[FOUNTAIN]Liberals find that nobody loves them

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[FOUNTAIN]Liberals find that nobody loves them

The supporters of John Kerry continue to mourn the defeat of the Democratic presidential candidate. Michael Moore, the documentary filmmaker who derided President George W. Bush with “Fahrenheit 9/11” expressed his feelings by posting “17 Reasons Not to Slit Your Wrists” on his Web site on Nov. 5.
The international financier George Soros, who conducted a 12-city speaking tour in support of Mr. Kerry and spent over 17 million dollars, said he was sad about the election results. Surely, Mr. Soros must have felt bitter. He had called President Bush an incarnation of unilateralism and an enemy of open society. He even published a book titled, “The Bubble of American Supremacy: Correcting the Misuse of American Power,” targeting this year’s election. There had been news that anti-Bush book sales suddenly increased. Until right before the election, media had predicted a Kerry victory. Some Democrats had scheduled meetings with Korean diplomats, assuming a victory. The election results must have left many Kerry supporters bitter and sore.
Thomas Frank’s book, “What’s the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America,” made the Amazon.com bestsellers list right after the election. He sneered at the Democrats’ laments in his contribution to the New York Times, “Why They Won.”
He called the election result a “conservative revolution.” In fact, it is absurd to call the Republican victory a revolt since the GOP has won five of the eight presidential elections since Richard Nixon. Here, Mr. Frank is being ironic. He is furious at Mr. Kerry, who blew a seemingly sure victory.
Ever since Richard Nixon’s vice president Spiro Agnew accused liberals of twisting the news, “liberalism has been vilified as flag-burning, treason-coddling, upper-class affectation” in nearly every election, Mr. Frank wrote. And liberalism has become a banner of the Democratic Party. Mr. Kerry was well-aware of public sentiment but was reluctant to give up liberal stances.
Mr. Frank’s analysis can be applied to the Korean politics today. How many Korean liberals consider Korean values and traditions worthy of observing? The answer can be found in the crushing defeat of the ruling party in the recent by-elections.

by Ahn Sung-kyoo

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