When the United States helped Eastern Europe after the Iron Curtain came down, they spent a lot of time helping them transform their thinking. But because of their cozy relationship in the past with Chiang Kai-shek, and the propaganda that even penetrated American thinking, the U.S. did not treat the Taiwanese the same way, as people under a former authoritarian regime. They did not diligently lead in programs to help change the authoritarian culture into a democratic one. Taiwan's democracy activists were left on their own with little resources or moral support from abroad. And so many, if not the majority of Taiwanese did not make the transition to free thinking people taking responsibility for their own lives.