Crumbling of a democracy is loss of luxury
On Thursday, Egyptian Army Chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sis called on mass support for the army in the form of a protest against ousted yet popularly elected president, Mohammad Morsi. The following day, rival protests took to the streets in a show of contending popular support. Anti-Morsi, pro-military gathered in crowds of tens of thousands to show support for al-Sis, and his military’s removal of Egypt’s highest elected official. Since his removal, reports indicate that over 200 people have been killed, not including over 60 people killed in the protest clashes on Saturday. The U.S. government has yet to recognize Morsi’s removal as a coup, yet from the events of this past month, it is generally understood that Egypt’s democratic system has crumbled.
There was once a political philosophy professor who explained the strength of America’s democracy (in the form of a republic) like this: Why does America’s electoral system work? The reason is that as believers in the constitution, in the event that one looses an election, that party has the strength to accept defeat. The beauty of the constitution is that it guarantees an opportunity to fight another day. As American’s we accept this guarantee, as we accept the victory of our opponent. The professor understood that this acceptance of defeat in the arena of government is one of the hardest acts of humanity, yet for both peace and justice to reign, this sacrifice of personal will was necessary.
Egypt’s young democracy as well as their military leaders have failed them. Not to say the Muslim Brotherhood was a force of good, or that the military did not have the interest of the people in mind. They failed the people because they killed a system that could have brought them relative peace. By forcefully removing the most powerful leader of an elected government, the major coup al-Sis led was the coup de grace on democracy itself.
How can anyone now go to the polls and think their vote matters? The powers at be will simply arrest anyone they don’t see fit to rule.
This past week, Egypt disintegrated into mass group protests, violent conflict, and ever deepening divides in the countries population without an election in sight.
The continuing unrest must be taking its toll on Egypt’s common people who just want a good job and a simple life. Though they may have cried about injustice at the beginning of the Arab spring, the consistent strife must recall memories of a time, not too long ago, of peace and relative justice. It might be a hard lesson learned that justice is a luxury of a strong society. Our constitution demands a strong commitment to a set of rules in the game of government. And, because of America’s commitment to these rules, we have the luxury and grace to determine justice.
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