Disappointment Over 386 PoliticiansThe ‘drinking party’ that some current and just elected Generation 386 (People in their 30s, went to university in the 80s, born in the 60s) National Assembly members of the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) held in Kwangju is causing a stir. Words of disappointment and rage from netizens are starting to pop up. The politicians were in Kwangju to mark the 20th anniversary of the Kwangju Democratic Movement.
Twenty years ago, on May 18, citizens of Kwangju met their deaths standing off against military forces at the plaza in front of South Cholla Province‘s Office and Kumnam-ro. The deaths of those citizens led to democracy in Korea. In order to commerate this event, President Kim Dae-jung attended the ceremony. President Kim was sentenced to death for supposidly planning the whole thing 20 years ago. The Grand National Party (GNP)’s leader Lee Hoi-chang even took part in the ceremony saying that the deaths in Kwangju should be remembered by all Korean people. This year‘s ceremony was one of the most thoughtful in past years.
But on the eve of the ceremonies, some politicians were out playing with female workers, drinking, and singing. How are the Korean people supposed to respond to this? Assembly member Kim Min-suk along with the newly elected Song Young-gil, Chang Sung-min, and Kim Sung-ho are part of the Generation 386 members in the MDP. This generation had a lot to do with the Kwangju Movement. It isn‘t too much to say that the deaths of people in their age group 20 years ago formed these politicians beliefs. So it is impossible to understand why they had a drinking party, when they should have been debating on the future of Korean politics.
If you think about it, it‘s hard to deny that bringing in Generation 386 candidates was part of the ruling party’s plans. They were the MDP‘s plan for political reforms. It isn’t too harsh to say the Generation 386 politicians earned a free ride to the National Assembly because they were regarded as the new-breed of politcians in Korea. That‘s why the voters didn’t think too much about their experiences with leftist movements during their college days. The new group started off with great expectations, but through this incident, a lot of people are showing their obvioius disappointment.
Generation 386 formed a creative alliance to help lead political reforms in Korea, but now it looks like they are full of lies and hypocrisy. Can we say the reports on the political funds used by them during the elections are morally correct, when everybody knows how much support the candidates got from the central party? When they first appeared on the scene, they said they would bring democracy to the party. But like the recent example of the approval of an unfit prime minister, nothing seems to have changed.
The feelings of betrayal the public has for this group is at its highest ever after this most recent incident.
For those who have released a statement of apology and hid, they shouldn’t think that the public‘s reaction is too harsh. They must know the reason the Korean people are upset. It is because they are starting to find out that nothing is different between them and their predecessors. The Generation 386 politicians have to wake up and tell the public of their past wrongdoings then they can show the people what they’re really made of.
by Lee Yong-jong