Populism will be the downfall of democratic institutions in Taiwan.
The News Lens
By: Hiro Fu
Foxconn founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) hit the streets this week to appeal to the common folk, a demographic he desperately needs before the Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate is announced on Monday, July 15.
From running the company that manufactures iPhone chips to becoming the richest man in Taiwan, Gou seemed unlikely to shake the attitude of elitism that followed his corporate success. But he used his bourgeois status to his advantage while shaking hands and listening to pleas of street vendors and residents.
He acted like the reversal prodigal son: the boy who left his simple life to build a tech empire and returned home a business mogul to become champion of his people. His visits were received with much fanfare.
A populist approach to a presidential race is not uncommon today. The United States had Donald Trump. The Philippines had Rodrigo Duterte. France had Marine Le Pen. Populism is now a pandemic. [FULL STORY]