like guerilla warfare - and that won't drive Taiwanese to change their minds, either. If anything, it'll only harden them against China even more.

And that way - the only way one can conceive of working - simply is not going to happen. Rather than "accept unification or it's war", it's time we accepted the real truth: "the only choices are independence, or war".

So when Terry Gou says "Taiwan independence is hopeless", what is that supposed to mean? What does he expect to happen instead? It's unification that is hopeless. How would it even work? Why do people - Gou included - allow the assumption that unification is possible to pass unquestioned, but not the assumption that independence is possible?

Most likely, if asked, he would point to the "status quo" - the ROC not claiming independence but resisting unification - as others have done. That's surely what he meant when he called independence "unconstitutional" (which is true, I suppose, but absent a threat from China, the constitution can be changed.) He doesn't seem to realize that the status quo is independence, as much as he'd like to pretend that's not the case.

Gou and others might want us to believe that 'Taiwan independence' is a terrifying unknown thing, whereas the status quo is safe, secure and known. But a version of Taiwan independence already exists - the mirage of danger is created and maintained by Chinese threats, not any lived reality. And the status quo, insofar as it is different from independence (which it isn't in any practical way) is not particularly safe.

Of course, the status quo is not tenable. China has made it clear that they do not intend to allow it to continue forever, and it's time we paid attention. It's just not smart to assume they are bluffing because that's the easier truth to swallow - when someone tells you who they are, believe them.

The longer it is prolonged, the longer China has the time to build up its military, poach diplomatic relations, throw out debt traps and economic dependencies to make the rest of the world beholden to its agenda. And the longer it is prolonged, the more Taiwanese (and Hong Kongers) will resist the idea, as they have done and will do.

Of course, I won't even entertain the notion that a unified China under the ROC is possible. Why not? Because hahaahhahahahahahaha.

So stop asking whether independence is, as Gou said, "hopeless" and "trash". Ask instead whether unification is hopeless. You'll find that it is.

UDN also pointed out that Gou said this:

第三勢力不容忍台獨、反對台獨。 
The Third Force doesn't tolerate Taiwan independence, it opposes Taiwan independence.

That's interesting, I guess. I mean, the Third Force has, since the term came into being, referred to the left-of-the-DPP folks who considered themselves "colorless" (but, in truth, were always broadly pan-green). Other than their generally socially liberal political views and activist roots, one of the things that binds them together is a support for Taiwan independence.

Now, it seems that people like Gou, Ko Wen-je and his new ego-machine and the PFP/James Soong people are trying to appropriate the term for themselves. That's a joke - the term already refers to a group of people and they can't be silenced. These guys aren't colorless, either. They are broadly pan-blue and always have been. Let's not forget that in the past year or so, Ko has consistently attacked the DPP and been supportive-ish of the KMT. James Soong was the guy behind a lot of censorship and colonial-mentality policies from the authoritarian era, when he ran the Government Information Office. Gou very recently tried to win the KMT nomination and is sucking sour grapes because he lost spectacularly. 


In other words, these guys absolutely have a color. The real Third Force has engaged in a very long internal debate on whether they are "little greens" or exist independently of the pan-green camp, instead holding the DPP accountable. It seems clear that most of them have decided that they are little greens for the purposes of the presidential election, for now, because Han and the KMT are a greater threat to Taiwan than the DPP having no meaningful opposition from the left. This is right, as it puts the country first. If Huang Kuo-chang wants to sulk in the corner about it, that shows how self-serving he's always been. 


Ko, Soong, Gou and their various party affiliations and hangers-on - are not even trying to engage in that debate. They are acting blue while calling themselves "colorless" and "the Third Force". It's just another iteration of the pan-blue camp calling DPP and pan-green ideas "ideological" and their lawmakers as "doing ideology", while pretending their side is neutral and ideology-free (of course, it isn't. No side is.)

It's also vaguely interesting to me, watching the NowNews video linked above, that whenever they need to drum up sentimental support, these guys pivot from "independence is trash" and "the ROC" to "Taiwan", with Ko Wen-je saying "give Taiwan a chance!" and the resulting chant focusing on Taiwan, not 'the ROC'. It's almost as if - and stop me if I sound insane here - that they know that voters have a stronger attachment to the concept of 'Taiwan' (their island) than 'the ROC' (a foreign government which claims sovereignty). It's like they're aware that when people conceptualize their country, in their minds that country is Taiwan.
So despite being anti-Taiwan/pro-China in platforms and rhetoric, they're quite willing to hypocritically call on that sentiment when it suits them.

