[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Two similar presidentsThere are two very similar presidents in two very different parts of the world: George W. Bush, the president of the United States, and Roh Moo-hyun, the president of South Korea. Both presidents have surprisingly similar characteristics and principles in their policies, and currently these two are notorious among the majority for bringing much social turmoil.
To begin with, they both tend to unilaterally push on with their own plans whatever others think ― especially, they are increasingly ignorant when it comes to public discontent.
More and more evidence indicates that the lives of American soldiers are being wasted, and more and more polls and statistics show that the security threat has worsened, increasing the anti-war sentiment.
Within the Roh administration things are no better. During the first half of his term in office, none of his policies worked out as planned, and he has come under harsh criticism. Even so, he refuses to admit his mistakes, but instead expresses displeasure at the lack of public support.
The inability to discern which issues are most crucial and urgent is another shared characteristic of the two presidents.
Just a few days ago, Hurricane Katrina swept across New Orleans and other parts of the United States, leaving thousands homeless. But President Bush does not seem to care much about the grievances of his people. If he had paid a bit of attention to the refugees instead of the Iraq war, things would have been much better.
South Korea has long been suffering from a sluggish economy. While it is just too evident that the foremost job of the president is to deal with the economy, every speech Mr. Roh makes is full of talk of a political coalition, real-estate reform and clearing up the past.
Both presidents must take note that if they fail to win the hearts of the public before anything else, nothing can work out. If the two presidents continue in this manner until the end of their terms, it will be hard for them to avoid criticism that they are authoritarians disguised as democrats.
by Kim Hyo-jeong