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OPINION

The Fortunate Results of the South Korean Election – America Keeps a Key Ally as the Left Is Defeated

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Jon Gambrell

A particularly annoying intellectual tic of certain leftist academics, area experts, and journalists, with regard to nations that fell to communism or have increasingly come under the baleful influence of communist states, is the proclivity of such individuals to indignantly proclaim that such nations were not and could not have been "lost" because they were "not ours to lose." 

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This leftist objection to the use of the term "lost" (as in the "loss" of China) is a deceptive rhetorical device which falsely and maliciously implies that those using the term believed that the "lost" nation in question somehow "belonged" to the U.S.  Of course, this was never and is not the meaning intended by users of the term.   

A clear example of the importance of this topic for Americans is found in the fortunate results of South Korea's presidential election on March 9, 2022.  In that contest, the importance of which went far beyond Korea, the candidate who was basically pro-China and had at times expressed hostility to the U.S., a quasi-socialist who sought closer relations with North Korea, was defeated by a pro-U.S. candidate who is skeptical of China's motives.  The election results ensured that South Korea will remain a U.S. ally, maintain its full sovereignty, and will neither drift under China's influence, nor forfeit aspects of its freedom in seeking to appease North Korea.  The choice for Koreans was stark, and the implications for Americans were serious, which is why non-leftist Korea-watchers breathed a collective sigh of relief at the victory of conservative candidate Yoon Seok-youl.

Yoon's defeat of Lee Jae-myung, his opponent from the leftist Democratic Party of Korea, was by no means easy.  During the campaign and even now, after taking office, Yoon was and is being subjected to groundless and unfair smears and dishonest accusations.  Particularly disturbing is the fact that many of the attacks aimed at Yoon, including those one continues to see in opinion articles and social media posts, are from pro-North Korean and other leftist forces in the U.S.  These attacks on Yoon typically claim that he won due to the votes of "the rich," "reactionary males," and "misogynists".  In other words, the Korea Democratic Party and its supporters in the U.S. are basically employing the same perennial talking points that the U.S. Democratic Party uses whenever a Republican wins the presidency.  

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Some of the smears against Yoon seem to have been taken directly from North Korean propaganda.  As noted in a recent report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a North Korean propaganda website aimed at South Korea portrayed Yoon in a cartoon as a warmonger whose election would "destroy peace," which is precisely how pro-North Korean activists in the U.S. attempted to defame Yoon.  According to South Korean media reports, just a few years prior to Yoon's election victory, North Korea instructed one of its spy rings within South Korea to incite hatred against Korea's conservative political party among women by promoting the slander that the party was "misogynistic" in nature.  This same line of attack is now aimed at Yoon by pro-North Korean and other leftist supporters of Korea's Democratic Party in the U.S. In the wake of Yoon's defeat of the left, some extremists have even been using social media to call for his murder.

What this means is that both the U.S. and the people of Korea have truly "dodged a bullet" through the victory of the pro-U.S. candidate Yoon.  South Korea will not be "lost" for the time being, and its new conservative president will align his nation with the expanding coalition opposing Chinese and North Korean threats and aggressiveness.  The fact that pro-North Korean and other far-left types in the U.S. are lamenting this result and spewing vitriol against Yoon demonstrates that his victory was indeed fortunate.  On May 10, 2022, Yoon was sworn in as South Korea's new president.   We should wish him well.

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