Never fear, the actual Third Force, like most Taiwanese, prefer independence or the closest thing to it. These folks are an entirely different ideological force, and are likely to remain a sidelined one.

Why? Because they're asking and answering the wrong questions. And who will vote for you when you can't even ask the right question, let alone answer it?

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Humiliation

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I just think this picture works with what I am trying to express here, though I couldn't tell you why.

A few years ago, I wrote a long, rambling post that nobody read about a short trip to Athens. One of the central plot threads of that post - which was more of a story that jumped across generations - was the nature of an attempted betrayal of my great-grandfather. As I understand the story, before the 1915 genocide, Armenian children in Turkey were already being taken from their homes and sold as 'adopted' children to Turkish families. The people spearheading the abduction campaign were not Turks hell-bent on persecuting Armenians, although some were surely involved. Rather, it was an Armenian family harming their own.

They attempted to have the Turkish authorities detain my great-grandfather (a fellow Armenian) for stopping the child trade, but it was a Turk who saved him: the captain of the law enforcement unit that tracked him down had served in the military with my great-grandfather and respected him immensely. 


That story wedged itself into my brain last night - my last night in China - built a little nest there and simply will not leave.

The night before that, I was invited to a fancy dinner and drinking with two of the "big bosses" of the company I was contracting for. One was Taiwanese, the other Chinese, and others were present, including another Taiwanese employee of this Chinese company. I was there to deliver a training session; I'm not an employee. I'm not a big fan of the 'company culture' there - I don't like enforced patriotism - but I keep my mouth shut because I'm not an employee and I don't live in China. My opinion is irrelevant.

After several beers, and speaking Mandarin exclusively, the Taiwanese boss asked me if I would stay in Taiwan forever, and I affirmed that I would. In fact, my dream would be to retire to Tainan. He scowled and called it a "DPP city". I indicated that I didn't mind and warned him not to ask me my opinion on the matter. I could tell he was deep blue and pro-unification - he'd made a joke that "we're already unified, at this dinner!" with his Chinese colleague - and was prepared to just let it be.

I know that seems odd for me, but I was in a foreign country, working as an outside contractor. I just didn't think the conversation would be necessary or helpful. Eventually, however, enough beer was drunk that I did affirm my support for Taiwanese independence and general pro-Taiwan leanings, while diplomatically saying "it's not about green or blue, I just love Taiwan." (I don't believe that - it is about green and blue: mostly that green may be imperfect, but blue is made up of China sellouts and former mass murderers, but I wanted to keep the banter friendly.)

I added that while I am not Taiwanese - I don't have citizenship or ancestry tying me to Taiwan - that in my heart, this was my home. He joked that my colleague and I had lived in Taiwan so long that we were in fact Taiwanese.

The Taiwanese boss indicated that he was fine with my views, and I further joked that I couldn't vote anyway, and I would never mention my views to the trainees in China - what would be the point? We ended the night amicably, and I thought that while we would never agree politically and didn't have to be friends, that we could work together. I even kind of liked him as a person, and thought I wouldn't mind drinking with him and others again.

The next day was the closing ceremony for the training session. The Taiwanese employee - not the boss - recounted my description of these classes in Taiwan being 'more relaxed'. Trainees show up with coffee, we chat a bit before the class starts, nobody wears matching shirts, we sit around a table as equals. It's laid-back, democratic and fun. He spun it into a story about how the Chinese trainees were harder working and more organized (which is true, but they all work for the same company, and that company has an authoritarian bent to their working culture, so of course they would be). I was slightly annoyed, because I hadn't meant it that way: I don't think either approach is 'better', just different, though my personal preference is for the more relaxed Taiwanese classes.

I decided, however, to let it go. Again, this may not sound like me, but I don't feel 'at home' in China the way I do in Taiwan. I'm a visitor and I act accordingly.

Then the Taiwanese boss took the stage. After some general motivational talk, he also told the story of our night of drinking, and said:

"Jenna says her heart is Taiwanese. And she and [her colleague] have both lived in Taiwan for a long time, they're Taiwanese! [Our employee] is Taiwanese, and so am I. You are all Mainlanders. So together we are all..."

