Go to contents

THE DONG-A ILBO Logo

Arrogance of Abe and Macron

Posted July. 26, 2017 07:22,   

Updated July. 26, 2017 07:37

한국어

While studying the Analects of the Confucius King, King Injo of the Joseon Dynasty who became a king after driving out King Gwanghae, stopped at a phrase: “You should never be arrogant however rich you may be.” One of his subordinates said, “If you have a high position, you will get arrogant, and if you get a high pay, you get luxurious. Human beings are such.” He added that former kings feared the sky, ancestors, subordinates and even the people. Not to mention the teaching of the Confucius, the discipline in royal families think arrogance as something that you need to be careful about.

 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe became prime minister in 2006 and stepped down a year later. When he came to power for the second time, he did not repeat the same mistake. He read the minds of the people and became a good communicator. He addressed youth unemployment issues with Abenomics represented by three arrows – bold financial policy, fast fiscal policy and new growth strategy. As a result, he boasted his solid approval rating of 50 – 60 percent until early this year to become the third longest serving prime minister since the Second World War.

 

His approval rating plummeted to 26 percent suddenly in a Mainichi newspaper poll on Monday, which is the lowest since his inauguration for the second time. Most Japanese prime ministers who failed to see their approval rating rebound from the 20 percent range resigned. Abe’s sudden drop in approval rating is due to a school scandal in which he pushed his friend’s college to create a veterinary department. Was it from his arrogance? It is doubtful how many Japanese would buy his excuse – “I have no single darkness in my past.” The abrupt downfall in approval rating reminds of "the public sentiment is like a tiger."

 

French President Emmanuel Macron’s approval rating declined has sharply by 10 percentage points to 54 percent. It was due to his authoritarian behavior that was revealed while he was driving reform including a significant budget cut and a dismissal of the chief of staff of the French Armed Forces. He appeared to push the military leadership who opposed a military budget cut, by saying, “I’m your boss. I don’t need any pressure or advice.” Whether it be in the East or the West, the fate of leaders who act as they wish based on their high approval ratings like mirage will be similar.