Dirty politics aside, Taiwan citizens need good public servants

By Daniel J. Bauer

My Facebook screen recently brought a photo from California that put a smile on my chops. It showed a little boy, perhaps seven or eight years old, the son of a treasured former student. He was all fixed up in his Halloween costume. I so concluded because ��Trick or Treat�� appeared above the picture. I am not certain what the tyke was supposed to be. He sure looked shined up though, all aglow in a striped blue shirt, a pair of soccer shorts, matching socks and new sneakers. He wore a red hat too, a round model, unisex I guess you’d call it. Nothing ��tacky wacky�� about that hat. It matched his apparel better than my hats usually match mine.

I remember his mother as a crackerjack student (in both our B.A. and M.A. programs) �X vivacious, the type every professor expects to run across every ten or fifteen years. She was, I recall, deeply into American literature.

Well, thought I, perhaps this is Mom’s version of a sanitized Huckleberry Finn, Taiwanese-American style. Wouldn’t Mark Twain be proud? The hat wasn’t made of straw, however, and the clothes were too fine, and I couldn’t discern any phony freckles on the child’s cheeks. Alas, the mystery of whom this trick or treat model was supposed to portray remains till now a mystery. In the comment box, I wrote these words: THIS GUY SEEMS DESTINED FOR GREATNESS. THE FUTURE GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA?

Within hours, his mother responded with: LOL. I THINK HE’LL BE SMART ENOUGH TO STAY OUT OF POLITICS. When I saw them the next day, those words left me discombobulated. Quickly, I sent back: HMMM. WELL, OK. BUT WE NEED GOOD PUBLIC SERVANTS …

Recent media coverage of political campaigns local and abroad sure has been a bummer, hasn’t it? Things were rocky enough already for candidates up north here for the office of mayor of Taipei, and then the adulterated oil scandal broke, and just kept on breaking, and still is breaking. Why, by the way, are pundits so reluctant to use the word ��dishonest�� in views of this behavior? This is trickery with no treat, my friends. Why this insistence that the problem is due to a lack of government oversight? Ours is a culture (and to a degree this holds true of the USA as well) that has a major problem with honesty. The faulty labels about purity of food products is all about lying to the public and cheating innocent consumers. Let’s say so out loud.