Indulgence damages dignityThe ruling circle is flooded with presidential hopefuls. Nearly 10 people plan to run in the primary elections. Five or six more are weighing plans or not denying an intention to run in the primary. In all, some 15 people will probably run in the primary. It’s likely the number may reach 20. It is the first time in history that political forces produced this many people who plan to run for president.
The Constitution guarantees people’s political freedom, so it is up to the individual to decide to run for president.
But will there be problems when so many run for president just because they are eligible? Will an individual act affect the whole community?
Are there any people running a campaign just for the publicity? Will it hurt the country’s dignity if anybody and everybody runs for president?
These questions must be checked and answered publicly.
What’s most important are presidential qualifications. If candidates have good qualifications, it does not matter whether there are 10 or 20 hopefuls. The more hopefuls there are, the more choices we have.
But many of those who want to run for the primary are flawed.
One person betrayed the circle that helped him a great deal and pursued another opportunity. One made anti-American remarks when he served as the head of a standing committee at the National Assembly.
One ran for the party primary many times and earned only a small number of votes.
Kim Geun-tae, the former chairman of the Uri Party, withdrew as a way to share responsibility for the misrule of the incumbent administration. But another person who is supposed to share the responsibility with Kim aims high and plans to run for president.
Another person who used to be in the opposition party but moved to the ruling party for no specific reason is mentioned as a candidate from Gyeongsang provinces.
President Roh Moo-hyun bears responsibility to some extent for this situation. Many who watched him closely must have thought that they too would have no problem to become the president.
One presidential advisor intends to run in the election, saying he is the best, with skills to run state affairs.
But he was suspected of plagiarism on his academic papers, so he had to step down as deputy prime minister of education.
This is a truly turbulent time. It is wrong if these presidential hopefuls in the ruling circle believe that they are extending political freedom in Korea.
Their self-indulgence is damaging the dignity of Korea.