[EDITORIALS]Garbage-mouth politics

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[EDITORIALS]Garbage-mouth politics

Are they saying those words in sanity? We can only deplore the words being exchanged in the political field. They are worse than careless talk or cheap shots. We are concerned for our young. We have to tell you here what the words are, but we are embarrassed; they are too ugly to print. Nevertheless, presidential candidates are shouting these words through loudspeakers without shame. We are simply at a loss.

Roh Moo-hyun, the presidential candidate of the Millennium Democratic Party, is more responsible for the recent exchange of vulgarities. An example is Kkaengpan, politely translated as "making a mess." As we have already pointed out here, "Kkaengpan" is offensive both for the vulgarity of the expression itself and for Mr. Roh's suggestion that the success of North-South relations can excuse all faults of the government. It is wrong for him to repeat the ex-pression instead of humbly accepting criticism for using it. Mr. Roh even called Lee Hoi-chang, the presidential candidate of the Grand National Party, a "Mafia boss" simply because Mr. Lee did not personally respond to him. He unhesitatingly spat out crude words like Yangachi, "hoodlum," and Jjokpallyeo, "losing face." With such expressions he might draw attention from some young people. But national leaders should not habitually speak such words. It is a miscalculation if he considers this vocabulary a campaign strategy. He cannot be a true leader if he cannot use proper and dignified words.

The GNP should also be criticized. It was not considerate for Mr. Lee to use the word ppasuni, which can refer to barmaids as well as young female fans of pop singers. The party's floor leader Rhee Q-taek put together the crude combination, "madwoman MDP." The GNP also has applied such expressions as "unenlightened regime," "bad mouth disease" and "a member of a crime ring" for the Millennium Democrats and their members.

As national leaders speak uncivilized and slanderous words, candidates in local elections follow suit. Perhaps it is this abhorrent rhetoric, not World Cup fever, that causes so few voters to turn out for the joint campaign speeches. Why do politicians keep saying these things? How can they, without shame, ask for votes? Words are not just for communicating. They are social constructs with which one represents his quality of thinking.
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