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Friday, February 11, 2011

Congratulations to the Egyptians!

Now comes the hard part. The transition from what has been to what will be. When contemplating the difficulty of the job they have in front of them I naturally compare their problems with those that our own founders faced in the late 18th century.

In many ways their job is much harder than ours was.

Our colonies had a lot of democratic experience. Our guys had the luxury of a lot of time. In fact they had enough time to try something that didn’t work (the Articles of Confederation) and after that failure they still had time to take two years to create and implement a constitution. During that time there was no outside interference and George Washington stood as the rock that guaranteed that there would be no dictatorship.

The Egyptians have probably not more than a year and there will be all sorts of interference from various outside groups and there will be internal groups that will want to create one or another form of dictatorship. Also, people expect a lot more from government now than they did then. The Egyptians have some positives though. The world now has had 224 more years of experience with democracy than it did in 1787. They can draw on that and there are a lot of people who wish them well.

If their friends (read “us”) can find the right balance between support and noninterference, maybe they can make it that would help.

1 comment:

  1. I have never bought into the theory that “anything is better than what we have now”. Instead, I believe that advocating change without knowing what will replace the status quo is a risky proposition at best. I will join you in hoping that congratulations are in order for Egypt.