ESWN’s obsessive hatred of Taiwan got the better of him again today as he posted another abusive article about our democracy here. I’m not going to bother to deconstruct that silly post in its entirety because really, reading ESWN’s yammering on Taiwan’s democracy is a comically painful act, rather like watching a Golden Retriever trying to form complete sentences. I’d just like to point out this little bit of rampant nonsense:

Nevertheless, these other factoids are popping up because the media are chasing after politicians’ family members and pets as if these are matters of public interest or as if they are entertainment celebrities such as Faye Wong, Jay Chou and Jolin Tsai. No, they really are not! While it is boring and much less sexy to talk about platforms and policies, that is actually more relevant and meaningful!

It’s rather hilarious to see a blogger who constantly puts up sex videos and does whole blogposts devoted to Hong Kong actress Gillian Cheong’s nipple, complaining about the low tastes of Taiwanese voters. Let he who is without sin….

ESWN hates Taiwan, but more importantly, he just doesn’t get democracy:

In like manner, I just find the fluctuating fortunes of the mayoral candidates in Taipei and Kaohsiung to be weird and irrational. Why should the numbers bounce on account of the indictment of the President’s wife for embezzlement or the KMT party chairman’s problems with the special funds being allocated partially to pay for the living expenses of his dog? The voters are supposed to be electing the best candidate to serve as the mayors for their respective cities. It is a serious mistake to think that they are voting on the presidency (either the current one or the prospective 2008 one). This is a lesson that I hope that United States and Taiwan can learn now, and that someday mainland China can learn based upon these examples.

My dear Roland, governance is about values. The “best” is a value, and values are only defined in reference to other values — there is no objective absolute anywhere out there that we imperfect humans can consult that tells us who the “best” candidate might be — “best” is merely a calculus of values — in this case, voter’s values. Voters take party affiliation — and thus, the behavior of other party members — as an important signal of the probable values of a particular candidate. Taiwan’s voters, who have a far more sophisticated understanding of democracy than ESWN, know this. The reason Roland finds it weird and irrational is that lurking behind ESWN’s view of democracy is the Confucian-cum-technocratic fantasy of value-neutral politics run by administrators who know what’s best for everyone — which is always and everywhere an authoritarian nightmare.

Fortunately Taiwan is slowly leaving that behind. Unfortunately, Chinese culture is filled with commentators like Roland who. just. don’t. get. it. It is this widespread yearning for technocratic control in Chinese culture, not plebian tastes, that is the real threat to the future of Chinese democracy. Cast out the beam in thine own eye, Roland.