[EDITORIALS]With age comes wisdomThe nation has been suffering from the noise of investigations of illegal presidential campaign funds and irregularities of presidential aides for some moths. It is fresh like rain after a long spell of dry weather that a few elder statesmen have made bitter comments to the political community. They have come forward to try to stop the endless political struggle and console the people who are enraged at politicians.
In that sense, we welcome Cardinal Stephen Kim’s advice. He said, “The problems related to the presidential election fund must be clarified and overcome. The people concerned must confess before the people as we confess before God.” He spoke for the people when he said, “We all wish that politicians would show us the willingness to go to jail if necessary and the willingness to work for the nation.” Why do they turn their heads away from those words when everyone else knows they are true? Is it not because politicians put their personal interests before the future of the country and the people?
Cardinal Kim also said, “Those in the position to solve problems make it even harder by passing the buck to each other.” The National Assembly speaker, Park Kwan-yong, recently criticized a series of press conferences called by political leaders. After Lee Hoi-chang, the former president of the Grand National Party, met the press, President Roh Moo-hyun followed the next day and Choe Byung-yul, the chairman of the opposition party, followed suit the next day. The speaker commented on Mr. Roh’s press conference: “He followed others as they went to the marketplace.” On Mr. Choe’s meeting, he said flatly, “I have no idea what it was for.” People are sick and tired of political struggles and no confessions.
The prosecutors cannot end funding scandal investigations at the time they think appropriate; the media cannot mediate. If politicians propose to stop the investigations, they will be buried in criticism. Our economy could be ruined. There are no others on whom we can rely except our honorable elders. They should keep up their calls for reform and penitence.