Watch your tongue, Mr. Moon

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Watch your tongue, Mr. Moon

Politicians’ language must be consistent to inspire trust. If they swallow their previous assertions or promises depending on the situation, no citizen will listen to anything they say, not to mention respect them. Politicians who have forever lost the people’s trust due to a history of flip-flops in their rhetoric can be dubbed politicos. Moon Jae-in, the failed presidential candidate for the opposition Democratic Party in last year’s election, is a member of that tribe. We are dumbfounded by his inflammatory remarks suggesting a rejection of the election result.

Moon’s about-face is dazzling. Late last year, he seemed to accept his defeat in the election. “I was not able to win the election. I accept my defeat,” he said shortly after the final vote count came out on the Election Day (Dec. 19), followed by similar statements a month later, “A lawsuit to nullify the election result is not desirable” (Jan. 19) and “I take full responsibility for my defeat” (April 11).

After suspicions grew over the National Intelligence Service’s alleged online smear campaign against him during the campaign, however, Moon suddenly changed his tune. He said, “Though the responsibility for the NIS’s political engagement should be shouldered by President Park Geun-hye, I can’t hold her accountable for my defeat in the election” (June 16), followed by the final blow four months later: “That was an unfair election and President Park is the beneficiary.” Moon’s trajectory is a perfect example of politicos’ changing their coats at any shift in the weather.

Moon’s incremental about-face is a brazen mockery of the people as it is full of cheeky excuses and unconscionable rhetoric. The beauty of democratic elections lies in losers immediately declaring their defeat once the final vote count is done, even in a neck-and-neck race.

Moon’s allegations that the NIS, the Cyber Warfare Command, the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs and the police were all systematically involved in swinging the last election in favor of Park have not been proven. The charges are either under investigation or awaiting trial. Even if the government turns out to have intervened in a big way, it remains to be seen what kind of an impact such Cyberpropaganda had on the election result and what kind of influence it could have had on each individual voter. Moon can only claim that the election was unfair and Park was the beneficiary.

Of course, some of Park’s avid supporters might have engaged in illegal campaign activities on an individual level. But it is wrong to argue that an election in which 30 million voters took part went completely wrong. Moon should be more prudent in his words and claims.

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