...and in unison he, the rest of the staff and the trainees all shouted: "Chinese!"

The word they used was 中國人, of course - with the implication that we're all residents of the same country.

Everyone applauded but me. I sat there, not clapping, shooting daggers at the stage. In Taiwanese they call that look a "shit face" (賽面) and that's exactly what it was.

Honestly, I felt stabbed in the back. Betrayed. I may not be Taiwanese, but this is my home, and to have a Taiwanese person say that - and sell me out like that, by throwing my words back at me in a way that I couldn't possibly counteract.

All the while, the Chinese staff of the company have been nothing short of amazing. I genuinely like them all, and they do their best to make sure we are comfortable and have what we need to do our jobs. My students have been wonderful, and they are truly hard-working. The other boss - the Chinese one - never said a single impolite thing. Obviously, my beef is not with the general concept of 'being Chinese', if you have the ancestry and identify that way. (I shouldn't have to say that, but you'd be surprised the way some people interpret what they read.) It's with deliberately twisting my words into a narrative I do not endorse in a way that makes me seem complicit, and forcing an identity on the majority of Taiwanese who do not accept it. And it's harder to swallow coming not from a Chinese person whose entire worldview has been shaped to believe in that perspective, but a Taiwanese person quite literally selling out his own people.

Doubly so, as I'd never say something like that publicly to them. Speaking frankly after several beers in a private room is one thing, going on stage and doing it is quite another. I do believe that if I extend the courtesy of not publicly discussing my pro-Taiwan views, that they can sing their anthem and do patriotic chants all they like, but I also deserve the courtesy of not being forced against my will into being woven into a pro-China speech as though I endorse it. Yes, even when I am in China. I doubt many Taiwanese would do that to Chinese in Taiwan, and it should go both ways.

Honestly, it felt like a form of harassment. A bullying tactic. Sure, he's playing a role and knew the trainees would enjoy it, but it wasn't compulsory, like singing the national anthem or doing group chants (which they have to do, Taiwanese employees included, and I make no comment on. Not my company, not my country, not my issue.) He chose to say that. He did it intentionally, knowing it would anger, or at least bother, me. He did it knowing I would have no tools whatsoever with which to fight back. I would have to sit there and take it, because I'm a freelancer and he's the boss, even though I am also a trainer and that commands respect. Because I'm in the audience and he's on stage. Because everyone in the room agrees with him, not me. Because it's a formal ceremony and the 'face' was thick in that room. Simply not clapping and twisting my face into a look of disgust was already quite bold.

He knew all that and did it anyway. I wouldn't say it was an intentionally personal attack - he probably didn't think too much about it, assuming I'd just take it and it didn't matter, and was more using me as a setup for his own political gain. But I don't forgive that sort of sideswipe easily, and do feel it's part of his job to make the trainers they hire feel comfortable, and instead I felt sold out. I'm not even trying to describe my fury, because I simply cannot.

I know this sort of thing happens to Taiwanese in China all the time, and they have even fewer resources to fight back with than I do. I have read - and friends have told be - about being forced to publicly agree with "One China" while in China or dealing with Chinese counterparts - and not even being able to refuse to comment, look disgusted or metaphorically "not clap". And all that while being truly Taiwanese - I'm a foreigner who calls this place home, nothing more. Because of my relative privilege, I don't think I can ever know on a deeper level what that feels like to be in their position, but I've now had a brush with it and even that was unbearable. I'm still incensed. I can only imagine the gut-wrenching torture and lingering ache of being forced to vocally affirm an identity you don't believe in just to collect a paycheck that you might truly need.

It also happens in international organizations. I'll write more about this later, but even when Taiwan does something that earns international recognition, there are people who give the credit to China. Again, there are few tools available to Taiwan to fight this, though I am happy to see that as time goes on, everyday Taiwanese less willing to just bear it.

So, I meant two things by the title "Humiliation" - how I was made to feel in that moment, but also how pro-China people frequently seek to humiliate those who support Taiwan. The humiliation of a nation and identity, with few channels to stand up for ourselves.

