24 October 2008

The Moonie smear machine at work

Two developments:
  • In California, corporations that have made contributions to oppose next month's gay marriage ban (Proposition 8), such as PG&E and Apple Computers, have gotten a threatening letter from the official Yes on 8 campaign. The letter states that the corporations must donate at least the same amounts to the Yes campaign, or their names will be publicly exposed, so that a Christian boycott will begin. The letter was signed by four individuals, including the Yes on 8 coordinator and attorney as well as Catholic and Mormon PAC representatives.
  • Throughout the US, the McCain-Palin smears continue. Both McCain and Palin are vowing to campaign with the "pro-American" parts of America and the "real" parts of certain states, as well as rooting out "anti-Americans" in Congress. Senator John Kerry, whose own patriotism was questioned by the Republican smear machine during his 2004 presidential campaign, just sent me a mass email of outrage, and asked me to stand up against the smears.
I am even more outraged - I need to start working on my novel/writing and meditating, or I won't be able to return to Seoul (and that'll make things only worse).

The smear tactics of both Yes on 8 and the McCain-Palin campaign have all the hallmarks of the Unification Church being involved. The exact same smear tactics have been used by the Moonies to raise doubts about Al Gore's mental health, to shut down national healthcare as "socialism," and to vilify the very concept of liberalism itself. The Moonies have also been using the exact same tactics at home in South Korea, both under the past military dictatorships and under the current Lee Myung-bak government; Lee and his party also strongly question the patriotism of left-leaning independence fighters and modern-day prominent opposition politicians.

Lee's political party, Hannara (한나라, officially translated as Grand National Party, though it can also be translated as One National Party), has a very nationalistic name. But its policies and tactics tell otherwise. Recently, the Grand Nationals mulled a possible change in the name of the party, and many suggestions - both positive and negative - were submitted. The most popular was Tannara (딴나라, Other National Party), as the party is seen to put the interests of rightist foreign powers above those of the South Koreans. But all were off the mark. The rightful name for the Grand Nationals ought to be the Republican Party of the State of South Korea (사우스코리아주 공화당), as it acts more like a US state-level Republican organization than the ruling party of a sovereign republic.

I am finding myself very fortunate that I can work against these trends in person, both in the US and in South Korea. However, I need to ensure that I won't burn myself out over these struggles. I will find vindication when proper democracy and respect are restored to both nations, and the two can together set examples for the rest of the world to follow.