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Egypt's Democracy Activists Get What They Wished For
May 30, 2012
Okay, this is about the Egyptian "Election 2012," not the American one. But Egypt is learning a lesson that America would do well to remember.
Secular-leaning, educated, democracy activists succeeded in overthrowing Hosni Mubarak's dictatorship in Egypt last year. They wanted a free and democratic country. In the first round of presidential elections there this spring, they learned that freedom and democracy are not the same thing.
Now that the people of Egypt have voted, the run-off candidates are an ex-military, old-line autocratic politician and a fundamentalist activist from the Muslim Brotherhood. The response of some of last year's protestors: riot! Trash the establishment candidate's offices!
Be careful what you wish for, democracy activists. Democracy is a fine thing, but without a republic based in individual rights and without a culture that supports individual freedom of thought and action, a democracy is just an organizing mechanism for a mob ready to enslave the minority.
And what to do if you are that minority? That's what secular, liberal Egyptians are having trouble dealing with.