[FOUNTAIN]No mulligans in politicsIn golf, a mulligan is when you take a shot again with the understanding of other players after an errant shot. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is known to have frequently taken mulligans as he pleased. Don Von Natta, Jr., the author of “First Off the Tee,” called Mr. Clinton’s liberal use of mulligans “Billigan.”
However, there is no mulligan in real politics. Even if you wish to erase a policy blunder you have committed, there is no way of dodging the responsibility. If you attempt to cross out the fact that you ordered wiretapping, you will have the added burden of lying. Blaise Pascal once said, “Had Cleopatra’s nose been shorter, the whole face of the world would have changed.” However, his historical assumption is futile.
In the movie “The Butterfly Effect,” Evan, played by Ashton Kutcher, repeatedly changes his reality by going back in time through his diary. Time travel, however, is only possible in a science fiction movie. The illusion to change the past is a childish attitude for not assuming responsibility for what you have done. It is similar to the “reset syndrome” of today’s children with video game addictions.
Lately, the Uri Party is showing this symptom. Some members of the Democratic Party seceded from the party and established the Uri Party after Roh Moo-hyun was elected president as a Democratic Party candidate. The Uri Party broke away from some politicians from the Honam region, saying they were breaking the confrontational structure of regionalism. But now the Uri Party wants to make amends to those they once deserted. The ruling party is even asking President Roh to stay away because of his unpopularity.
In the 2004 National Assembly election, the Uri Party snatched the Democratic Party’s signature color, yellow, and used it in its campaign. As the party’s support rating dropped, yellow disappeared in the bi-election campaign. The Uri Party’s situation can be compared to that of Cao Cao pursued by Ma Chao. When the pursuing forces cried out, “The one with a red robe is Cao Cao,” he threw away the robe. When they yelled, “The one with a long beard is Cao Cao,” he cut off his beard. The chasers shouted, “The one with a short beard is Cao Cao,” and this time, he could not put his beard back on, so he ran away, covering his face with a flag. Even if Cao Cao cut his beard, however, he could never become Liu Bei. By pressing the reset button or shouting “mulligan,” politicians cannot erase the outcome of the policies they have pursued thus far. They remain responsible for their political track records.
*The writer is an editorial writer of
the JoongAng Ilbo.
by Kim Jin-kook