[FOUNTAIN]Struggle chisels leaders

Home > Opinion > Columns

print dictionary print

[FOUNTAIN]Struggle chisels leaders

A child in elementary school once asked former President Kim Young-sam: “Between friendship and love, what would you choose?” This happened when the president visited a Seoul elementary school before Teacher’s Day in 1995. A boy explained his predicament, that he and his friend liked the same girl. Mr. Kim answered, “If you love someone, you must fight to win.” Laughter erupted. It was a response born from a lifetime of fighting for democratization; he firmly believed power needed to be achieved through struggle.
“Nominations” are on par with this notion. The painstaking, laborious preparations are hidden. Some people suspect that the glorious act of Chinese Emperor Yao abdicating his throne to Emperor Shun -- the model of power succession ― has been idealized. Although Wangmang’s rise to the throne seemed superficially benevolent, it was a meticulously prepared usurpation.
Former President Choi Kyu-ha, who passed away a short time ago, is a prime example of someone who did not personally fight for power. The same holds true for former President Yoon Po-sun, who hoped that coup d’etat forces would place him into the presidency.
A few days ago, while speaking at a year-end party from his hometown in Gongju, the former president of Seoul National University, Chung Woon-chan, gained attention when he said, “Located in the center of the country, the Chungcheong provinces have served as the nucleus of the country.”
As soon as talk of a possible run for the presidency emerged, he denied it, saying, “I said it as someone with no interest in [politics].”
However, his entrance into politics is becoming an established fact in political circles, and he has already hinted at it by saying, “I cannot guarantee that I will not get involved in politics.”
Some say the former university president is behaving noncommittally because he is still surveying the conditions.
If Mr. Chung enters the Uri Party, he could be humiliated unless the party guarantees him something in advance, considering that other potential candidates are already firmly in control.
It is highly unlikely that other candidates will step aside and nominate ― without good cause ― someone who has not passed through a verification process.
It will be curious to see whether nominating a candidate without a primary race will be successful, and whether it will be possible to gamble without placing any bets.
After all is said and done, power is created amid struggle and preparation.

*The writer is an editorial writer
of the JoongAng Ilbo.

by Kim Jin-kook

More in Columns

A new epicenter of social conflict

Lessons from a president

Tales of Chairman Lee

Chinese way of tackling challenges

Time to step up climate action

Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)

What’s Popular Now