After Presidential Election and Our Reality:
Turning Crisis into Opportunity
The 2017 Korean presidential election will be held on May 9 to replace impeached president Park Geun-hye, who was dismissed for a corruption scandal and placed behind bars. It is called a rose or lilac presidential election because those flowers are in full bloom by then. But although its naming seems to be romantic and attractive, most of us Koreans are concerned about the ongoing presidential campaigns and debates instead of being in high spirits. We Koreans are now faced with the biggest challenge to our future.
Now we are confronted with various kinds of danger. First of all, the threat of nuclear weapons from North Korea is increasing more and more. North Korea is concentrating all of its energy on developing nuclear weapons to keep its brutal and dictatorial regime, and to get economic aid from the world by showing off its power. South Korea has been strongly requesting that North Korea stop developing nukes and missiles, and China and the US are also warning the North to give up all nuclear tests and missile projections. The new US president, Donald Trump, is saying that he will impose much stronger sanctions on North Korea if it continues the threat of nuclear weapons. North Korea has already faced UN sanctions for previous nuclear tests, but Trump’s sanctions include the possibility of military actions.
And also, our internal situation and conditions, such as economic and political crises, are going from bad to worse as time goes by. We are facing a total crisis in all aspects such as a high unemployment rate, the lowest birth rate among industrialized nations, and economic slowdown. Unfortunately, we are experiencing a political leadership crisis in a disordered political situation. Almost all political leaders of the ruling and opposition parties are too busy finding fault with each other rather than having dialogue and compromise during the process of impeachment and an upcoming presidential election. As they always do, they just pursue their desire to gain worthless political power regardless of the national crisis.
Therefore, we must face up to our harsh reality. We must cope with external and internal crises happening in our country. After careful consideration, we must be prudent in selecting the next president who will lead our nation for the next five years. We must change the political paradigm into a system that will be the best thing for the next generation. We must change our consciousness of politics and political leaders. We cannot live without change in the future. We are living in the 21st-century. Therefore, our politics must also change. The old, unreasonable political systems must be corrected or discarded so as to meet a new way of living for a new generation.
We should throw away bad habits and practices such as the evils of an academic clique, regionalism, and kinship in the upcoming presidential election. We should vote for a wise and able leader who can overcome the present national crisis. And we have to try to concentrate our energy on breaking through urgent pending issues such as North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, youth unemployment, a low birthrate, a rising aging population, and economic recession. We must face up to the cold reality with courage and a positive mind. Crisis can be an opportunity. In his masterpiece, A Study of History, the famous British historian Arnold Toynbee said that history is a continuous process of challenges and responses. At this moment, we should also think that our crisis is a valuable opportunity to reform and develop our nation, and we should cope with these challenges wisely.
by Kyungtaek Min, Dept. of English Language and Literature
The Chungdae Post -
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