Go to contents

[Opinion] Do You Know Our Pride?

Posted June. 06, 2002 07:04,   


We have recovered our pride that had been crushed at the World Cup match against Poland. The excitement that filled up the nation all night long was the eruption of the pride. However, the politicians are calculating their gains and losses, which will affect the election campaign. How can the victory be their trophy? It`s a shame that the dignity of the pride cannot be found anywhere in the election.

In the local election (Jun 13) and the presidential election (Dec 19) can be summarized as the following. It is raining abuses on the opponent. The candidates are attacking their opponents on whether they had paid proper taxes and health insurance, or whether the opponent has said something politically incorrect. Looking at some candidates we might mistake them for night show hosts. Since their sole object is to make the opponent lose the election, the aftermath of the election will be not so simple, after all.

The candidates are trying harder to abuse their rival to draw the attention away from the tingling drama of the World Cup, but it is futile. The local election and the presidential election are entangled only to make the situation worse. The newly made word, `rough-speaking politics` is reflecting the ugly election where everyone is abusing the others. The National Election Commission has disclosed 100 violation cases every day, and the violations amount up to 5800 cases. What Korean society has to pay for the democracy is too much.

Advantages and Disadvantages of `Commoner Policy`

Another stream of the election is the `Commoner Policy` that is mentioned by all the candidates no matter which party they belong to. With such fashion, each candidate`s needy childhood is being introduced and their speech and conduct to become closer to the commoners are pathetic. But during the 50`s and 60`s, how many Koreans were wealthy? During the age of the national poverty, going to the school in black rubber shoes with books in wrapping cloth around the waist is neither something to hide, nor something to boast.

Then, who are the commoners? In other words, who are not the commoners, in Korea? Generally speaking, the leading group of the Korean society is the upper 5%, and if we narrow down the scope, only the 2% of the people are core-leading group. Number of these people is approximately 300 thousand who are the leaders of the public opinion. Let`s assume that these people are not included in the commoners. Then, the target must be the poor who needs the livelihood protection. Those who are registered for the protections are 700 thousand families, i.e.1.5 million people. Currently the number of eligible voters is 3.4 million. In the election, it is not a wise idea to focus on certain class of people neglecting others. Therefore, the term `commoners` is applied to all the people, and the commoners are the voters. Moreover, during the election, the candidates consider themselves as commoners. However, the commoner policy doesn`t have much contents but it is only a slogan to attract the votes. So there`s no need to be inspired by the political slogan wrapped up in the word `commoner`.

Pride crushed by the political corruption

I`m not trying to discuss who is the commoner and what the policy is about. But I`d like to warn the politicians about their conducts. The commoners are quiet, careful, gentle and simple. What`s more important is that they are honest, passionate, strict and proud. So their pride must be considered, but most politicians are ignoring and crushing their pride. One example of them is the corruption which is also connected to the president`s sons. The commoners are the ones ashamed the most when the nation is disgraced by the corruption. Are any of the politicians aware of the silent wrath? Do any of the politicians know how these commoners are disappointed by the `rough-speaking politics`? If they think they are behaving like commoners by speaking roughly, then they are mistaken. Dignity is another virtue the commoners consider important, along with the pride.

An e-mail from a housewife reader gives a deep thrust. "Losing the country`s dignity is hurting many people`s pride. Even the poor commoners have dignity. There are people who would choose to keep the least virtue over the wealth without dignity. Stop them from disgracing us by saying that the commoners are on their side." This indeed is a quiet but solemn words. Cheering for the victory at the World Cup is a cry that we should keep up the pride. That is the public sentiment.