Standing by your nameIt is good that President-elect Lee Myung-bak decided to call his new administration the “Lee Myung-bak administration.” It is said that quite a few of his aides wanted to name it the “practical administration,” so as to keep the custom of having special names for an administration. Kim Young-sam’s administration was called the civilian administration, as opposed to the former authoritarian administrations. Kim Dae-jung’s administration was called the people’s administration and the Roh Moo-hyun’s the participatory administration.
But this is an arrogant move and does not work outside the country. The administrations of other countries are called simply the Bush administration, the Sarkozy administration or the Fukuda administration, for instance. Therefore, to call the new administration the Lee Myung-bak administration is more practical than to call it the practical administration.
The Chun Doo Hwan administration was called the fifth republic and the Roh Tae-woo administration the sixth republic because the Constitution was changed significantly between their terms. The Constitution has remained the same since the administrations of Roh Tae-woo, Kim Young-sam, Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun.
It was former President Kim Young-sam who started using a special name for his administration. Kim Dae-jung wanted to show that he had ended the dominance of power by the ruling party and used the phrase “the people’s administration.” President Roh Moo-hyun wanted to differentiate his administration with the word “participatory,” but in his administration only people who share his ideology were allowed to participate. These three presidents left problems and conflicts behind. The words “civilian,” “people” and “participatory” were not appropriate to describe their administrations.
A president pours all he has got into running the state for five years. A five-year term reveals the president’s personality. A president must not hide behind masks with artificial terms. He must face the people with his name written on his bare face. If a president wants to be remembered in history, he must abandon formalities and lead the country with integrity. Otherwise, his name will remain as scarlet letters in history.
The president-elect should have his name out front and serve the country with patriotism. If he proves to be good enough not to defame his own name, his successors will also put their names on their administrations.