Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Egyptian Unrest: Sign of Democracy in Middle East? (Originally Published 2/2/11)

As the unrest in Egypt continues, two possibilities seem to have emerged as to what the potential outcomes of this situation could become. I for one have ZERO clue what is going to happen, and I'm not going to pretend to be a prognosticator of future world events. Further, I've noticed that these two theories have spanned both ends of the political spectrum (albeit each side seems to lean somewhat in one direction or another).

I will get this out of the way: I completely disapprove of the wishy-washy, timid way that President Obama is handling this situation. Once again, when the poop hits the fan on a world scale, I miss former President George W. Bush. (I've said it before and I'll say it again, you can argue whatever you want domestically on Bush, but while he was President, Iran and North Korea sat in their corners and played quietly.) I firmly believe that Bush would have come out strongly in favor of a Democracy movement in Egypt, with no such timid statements about "whatever form of government people choose is best." I'm sorry, but Sharia Law is not a choice we should support because the people choose it in an election. I will get into the reasons for this opinion shortly.

As George W. Bush once stated that when people are given freedom to choose their government, they won't vote themselves into torture chambers and rape rooms. Similarly, when free people (specifically women) are given a choice, they are not going to vote themselves into being beaten for dating a non-Muslim, being stoned for any accusation of infidelity, being required to provide the witness of at least four men to prove an accusation of rape, or being subjected to bodily mutilation in the name of Islam. (For the record, as a Christian, I do not approve of marital infidelity or sex out of wedlock. However, there is disapproval of an act and there is disapproval of the penalty. I disapprove of the penalty.)

The real issue here is that while free people have the right to choose their government, and that is most certainly a right of free people, it does not mean that a majority can vote someone else into relative slavery or vote someone else into fewer rights than natures God entitled them to have (and created them to possess). Among these fundamental human rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I have recently had a lengthy discussion on this blog about these whether these fundamental rights are within the Constitution or the laws of the United States. I have noted that they are in the Declaration of Independence, which is in fact a legal document in the United States. But beyond that, the Constitution is intended to protect civil rights. You see, the framers simply ASSUMED the fundamental human rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. EVERY SINGLE HUMAN BEING has those rights. They were given to them by nature's God. People do not have the right to abridge other individual’s rights, EVEN IN A FREE ELECTION!

The options within variations of free, democratic government are available to the people of Egypt to choose. The reason I insist upon freedom is because every single man, woman and child in Egypt is entitled to their fundamental human rights. Period. Other forms of government, including Sharia-compliant Islamic theocracy, dictatorship, absolute monarchy, etc, fail to protect the human rights of all people and therefore are illegitimate options. Period.

Phew. You know where I stand on what OUGHT to happen. I can't wait to hear the earful that I'm sure at least one liberal will give me on that.

Now for the discussion...for the part I do not have an answer for: What WILL happen in Egypt? Liberals want us to believe that this is absolutely, without a doubt, a Democracy movement. I hope they're right. But hoping and expecting are two different things. I know my history far too well to assume that this will go in the correct direction (see Iran). As I've said above, I do recognize that Egypt is not required to use an American-style Representative Republic.

HOWEVER, the fundamental Human Rights of all individuals must be respected. Therefore, even free people do not have the right to vote other people's rights away. It was wrong when Americans voted to keep blacks in slavery. It was wrong when Americans voted to keep blacks segregated. That's why the Constitution can be and has been amended and the Judicial Branch has the ability to strike down laws which take away other people's fundamental rights. (For example, the 13th Amendment abolished slavery and the Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education struck down Plessey v. Ferguson – a ruling which legalized segregation).

Whatever form of government the people of Egypt chooses, it is up to the United States and to our allies to do everything in our power to ensure that whatever they choose does not take away any person's fundamental human rights. Period.

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