I left the ceremony at the earliest possible opportunity, declined a second drinking session that he personally invited me to, skipped breakfast the next morning and was quiet on the way to the airport (he drove). I cited being 'tired' and 'having a migraine'. Those excuses were true, but caused by the situation. In other words, I was passive-aggressive about it. Those were the tools at my disposal.

What reads to me as 'passive aggression', however, reads in this part of the world as 'making your thoughts known without causing trouble'. What I consider professional - to bring up the matter at a later date - would be seen as overly aggressive here. My reaction that night and signaling in the hours following the incident probably made my feelings clear enough. Nobody commented, but nobody asked me why I'd suddenly become so withdrawn - and even declined free alcohol! - implying that they knew.

Of course, there's also this blog. I'm aware that there might be professional repercussions to writing this, but feel the need to say something anyway. I deserved better in that moment, and Taiwan deserves better in general.

It still bothers me, however, that I have no professional channels through which to ensure it doesn't happen again. I could tell the company in Taiwan that sent me, but I truly don't think they'd care. They'd just expect me to suck it up. Or perhaps they would care, but wouldn't say anything about the actions of a high-level boss at a company they have a highly profitable relationship with, even to ask that Taiwan-China issues please not be brought up publicly as it makes the foreign trainers uncomfortable. I'm not even convinced they'd understand why I was so upset - to them, what he said was just an obvious truth, so what could my problem with it possibly be?

Will I return to China? I don't know. The money is nice but I'd be fine without it - it's not about the cash. On one hand, I feel deeply upset at the notion of returning to a place where my words were twisted and mocked in that way. On the other, he's one person in a company of people who have been otherwise wonderful hosts. As I can't even publicly acknowledge (to them) how I feel about what happened, those who are less aware of my perspective on Taiwan and China might privately wonder if they had somehow upset me, when that simply wasn't the case. I'm not even sure how I'd tell my company in Taiwan that I won't go back, if I know that telling them about the incident at all would lead nowhere and might get be labeled as overly demanding.

It just still kills me, two days later, that it was the Taiwanese person's words that denied the existence of a unique Taiwanese identity and history and caught me in the gut like a well-fired arrow. I hear a lot of complaints in Taiwan that "Chinese" are rude, or bullies regarding Taiwan and Hong Kong. While I am aware that happens, it's just not been my experience. It's the deep blue Taiwanese who are the worst. They have freedom and access to better information, and yet they still choose a path that takes freedom away from their own country.

A good reminder, I suppose, that being respectful and doing the right thing have nothing at all to do with national boundaries. 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Bluesplaining

 photo IMG_1690.jpg

But you don't understand! Taiwan is small and China is big. If you understood this complex issue and also the Chinese idea of what constitutes a nation and Chinese 5000 years of culture, you'd agree with me because the government says One China.

Ever heard of mansplaining? I hope so. And I know the (condescending talker + -splain suffix) meme has probably run its course, but before it goes completely, I want to offer up one more verb to add to the -splain lexicon - bluesplaining.

Bluesplaining is when KMT members and supporters (not all supporters, just as not all men mansplain) talk down to people with different viewpoints, condescend to them, explain obvious facts (and invent non-facts to explain as facts) and basically get paternalistic whenever someone posits a viewpoint that doesn't go along with the KMT's preferred narrative.

Note: in China, the subset of Chinese citizens who have been taken in by CCP propaganda do the same thing regarding viewpoints on China. Pretty sure the KMT just stole their game.

A few examples of the true meaning behind a lot of what these public figures say:

Student Leaders Are Very Naughty Boys - this guy's bluesplaining takes the form of "The students disrespected their elders. Their elders want to keep Taiwan safe and strong. They should respect their elders. If you don't think these statesmen have Taiwan's best interests at heart then  you don't understand the complex issue because you are a stupid silly youngster."

Then there's the KMT on nuclear power - where the bluesplaining sounds more like this: "You don't think that's a good idea because you don't understand the most important issues. Of course it is a good idea because we want to keep Taiwan strong and the only way to keep Taiwan strong is to do this idea, which will keep Taiwan strong because it will."

Then there's the KMT on "being orderly" -  "be orderly so we can continue to ignore you, and don't get upset that we are ignoring you. That's our right because we know what's best for Taiwan because we do and if you don't like it, you are wrong."

