[EDITORIALS]Slashing into democracy

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[EDITORIALS]Slashing into democracy

Park Geun-hye, the chairwoman of the Grand National Party, has been attacked. She received 10 stitches in the neck and her artery was nearly cut. The attackers came close to murder. How could such a barbaric act happen in a democratized country? It is deplorable.
Terror, in the sense of expressing one’s opinion through violence, is the enemy of democracy. There is an urgent need for a thorough investigation and stern punishment for those responsible.
Street-knifings were the kind of things we saw right after liberation from the Japanese Empire. This incident makes one wonder if we have gone back to those old days. Back then, people had never experienced democracy and severe conflict between ideologies and political sects pursuing their parochial interests was the order of the day.
However, our current political situation seems to be not so different. As the Cold War ended, so did worldwide ideological competition. Yet here in Korea, history flows backwards. Conflicts between left and right and among regions have gone to an extreme.
Politicians are in large part responsible for the current situation in which the nation is split, people hate each other and conflict is overflowing. They have aggravated conflicts and hostility toward their political opponents.
The political parties are unable to have a reasonable dialogue or negotiation. They instead rely on whipping up masses of angry followers.
Since this is the situation, reasonable discussions about political issues disappeared a long time ago. Any extremist could commit another crime at any time.
It is fortunate that both parties are backing a serious investigation and are trying to keep a restrained attitude on the matter, because more faceless attacks could push the nation into a deeper catastrophe.
A part of the broadcasting and Internet media should also feel responsible for this insident. They should ask themselves if they made any biased reports that derided certain politicians and thus stimulating hatred, rather than issuing sane journalistic criticism.
They should check to make sure that there weren’t any arguments justifying the ends over the means or statements justifying violence if done on behalf of the weak.
Even now, on the Internet there are numerous posts defending this act of terror and insulting the victim. Internet users should also realize that this kind of attack on innocents is also an enemy of democracy.

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