[FOUNTAIN]In politics, reality, ideals don’t mix

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[FOUNTAIN]In politics, reality, ideals don’t mix

Representative Oh Se-hoon of the Grand National Party is a ballet lover. When he was practicing law before becoming a lawmaker, he once performed on stage with the Korea National Ballet Company’s production of Le Corsaire in 1994. The piece was choreographed by the classic ballet master Marius Petipa.
Mr. Oh is the adviser of the ballet company’s operation. Last year, Mr. Oh provided commentary on ballet performances as a critic. A few days before Christmas, he invited some female reporters to a Nutcracker performance.
What is the charm of the ballet? What in classic ballet inspires people?
In ballet, the spirit of a choreographer and the body of a ballet dancer complement each other. And the ensuing spark is very strong. A choreographer pushes the dancer to the limit. A dancer reaches the realm of the impossible.
The choreographer then finds a new inspiration. In a classic ballet, the ideal of a choreographer becomes a reality and the reality of a dancer creates a process to achieve an ideal.
In ballet, the audience sees a dancer maintaining perfect balance or jumping, staying in midair and then landing silently. They appreciate the magical technique of a ballerina. Viewers can be carried away with emotion when seeing such performances; the audience can feel the power of life inside them.
Mr. Oh, who found happiness in ballet, declared that he would leave the political arena. Politics, like ballet, is the area where an ideal meets reality. A politician creates a new value, which has not existed in this world, from resources of this world. That is why politics is called the art of the possible.
But, the politics that Mr. Oh experienced during the past four years were different from such an ideal. Politicians often enjoyed the power of choreographers, but pursued the fame of dancers when necessary. An ideal and reality tend to mix like oil and water.
“Why are so many people in the political arena so sure that they were right and others were wrong?” Mr. Oh deplored as he left the political world. He said he can never have such a firm belief.
In politics, where such people take initiatives, the art of the possible is impossible. Mr. Oh’s failure is a success, in that he brought attention to that.


by Chun Young-gi

The writer is a deputy political news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.
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