Some serious self-deception

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Some serious self-deception

President Park Geun-hye’s lawyers argument that the candlelight vigils held weekly to demand the president’s resignation do not reflect public sentiment is truly remarkable. In a second hearing in the impeachment trial at the Constitutional Court, they denied the legitimacy of the massive rallies in central Seoul and other parts of the country by insisting the protests were orchestrated by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions — and therefore were organized by North Korea.

That’s no less than a denial of the authenticity of millions of demonstrators who voluntarily joined the protests. We wonder if the lawyers representing Park do not understand the unanimous assessment at home and abroad that Koreans opened a new chapter in their history of democracy by sublimating their outrage and frustrations into these peaceful protests against their president. If their argument represents Park’s actual thinking, we are saddened beyond description.

Park seems to have a serious self-deception ability, which helps her to justify biased information and her wishful thinking. Park has even denied her close friend Choi Soon-sil’s unprecedented abuse of power. She said she was set up by the prosecution and that she did not conspire with Choi at all. Park’s attitude amounts to a complete denial of the apologies she made in public three times. She must seriously consider what her 4 percent approval rating means.

Second, Park distorts the truth as if trapped in logical fallacies. In a New Year’s Day meeting with the press, she said that an excessive amount of distortion, misinformation and incorrect facts are overshadowing the truth. She believes she is a victim of a witch hunt in the court of public opinion.

Third, we harbor a strong suspicion that someone is obstructing the judicial process systematically, an invisible hand orchestrating a drama according to a well-crafted script. For instance, two of Park’s “doorknob” aides — Ahn Bong-geun and Lee Jae-man — did not appear in court. Backpedaling on her earlier admission to a “capital offense,” Choi flatly denied all charges against her yesterday in another court without complying with an independent counsel’s summons.

The president and her conspirators are denying the legitimacy of the roar of protest in Gwanghwamun Square. We wonder if they have a fatuous dream of rebounding from the crisis by trying to play legal games. Even high school students have lamented, “Is this really a nation?” Park must start some deep soul searching before it’s too late.

JoongAng Ilbo, Jan. 6, Page 30

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