Why US Succeeded But Egypt Didn’t

“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?

the leader who united the USA

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.

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We’re Pointing A Gun At Our Democracy

(CNN) — Our democracy is endangered. Not by the Russians, North Korea, the Iran regime, or even terrorists. To quote Pogo: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Inside the beltway, the fingers point and the media tuts and struts in glee, and we, the American public, respond by becoming more rigid and divided ourselves. No more “truth springing from argument amongst friends,” as David Hume said. A recent nonpartisan Pew Research Poll finds our knee-jerk partisanship has increased dramatically.

This road we’re on will lead us step-by-step to an extreme: either an autocratic government that functions, or a dysfunctional anarchy. The petty squabbles, bilge in the name of party or principle, will dissolve our self-government.

Abraham Lincoln felt no foreign power could ever defeat the United States. He said, “From whence shall we expect the approach of danger? Shall some trans-Atlantic military giant step the earth and crush us at a blow? Never…No, if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we will live forever or die by suicide.”

We’re pointing a pistol at our heads. A government of, by, and for the people requires that people talk to people, that we can agree to disagree but do so in civility. If we let the politicians and those who report dictate our discourse, then our course will be dictated.

Why am I alarmed? Because two “scandals” — the IRS tax-exempt inquiries and the Department of Justice’s tapping of reporters’ phones — have become lynch parties. And the congressional investigation of Benghazi may become a scandal in itself.

The IRS scandal has sparked bipartisan outrage that should require a bipartisan solution. The director who oversaw this was a Bush appointee who was confirmed by a Democratic Congress. Even Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein says he doubts very much that Obama was involved

We, the people, need to stay focused on facts, causes and solutions. Let’s begin with the findings of the Treasury’s inspector general who uncovered it: That it was bureaucratic mismanagement, but that there was no evidence of any political motivation or influence from outside the IRS.

And that, according to acting Commissioner Steven Miller, who just resigned, the problem started because the Supreme Court’s Citizens’ United decision created a surge of requests by political groups for tax-exempt status.

Democrats and Republicans agree there’s a problem. Maybe they should focus on solutions.

Let’s demand an end to partisan sideshows or media witch hunts: It turns out that the leaked White House Benghazi e-mails which allegedly show a coverup of a terrorist attack were themselves altered. Those e-mails are, in a word, bogus

Next up on the playbill: The Department of Justice secretly obtained dozens of reporters’ phone records because of a serious security leak. The double contradictory shell game we’re supposed to believe: Obama is not in charge and he has his finger in every pot.

This bamboozling of the American people obscures the main point: How do we safeguard American lives and respect our freedoms at the same time? Maybe working together — Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals — the Media Shield Law, a solution to the problem, can be passed.

Both the Democrats and Republicans have run roughshod over our separation of powers. Both parties have misused and abused their constitutional powers. Democrats blocked, again and again, President Bush’s nominees for federal judges. Today, Republicans aren’t just blocking Obama’s judicial nominees, they’re blocking the Senate from considering laws and blocking Cabinet appointees necessary for the federal government to run.

Why should we allow any political party or personality to render our government unable to govern?

On 9/11 terrorists attacked the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and tried to attack the U.S. Capitol building in order to destroy our institutions, our economic strength, our military and our democratic Congress where “the people rule.”

But in our partisan self-righteousness, we’re destroying our foundations of government more effectively than al Qaeda ever could. Whether it’s the media or the politicians, the churning of partisan passion into anger, indeed hate, has an ulterior purpose: If Obama’s administration is constantly engaged in fighting for its existence, the governing comes to a halt, and his agenda will go nowhere.

Aiming for that and little if nothing else weakens and harms our democratic institutions, both Congress and the presidency. Remember, Obama was elected by a bigger margin than George W. Bush. He deserves to have his appointees, and he deserves to have votes on the issues, to have the government function, and to fight for the policies on which he was elected. By allowing problems to become scandals and scandals to become demagoguery, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot.

If it keeps up, we will all be complicit in weakening our democracy.

Egypt’s New Constitution

Yesterday, we got a little bit into US politics, talking about Susan Rice. Today, we will be focusing on world politics, specifically the Middle East. And more specifically, Egypt. (I know, I know, Egypt is technically an African country, but many group it as part of the Middle East.)

But before we get into this, a word about the engineering questions I posted three days ago. If you think you have the answer or would like to know how to get the answer, then please contact me through the Contacts page. I will reply to you as soon as possible.

President Morsi

Back to Egypt. Recently, President-elect Muburak was overthrown because nobody liked his corrupted lifestyle. Muburak wasted money, left his own people to suffer, and was sort of like a dictator. Of course, people protested it. Then they started rebelling. The result happened to be, again, Muburak gone and a new chance for Egyptian democracy. So, there was this election for a new, better Egyptian president. The winner, who won 51% of the vote, was a man named Mohamed Morsi, who belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood Party.

Soon after Morsi was elected, we begin to see history repeating itself. Morsi suddenly declared dictator-like powers for himself, saying his power was above the judicial council and anything else. He claims this at a time when he brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Look’s like he was feeling too good about himself.

Of course, Egyptians did not want this and protested again. Morsi after some time finally said all right and with other groups of people started drafting a constitution. The Muslim Brotherhood Party believed that after this constitution, there would finally be peace. Sorry, but the opposite happened. Again, there were more violent protests against this constitutional draft. Well, why?

The first thing to make clear is that only the liberals and non-Muslims are protesting. They felt that their voices weren’t heard, and that all of this constitution was biased towards the Muslim Brotherhood. This was one reason why people rebelled against this. Keep in mind most Muslims are happy about this.

Egyptian protestors

Second, many people feel this draft will make Egypt more of a theocracy rather than a democracy. For instance, one part of the draft says that Islamic clerics have unprecedented powers. Well, this is not fair, unless other clerics of other religions also have this kind of power. Not only this, the draft also says that when referring to public morals and values, Islamic law would be the main determining factor. This translates into the fact that many people, including non-Muslims, will have to abide by Islamic law. Perhaps to make it sound good on paper, those drafters decided to add: “Freedom of belief is an inviolable right…” but I don’t know how in the world this is freedom of religion when you have to abide by a religion that you don’t believe in!

And if you think about it, if Islamic law does become the supreme power, than what does this mean about women’s status? Obviously degraded. Then, women will have to wear cloaks, can’t drive cars, etc. Thus the reason why many women are also protesting this constitutional draft.

CNN Making Sense of Egypt’s Poltical Crisis–  link to news video for more detailed info

So basically what is happening is that Egypt is divided into two factions on this issue: 1) You can support the Muslim Brotherhood party where Muslims rule and where they can inject Muslim laws into your daily lives (this reminds me of GOP trying to inject Christian values into everybody’s lives), or 2) you can go support the opposition group and advocate for a better draft. If you were living in Egypt, which one would you choose?

You can probably infer what my position is on this through my biased tone. Yes, I am for choice #2. Anyway, just yesterday the Egyptian people voted on whether to approve this constitution (the process ended yesterday). The results are showing that it is approved, but many protest that the voting process was unfair. No doubt it is. Perhaps what we really need is a third party to get involved. If you have a better idea, please comment.

However much I wish, I cannot control what is happening in Egypt. Let the Egyptians themselves decide that.