[EDITORIALS]Roh’s blame gameTo mark the start of the second half of his term, President Roh Moo-hyun appeared on KBS-TV Thursday and answered questions about his administration’s achievements and faults. However, the content of the exchange was disappointing. Although he spoke passionately throughout the two-hour long TV debate, there was no self-reflection on his low approval rating, and no vision for the latter half of his term. On the contrary, he criticized the opposition parties, the wealthy, the press and the people, with words that made people anxious.
The most worrisome was President Roh’s view of the history and the opinion of the people. He said, “We need to debate whether we have to worry about the future with a president who has an approval rating of 29 percent.” Related to his proposal for a coalition, Mr. Roh said, “If the Grand National Party demands ‘hand over the power,’ I will consider it.” It is irresponsible to talk as if he can yield his power to others. When we hear it often, it sounds dull and its freshness fades. It is a serious problem that he said, “In history, people say that they are right after making only one decisive change, although they have been supporting the wrong things for hundreds of years.” We wonder whether he means to say that he reads the opinion of the public embodied in history, while the opinion expressed by the public now is the expression of their emotion and interests. This is an extension of the arrogant remark made by the senior presidential secretary for public information: “The president is in the 21st century, but people indulge in the leadership and culture of the dictatorship era.” We wonder whether they believe in the progress of history and democracy.
When worries were expressed about real estate policy, Mr. Roh blamed the press and multiple real estates owners. We can read hatred and twisted feelings when he says, “I wonder until when people who bought apartments in Gangnam will have their smiles on.” But the responses of the opposition were also poor. The Millennium Democratic Party said, “If the president has lost confidence, he should step down.” The Grand National Pary commented, “The sooner the president steps down, the better chance there is to revive the economy.”
It is ugly to see the president blaming others. We want to see the president reflect why he has a low approval rating, and put all his energy into economic recovery.