"We need to turn Taiwan from a troublemaker into a peacemaker by nurturing reconciliation across the Taiwan Strait" basically reads as "DPP nationalism is dangerous. If you don't support the ROC, you are a dangerous Hoklo nationalist troublemaker. Only those who understand that Taiwan is Chinese truly understand the complex issues facing Taiwan. Anyone who disagrees is a troublemaker. Troublemakers! Why do you always make trouble?"

Banyan is a consummate bluesplainer - this whole piece reads as - "But don't you understand that Taiwan needs a strong economy? You see, if we don't sign this deal with China, Taiwan will have a weak economy, and we need a strong economy because the economy" with a dose of "If you think differently, that's because you're a vagrant, a truant, a troublemaker or a moron. You see, Taiwan is really the ROC, which is a part of China because everyone agrees that there is one China."

Reported on by Frozen Garlic"You are hurting Taiwan and mothers because you insist that the government should practice due process and serve the people. Don't you realize that the government has your best interests at heart, and so by doing this you're hurting your mother? You don't want to hurt your mother, do you?"

"To counter this, the KMT and the Executive Yuan (EY) have both announced they will soon establish “new media” units to counter “disinformation” circulating on the Internet and provide “correct” government information using the social networks that served as the principal means of communication for the Sunflower Movement." - that basically reads as ""You don't understand this complex issue. You see, not all Taiwanese think the way you do. The Taiwanese think the way I do" (all of them apparently). "That's why Taiwan will do what I think Taiwan will do" or maybe more simply,"Taiwan should embrace closer ties with China because that's what I want and people who don't want it are wrong."

I could find more links...an maybe I'll add them in here as I come across them, but instead I'll just type out how I generally hear bluesplaining going down:

"If we get on the right path with China, we can all realize our dream and the best outcome of peaceful reunification with the motherland, which is what everyone wants except idiots."

"You don't think Taiwan should reunite with China because you don't understand the Chinese concept of what a nation is or the concept of the Chinese people as a whole." (if said to a foreigner, they may add "this is because you don't understand our 5000 years of culture.")


"You don't understand. You see, Taiwan is small and China is big."

"Let me explain - both sides" (both governments, not both sides full of people) "say that there is one China, so there is no support at all for an independent Taiwan."

"The government says that the ROC flag should be the flag of Taiwan, and so everyone agrees that it is and nobody disagrees."

"Hong Kong has more money now, and so Taiwan should do what Hong Kong did. If you think that will lower quality of life, then you don't understand that I can make money. Don't you want me to make money?"

"You don't understand. Let me explain that China is big, and China said that Taiwan can only be in the Olympics if they use this flag, so the people think that's fine, because China is big, and it's the Olympics, so we have to use this flag because Olympics and China."

"No, you can't say that there is a lot of support for independence in Taiwan because most people want to maintain the status quo and if you posit that if there was no threat from China that they would want independence, you're wrong because I want you to be wrong. Anyway there is a threat from China so you shouldn't talk about that. Instead we should all cower in fear. If you think we shouldn't, then you don't understand this complex issue."

"But Taiwan has been considered a part of China since antiquity and our 5000 years of culture and Confucius and the Taiwanese are all very proud of their Chinese heritage and they all know they are Chinese so why are you talking about Taiwan as though its different? 

"Many Chinese say Taiwan is a part of China, therefore it is."

"I met a Chinese guy once who said that Taiwan was just like China with its traditions preserved, therefore Taiwan and China are inseparable."

"The US shouldn't support Taiwan because Taiwan is small and China is big so of course the USA should support China."

"The Sunflower Movement doesn't have a lot of support because I said so, and they are saying a lot of untrue things because I want them to be untrue, and you should ignore the media polls that say otherwise because they do not support my views."

"You are dreaming. This is reality. We have to be realistic if we want to face reality."

"No, let me explain to you. People only care about the economy in Taiwan because I only care about the economy in Taiwan and three people told me that, and one of them was a taxi driver, so it's true."

"Why are you arguing with me? Don't talk about politics! I want to keep it fair and balanced by presenting my viewpoint as fact and if you have a problem with that then you are bringing politics into the discussion."

"The opposition doesn't have a good plan to fix the economy, therefore we have a good plan, because it's a plan and we have it. If you don't agree, then you don't understand."