[Viewpoint]Power outageYou would think the competitors to Nike, the sportswear and equipment maker, would be Adidas or Reebok. However, Nike’s true rival is actually a bit of a surprise. It’s Nintendo, the leader of the video game industry.
How can a video game maker compete with Nike? The children who are into those games would rather stay home in front of the television playing than enjoy outdoor activities. That means they spend less time in Nike sneakers or jerseys. Whether the choice is Nike, Adidas or Reebok, athletic gear is only needed when the children play outside. Therefore, Nike, Adidas and Reebok have a shared destiny. Nike, as the industry leader, has to compete with Nintendo.
The National Assembly elections are over and fewer people voted than ever before. However, the issues and arguments have been hotter than ever, and a heated discussion over the significance and aftereffect of the election is still in progress.
Of course, few would disagree that former Grand National Party Chairwoman Park Geun-hye gained the most in the National Assembly election. That also means that Park will now have a bigger responsibility for the nation’s future, as well as in politics.
So, who will be Park’s true rival? Is she up against President Lee Myung-bak? Or is it six-term lawmaker Chung Mong-joon?
How about Lee Jae-oh, who lost his re-election bid but still boasts a big support base?
Just as Nike’s unlikely rival is Nintendo, not Adidas or Reebok, Park is not competing with President Lee, Chung Mong-joon or Lee Jae-oh. Her rival is the voters, and their change of heart. The Pro-Park United Party has grown into a major political group that could be compared to President Lee’s close circle of Korea University alumni.
During the National Assembly election campaign, Park is said to have asked her supporters and colleagues to come back alive.
Many politicians affiliated with the Grand National Party and Pro-Park United actually survived the deadly political contest and returned to Park’s side.
She now has more politicians backing her than she did at the time of the presidential primary.
However, it would be a pity if what Park hopes to achieve with her newly strengthened political influence is power.
If she shows the smallest bit of desire to seize power within the party, it will immediately lead to her fall. She has appealed in tears, “You have been deceived and so have I,” and the voters stood by her.
However, if she gets into a power struggle with the ruling party, the public will surely turn their backs on her. So Park is actually competing for the voters, not against other politicians.
No politician is as widely loved as Park, at least in Korean politics today.
She is the only active politician with lots of charisma, as former presidents Kim Young-sam and Kim Dae-jung also had.
During the election campaign for the National Assembly, the voters did not buy into her policy promises or character appeal, but her comment, “You have been deceived, and so have I,” moved the voters.
Thanks to that tearful appeal, the ball is in her court now.
She is standing at a juncture where she can become the boss of a certain political faction or a respected leader of the nation.
Park should, of course, help President Lee and become a true collaborator.
Instead of waiting for President Lee to hold out his hand, she should be bold enough to hold the embarrassed president’s hand.
Only then would the administration become a true partnership between Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye.
Being obsessed with power would mean defeat. She should continue to penetrate the people’s hearts deeply and widely.
That’s the only way both she and Korea can prosper together.
*The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.
by Chung Jin-hong