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[Editorial] Arrogance Kills All in Politics

Posted November. 12, 2007 06:16,   


Grand National Party (GNP) candidate Lee Myung-bak said at a press conference yesterday, “I will start my campaign all over again with more openness and more humble attitude.” He also promised to approach politics not with his head, but from his heart. He also officially proposed a partnership with former GNP leader Park Geun-hye, courting her support in the upcoming election and national administration.

Lee’s humble attitude and courtship should have come earlier. Nonetheless, we give credit to Lee, and further suggest that Park should help Lee. That’s what South Koreans want: a winning strategy.

A huge political party like the GNP may suffer from power hegemony from time to time. The party recently watched two powerful factions compete in the primary, and one of them come out as the winner by a slim margin. Thus, it may be natural for the party to suffer a post-primary fallout. With this in mind, the winner should have taken good care of the other side to boost intra-party harmony.

In an editorial right after the GNP primary, this paper recommended that Lee should get ready to give up everything to win the election.

But Lee failed to show his whole-hearted leadership to engage Park from the beginning. Furthermore, Lee Jae-oh, one of the Lee’s inner circle, defined Park’s concession as a surrender. Lee Jae-oh even threatened to do “something” to those who would not help the GNP candidate. Such an arrogant position widened the schism and egged on Lee Hui-chang to run.

Arrogant and uncompromising attitudes devastate individuals as well as organizations. Roh Moo-hyun and his men, now disguised as the New Democratic Party, vividly illustrate the issue. The arrogance of Roh and his party has driven the public away. In the name of his alleged “reforms,” Roh has not listened to the public and has harmed the nation, as well as his own administration. Roh allegedly tried to “tame” the renegade 20% for the 80% majority of South Koreans. In fact, he has disregarded the 80% to cater to the 20%. That is why not a single Korean buys what Roh says these days.

Lee In-jae and Lee Hui-chang are another good examples. 10 years ago, the former lost the GNP primary, but defected from the party in order not to give up his presidential ambition. Likewise, the latter defected the party to avoid a loss in the primary. That is why Lee In-jae commands only a 2% approval rating, and why Rep. Kwon Chul-hyun, one of the core confidantes of Lee Hui-chang, is now on a hunger strike protesting Lee Hui-chang’s unfair entrance into the race.

Lee Hui-chang represented the GNP twice in the presidential election and chaired the party for six years. He is one of the GNP’s “founding fathers.” Yet now, not a single GNP member supports him.

If Lee Myung-bak or any other candidate really wishes to lead this country to a brighter future and wishes to command the public’s support, that candidate must stay humble.