Friday, February 11, 2011

Let Us Hope It Is Contagious

The Egyptian people have won a stunning victory in their spontaneous revolution and pursuit of democracy. They are to be congratulated and have every right to feel vindicated in their decision to pursue their goals through peaceful mass protest. They showed an amazing amount of courage, unity, spontaneity, grace and resolve under enormous pressure from the government to cease and desist their demonstrations. They should be held up and are a shining light for any other people wanting to throw off the yoke of a tyrannical government.
Their journey toward a free and just society imbued with the necessary and appropriate democratic reforms has just begun. There are as yet many unanswered questions involving how the Egyptian Army and Secret Police and all of the other stake holders will interact to bring about meaningful and lasting change. I am confident though that any move to short change these wonderfully courageous people will be met with another outpouring of resolve and determination to be completely free and represented by a government of their choosing.
Hopefully their example will prompt others to emulate their decision to be free and demand a democratic government that represents the will of the people. If done thoughtfully and with intelligence and grace like in Egypt such changes can be made while preserving cultural institutions like monarchies and existing bureaucracies that are functional and effective. England comes to mind as an example. The Queen does not rule but still has historical prestige and influence.
In rewriting their constitution one would hope they would copy liberally from ours which is the finest ever written and make a few modifications that would make it better and more culturally acceptable to them. In particular they should include term limits and be very careful about the laws governing campaign financing. They will probably also want to combine secular, Christian and Sharia law in setting up their judicial system to reflect what is already in place and working.
They may choose to model their new constitution more on the French example since their judicial system primarily follows the French legal system in terms of secular law. The great thing is that they have the opportunity to start from scratch and build a government based on the best of every democracy and eliminating the mistakes others have made. Term limits and campaign finance come to mind as an example.
The Egyptians have given us a thrilling eighteen days of historical achievement and have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they richly deserve the freedom they seek because they are willing to die for it. They have come together as one people to demand and take their rightful place among freedom loving peoples and nations. We should take heart that their courage and actions will inspire further revolutions and that the day when tyranny is abolished on this planet is closer now than it was before.
A planet full of free peoples wanting the same things and working together to achieve them is a utopian dream to be sure but the Egyptians just brought us one step closer. Maybe someday we will evolve to the point where our common goals will bring us together in an effort to eradicate disease, hunger, poverty and war. In moments like this one can almost imagine a planet where we work together to heal the environment, create great literature and art, solve the mysteries of the universe and live in peace.

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