Change in the air

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Change in the air

Abraham Lincoln garnered only 102 votes in the first round of voting by the Republican Party to choose its nominee for president. His rival, William Seward, got more than 173.
But Lincoln caught up with Seward in the second round. The defeated Seward openly showed animosity toward Lincoln.
However, after being elected president, Lincoln appointed Seward as secretary of state. One day, Lincoln visited Seward’s house in Washington at 11 p.m.
Lincoln did not hesitate to confide his troubles to Seward. The two worked together that night. Lincoln’s famous phrase in the Gettysburg Address, “Of the people, by the people, for the people,” was spoken the next day.
When Lincoln was assassinated, the person who mourned him for the longest time was Seward. He was also a competent secretary of state who bought Alaska at a bargain price from Russia.
Lenin, a Bolshevik leader, insisted on the importance of strict rules, but he had some exceptions. Georgi Chicherin is the best example. He was nobly born, a Menshevik, or member of the Russian revolutionary movement and a passionate Leon Trotsky supporter.
The Russian Revolution was risky, due to internal wars and serious interference by Western militant powers. At the very last moment, Lenin chose Chicherin as the head Russian envoy to persuade Western powers. Chicherin went to Europe with Soviet diplomats and succeeded in concluding a peace treaty with Germany.
The Bolsheviks breathed a sigh of relief, and it was historically recorded as the greatest diplomatic victory during the Lenin’s rule.
We need to realize that one person cannot do it alone, especially in political circles. Unless a person is well aware of that fact, he can never become a competent politician.
Sometimes, we need to embrace our political foes. These days, the Grand National Party has taken a step forward. In particular, we must recognize that there is something unusual about President-elect Lee Myung-bak and former Grand National Party Chairperson Park Geun-hye.
Recently, President-elect Lee appointed her as his special envoy to China. The proposal was made to Park in December, and she accepted his offer.
In the old days, as soon as the elections were finished, the political landscape was overwhelmed by monopoly of power and revenge by the winner.
Now, it looks as if something has changed. It seems possible for us to expect a long-awaited political development this time.

The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.

By Lee Chul-ho [newsty@joongang.co.kr]

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