South Korean President Arrested — Imagine That!

South Korea’s ex-President Park Geun-hye was recently impeached and removed from office after a long investigation and widespread public outcry over allegations of extorting corporate donations in exchange for political favors, particularly involving financial benefits to a long-time friend and advisor.

In the process, major business leaders, including top Samsung Group executive Lee Jae-yong, have been arrested on charges of bribery. Now, ex-President Park herself has been arrested, after an eight hour hearing determined that such an arrest was warranted in her case due to the possibility that she might destroy evidence relevant to the various ongoing prosecutions of major government and corporate officials.

There, that felt good, didn’t it? Regardless of where one stands on the specifics of the Korean case, or where one sits along the so-called political spectrum, isn’t it refreshingly old-fashioned to think this thought? — almost like traveling to another, better time: “A major national leader and high-ranking business and government officials have been arrested and charged with bribery, extortion, the selling of political favors, and suspicion of destroying evidence related to a criminal investigation.”

In America, by contrast, this thought will never, and can never, arise outside of dreams. For in America, all the matters entailed in this Korean scandal, impeachment, and prosecution, are neatly handled by middle men called “lobbyists,” given official-sounding, government-sanctioned names like “ethanol subsidies” or cute what-are-going-to-do-about-it epithets like “pork barrel spending” – or simply dismissed with a shrug of the shoulders under the catch-all American euphemism for government corruption and profiteering: “Clinton.”

Imagine a world in which the government was not a uniparty racket performing a kabuki dance of superficial “partisanship” to amuse and pacify the tired masses. Imagine a world in which the government did not see itself – was not allowed to see itself – as owning the citizenry outright. Imagine a world in which, when government officials and their corporate cronies used or raised public funds for the purpose of padding their own or their friends’ wallets, in the name of phony issue “advocacy,” or on the pathetic grounds that some businesses are “too big to fail,” the abused public actually had the gumption and pride to demand an end to careers, political upheaval, arrests, and criminal prosecutions, on the principle that no one is “too big to fail.”

Okay, stop imagining now. Some dreams, being impossible, can only be indulged so far without resulting in overwhelming pain.

(This piece originally appeared at American Thinker, under a different title.)

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