“BREAKING NEWS” was the first thing I saw today when I opened up the political news. “Military Coup Has Toppled President Morsi.” I wasn’t surprised.
It should have been obvious from the start that Egypt’s democracy wasn’t working. Many people were already very unhappy with Morsi and his previous power grab. They did not like how he strengthened the Muslim Brotherhood Party’s hold on the government. Polls showed that many were increasingly unhappy with how Morsi was handling the government. And now, the inevitable: Morsi is toppled.
The fact that this occurred near July 4th almost seems to be planned by a higher being, given that the same day Egypt’s democracy didn’t work was also the day when US democracy did work. And it gives rise to a very important question: Why did the US succeed in being democratic whereas other nations, specifically Egypt, did not?
Well, first off, lets look at the leaders. President Morsi. Although he was democratically elected, he did so by winning only a little bit above 50% of the vote. Obviously meaning that only half of the country supported him. Also meaning that the other half did not. Also meaning his support wasn’t very strong. This is perhaps the biggest reason why he was toppled. Now look at the other leader- George Washington. He got elected without an election. He did not get 50% of the vote, 70% of the vote, or 90% of the vote, he got 100% of the vote. He was unanimously elected, simply put. Obviously this shows the overwhelming support Washington had, compared to Morsi’s support.
It is this element of support that is essential to the founding of a democracy. The democracy’s weakest times are usually in the beginning, in the founding of it, because it is the time in which people tend to disagree the most on how to start a democracy. One could say that the number one factor preventing democracies is the lack of unity. In Egypt, we obviously see that. In America, it was also the case, too, when the 13 colonies were constantly in disagreement over what should be included in the Constitution and what not. Thus the reason why there is the word “United” in the “United States of America”- the Founding Fathers were emphasizing on the need to unite.
What better way to unite a people together than to have an American hero- George Washington- to serve as the gluing factor between all the disagreeing people? In this case, we see the need for a united leadership as important as ever- if it was not for Washington, the United States of America would soon become un-united because of many other issues, such as slavery, and thus there wouldn’t have been the USA we know today. Whereas Washington helped promote unity, Morsi promoted division- simply because only half of the nation wanted him and because of his controversial politics.
The other thing- religion. Just the fact that there is the word “Muslim” on the name “Muslim Brotherhood Party” ruined it all. Yes, the Muslims like it. But that just alienates the non-Muslims, creating not unity but rather division. Even worse- the party made it forbidden to defame the Shariah, or a Muslim prophet. Although it may have the best of intentions, it almost seems as if the government is favoring the Muslim religion over others. Overall, not only is the name brand bad, but the actions made it worse. Now take a look at America: there was no religion involved. In fact, the Founding Fathers wanted religion to keep out of the way. They were smart enough to know that religion divided many people and caused bloodshed. Since they wanted a united nation, they made the important amendment of seperation between church and state.
The theme here is unity. The reason why the United States succeeded in forming a democracy was because it was united. In fact, after they wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Founding Fathers wanted to stall its publicity until June, because they were afraid America wasn’t united enough. Whereas in Egypt, they jumped right into democracy when they weren’t ready yet because the Egyptian people were still divided.
Hopefully, Egypt can learn from the US. As we celebrate Independence Day today in the US, let us all pray that Egypt can celebrate their independence day soon.