Did Taiwan’s President Ma Really Study at Harvard?

Even if he did not study the fundamentals of the American legal system and the protection of human rights and dignity when he studied abroad in the United States, President Ma still enjoyed the freedom and self-respect that American law provides.

America’s Declaration of Independence says “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” Please, leader of the island of Taiwan: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—wherein lies “the sovereignty issue”? Are you saying that because of your constant betrayal of Taiwan’s sovereignty and that the Taiwanese people’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are not obviously related, you can simply do as you please? Did the words “deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” fail to make an impression on you?

In addition to mocking former President Chen’s poor English, you, President Ma, might spend a little of your free time studying European and American democracy. You’ve said “Otherwise there will be a flood of referendums, as during the last presidency (Chen Shui-bian). Chen’s government proposed many referendums, but each resulted in failure. The referendums only made people feel as though they were part of a social movement; nothing meaningful came of it.” These words are obviously contrary to the fundamentals of American and European democracy. In democratic societies, political participation by the people is a kind of social movement, and why shouldn’t it be? Are you saying that because the Democratic Progressive Party [Taiwan’s opposition party] has held too many meaningless protests, you refuse to notice them?

Are your words here, “Democratic politics should be indirect. If everything was put to the vote, this government would be paralyzed,” in the same category as that which Wang Yu-chi reported you saying that “we’ll commit suicide to save our name”? Were they misquoted? If so, please apologize immediately!

(The author is a practicing American lawyer. For the article’s complete text, please see:


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