[EDITORIALS]Burning rage of the people

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[EDITORIALS]Burning rage of the people

Kim Hong-gul's subpoena to appear before the prosecution is a rerun of an incident of five years ago. Mr. Kim is President Kim Dae-jung's son, and five years ago, President Kim Young-sam's son was summoned. Nothing was new in the camera lights aimed at the man's tense and nervous expression, his head lowered as if in disgrace and a feeble statement, "I apologize to my parents and to the people."

The public is bathed in disillusion and confusion, the sense of deja vu eventually giving way to the question, "Why does filthy history repeat itself like this?" Mr. Kim's appearance is a complete discrediting of his father's vow at the start of his administration that the "People's Government" would handle sons differently than the previous administration had.

The people cannot understand why, in this administration that wanted to monopolize democratic achievements and irrefutable morality, there had to be a repeat of the abuse of power by a president's son. This administration was intoxicated by the glory of its accomplishment in coming to power -- so much so that it came to believe the power was all its to use. It perpetuated a mood of "us against them" based on how loyal you were and what region you came from. Thus was power managed disgracefully.

It was in keeping with that mood that a president's son became seen as someone with power in the administration, so he naturally wove a web of arrogance, authority without substance, bribes and favors. The administration has no one to blame but itself for the disgrace perpetrated by the president's son.

It neglected the lesson it should have learned from the previous administration's mistake. The junior Kim's doomed relationship with Choi Gyu-seon was possible because of the president's special trust in the controversial businessman and the first couple's sad love for their youngest child. The ultimate responsibility is that of the father who neglected the supervision of his child.

The president is no doubt overwhelmed by loss and remorse as he sees himself walking the same path that his predecessor trod at the end of his term. But he must shake off the emotion he feels as a parent to face reality. He must shield the investigation from outside pressure. That is the least he can do as head of state to try to quell the burning rage of the people.
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