[FOUNTAIN]Chung needs to strive for internal virtue

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[FOUNTAIN]Chung needs to strive for internal virtue

“Miracles don’t happen miraculously” is the mantra of Our Open Party Chairman Chung Dong-young. Mr. Chung considers former Ambassador to Tokyo Choi Sang-young as one of the teachers of his life. Mr. Choi had taught the news anchorman-turned-politician at Seoul National University in the late 1970s, when Mr. Chung returned to school after serving his military duty. He was enlisted for having been involved in the anti-Park Chung Hee student movement.
From Mr. Choi, he learned the rules of miracles. A miracle is not luck, but another name for human endeavor, he was told. If you expect a miracle, you should work and earn it.
Anyone can experience a miraculous event at least once in his lifetime. Mr. Chung’s miracle came when he applied to Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation for an anchor position. The major shareholder of the network was the May 16 Scholarship Foundation, an apparatus created by President Park. During an interview, the president of MBC asked Mr. Chung his opinion of the national situation. Many thoughts crossed his mind. But he abruptly said, “The Yusin, or revitalization, regime will soon fall.” After that interview, it was a miracle that Mr. Chung got a job at MBC.
In eight years, the 51-year-old ruling party chairman has accomplished a near miracle. With the exception of Lee Hoi-chang, two-time presidential candidate for the Grand National Party, no other politician has approached the center of power as fast as Mr. Chung. Numerous opinion polls found that the citizens consider him one of the promising candidates for the next presidential election. His competitive edge comes from his communication skill, acute intelligence and handsome appearance. Also, obstinacy and perseverance are the hidden power in him.
But speech and image cannot earn him the ultimate power. Politicians are judged on their character out of the spotlight. Today, Mr. Chung is dangerous. His comments on elderly voters reveal his arrogance. He is the leader of the ruling party, but even the party big shots are skeptical of his internal virtues.
Our Open Party is expected only to grow after the National Assembly election, and it is probable that party members will fight for the helm of the party. What Mr. Chung needs as a politician is not a miracle but a time to strive for virtues.

by Chun Young-gi

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