Egyptians exhibit a Spirit of ‘76

The birthplace of the Declaration of Independence could take a lesson from a birthplace of civilization. Photo: Rebels in Tahrir Square/AP

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., July 7, 2013 — Looking back on events in Egypt over our long Independence Day weekend, it seems as though the Egyptian people have reacted to tyranny in a way the Founders would approve. Since June 30, an estimated 11 to 33 million Egyptians filled the capital’s squares with banners, flags and demands that President Mohamed Morsi resign.

He didn’t, of course. The military had to step in. While the Obama administration was happy with the Muslim Brotherhood ruling Egypt, the Egyptian people were not.

SEE RELATED: Lest we revolt: A Declaration of Independence for the 21st Century

Banner in Tahrir Square

Tiffany Madison reported for the Washington Times Communities an interview with a 21-year old rebel organizer who explained the situation in Egypt the way no major press outlet has.

Egypt was a monarchy until 1952, when King Farouk I was overthrown by a military-led revolution organized by Gamal Abdel Nasser. Nasser was later Egypt’s second president. The Muslim Brotherhood attempted his assassination in 1954; they have been suppressed in Egypt ever since.

Nasser died of a heart attack in 1970 and was replaced by Anwar Sadat—another former military officer. Sadat was in turn assassinated by fundamentalist military officers in 1981 and succeeded by then vice-president Hosni Mubarek.

SEE RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Interview with 21-year-old Rebel in Egypt’s Tahrir Square

In short, the past fifty years of Egyptian history has been marked by either military rule or military-supported civilian rule. The military is a well-respected institution in Egypt. Nasser has a status in Egypt equivalent to George Washington in our own country.

The Muslim Brotherhood is not popular and Morsi’s rule has been a disaster for the Egyptian people.

What to do?

Our Founders knew what to do about tyranny. The Declaration of Independence describes in the second paragraph that “when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government.”

SEE RELATED: Egypt: Violence continues between Morsi supporters and opponents

This the Egyptian people have done not once, but twice: first to Mubarek, now to Morsi. They apparently thought the job was done the first time, but when elections were held, the Muslim Brotherhood took control of the government. Morsi began to consolidate power under a new constitution, fire top generals, and begin to impose sharia.

Again, the Declaration of Independence describes the situation: “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

For Egyptians, the evils are no longer sufferable.

It would be a mistake, however, to prescribe for Egypt a solution based on our own experience. Ever since Woodrow Wilson’s crusade to make the world safe for democracy, American foreign policy has aimed at promoting “democracy” around the world.

Arguably, the current administration’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood is a departure from that tradition. Signs from Tahrir Square prove that the Egyptian people are angry about official U.S. support for Morsi.

The Declaration advises not democracy specifically, but rather “to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

We can only hope that the Egyptian people have better luck this time around in forming that new government. We cannot prescribe what is right for them.

And what of the United States on this long Independence Day weekend? Is there tyranny in this country that threatens our liberties? Are the evils of centralized federal power still sufferable? Only one in four Americans believes the federal government still has the consent of the governed. Approval ratings for Congress are in the single digits; the president’s continue to fall as well. After last week’s rulings, the Supreme Court’s favorability is suffering.

What will it take for Americans to react the way Egyptians have reacted this past week?

The path of revolution is not easy; the outcome is never certain. Morsi’s supporters have not given up. Once ensconced in power, tyrants never give up voluntarily. They called for violence on Friday — traditionally Islam’s day of worship. Violence continues.

Popular support and the military are behind the rebels. They will prevail. Despite vast cultural and spiritual differences, the Egyptians have proven that they have the Spirit of ’76.

Do we?

READ MORE from Al Maurer at Red Pill, Blue Pill

At The Voice of Liberty, we seek to advance the principles of liberty, because tyranny never sleeps.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Al Maurer

Al Maurer is a political scientist and founder of The Voice of Liberty. He writes on topics of limited government and individual rights.

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