The thing is, what is happening in Egypt was entirely predictable. The people I trust to give me reliable interpretations of what is going on in the world told us months ago that we were not seeing the birth of freedom in Egypt or any of these other countries. Back then, many of the pundits were all going starry-eyed about the Arab Spring, jumping on the bandwagon of getting rid of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarek. These were the people the world considers wise. But people I listen to, Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh, were both warning that this was not going to turn out well.
There are some very smart people who get too attached to what they want to believe so that they ignore history and human nature.
They put democracy on a pedestal. It will solve the problems of any country. But history has shown us that a lot of evil is committed in the name of democracy. Hitler was elected. Hugo Chavez, Vladimir Putin, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were all democratically elected. And yes, so was Mohamed Morsi. And now Morsi is moving to consolidate his power, and doing so in a rather brazen way.
On the Fox News Special Report panel Friday, Shannon Bream asked Bill Kristol, “Bill, is this deja vu all over again in the streets of Cairo?” He answered, “Well, we’ll have to see. I mean, this is an important moment. I think if Egypt turns out very badly, it will be very bad for the whole Arab world. The whole Arab Spring will turn out to be an Arab winter, and an Islamist winter at that. If, on the other hand, this is a hiccup, or if there’s push-back, or if these are genuinely temporary measures, and we end up with another democratic election, then I think, I would still remain somewhat hopeful about the Arab Spring and somewhat hopeful about the elections that happened in Iraq and then Egypt as really heralding a new moment for a part of the world that needs a new moment.”
Charles Krauthammer, who followed later with his comments on the panel, called this attitude “hopelessly romantic,” and I agree. Morsi is seizing additional power “temporarily?” Please. When in the history of the world has that ever happened.
Part of the problem in interpreting what is going on in these countries is this worshiping of democracy as the first and most fundamental virtue of a happy society. No, I believe that the first and most fundamental societal virtue is liberty, and particularly freedom of conscience, the right of dissent. That doesn’t necessarily need a democracy to be established, and, in fact, it needs to be established before a democracy can be successful.
But it’s tough sometimes to be a realist in this world. We want to believe that government is benevolent, that people seeking power do so for the purpose of service and not personal aggrandizement, and that world conditions are not in fact deteriorating in an alarming way. But that appears to be what is happening.
My wife and I just finished reading the Book of Revelation together. To me, it is painfully apparent that world politics are shaping up for a dramatic fulfillment of everything prophesied there, a key element of which is the ugly gathering of evil forces against Israel. The more people who wake up to the reality of what is happening in the world, the better off we will be.
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