Home > Economics, Politics > Protesting Good. But what comes next?

Protesting Good. But what comes next?

I can only imagine how bad it is in Egypt. I certainly don’t claim to understand the situation on the ground. Widespread unemployment and poverty. What jobs do come up are handed to family members of those in power. People are closed out of their economic society and their economic future. And they are sick of it. Enough that they protest, march, take to the streets, blog, and do everything that they can — risking being shut down, beaten up, tear-gassed, shot, raped, imprisoned, and killed.

Protesters defy government in Egypt (Reuters)

I can’t say what I would do if I lived in a similar situation, but I bet I would be protesting too.

I just hope that with all the talk of forcing Hosni Mubarak’s resignation, there are concrete ideas of what will replace the outgoing regime. I have read about groups taking advantage of the unrest to go around to the prisons and break out militants that were imprisoned. Citizens are banding together to protect themselves in the wake of organized police or military control. The National Democratic Party needs to be removed, but is there a plan for what will take its place?

There are many in America that are urging President Obama to seize this chance and oust Mubarak but it’s not that simple. Sometimes the resultant regime is not much better than the one it is replacing. It may buy you a decade or so, but that is not a long term solution.

I would like the US to understand the concrete plans and proposed solutions from groups like the April 6th Youth Movement and Mohammed ElBaradei’s team before we just throw our weight behind Whoever-Is-Next.

Just because this is the “start of a new era that cannot be reversed”, where are the checks and balances that give this new era a greater chance of survival and greater chance of freedoms for the Egyptian people?

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  1. Susan M
    January 31, 2011 at 10:58 am

    What was our plan when we fought England for our rights? The US needs to stay out of it. Human rights trump ANY government.

    • January 31, 2011 at 11:04 am

      Susan .. I think we had a great plan when we fought England. We had many citizens who had been educating themselves about how to form a new government that would last for generations… and it worked. Sure John Adams, Ben Franklin, George Washington all could have set up the new government to benefit themselves, but they didn’t. They set up a government that would ensure freedom and liberty to the people for many generations even though it meant these guys could get voted out and lose their powerful positions. They did it cuz it was right. I hope the new leaders in Egypt have the same guts.

  2. Nick P
    January 31, 2011 at 10:59 am

    First real foerign affairs test for President Obama….

    • January 31, 2011 at 11:05 am

      I wonder if President Obama will ask for an accounting of the billions we have sent Egypt over the years. Or even this year. Why do we keep doing that when we have so much poverty in the US?

  3. Butch N
    January 31, 2011 at 10:59 am

    hopefully isreal stays out of it… if they get mixed up it could be the catalyst for WWIII

    • January 31, 2011 at 11:05 am

      I bet they are just waiting to see what happens next

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  4. Fred P
    January 31, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Yeah, “democracy” is one of the oldest tricks in the book. True “Democracy” is little more than mob mentality. People use the word to incite chaos so the door is open for someone else seeking power to come in and take it. The founders didn’t want “democracy” it doesn’t last, it morphs into a dictatorship or oligarchy usually.

  5. January 31, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Fred, yeah..democracy is the elixir, but it turns into dictatorship soon enough. Good call.

  6. January 31, 2011 at 11:27 am

    I think your question is a great one, not just for Egypt. There is a world wide leadership shortage. The US being an example of lack of great leadership and solid ideas of what comes next. If there isn’t a generation of leaders prepared to institute something more lasting and freedom oriented, Egypt is going to look like any other unstable nation trading one dictator for the next. At best it may look like revolutionary France…educated, but heartless.

    Real change, in any nation, is only going to happen if individuals are preparing themselves to be able to think. After the Cairo fires die down, who is doing the thinking?

  7. Susan M
    February 1, 2011 at 11:09 am

    From what I’ve read and viewed in the news, the people are trying to get legitimate elections where someone can be voted out. Their government is corrupt. Cutting off web access and forcing the trains to stop and not enter Cairo so no oth…er protesters can join in is down right nasty. Why are the banks closed??? They’ve been closed for days now so ATM machines are also running out of money, leaving the people without the means to buy food, water and pay bills. If our government did that to us, you bet there would be protests of all kinds here.
    I understand it’s scary for us US citizens…will this bring more terrorist activity? We don’t know. To say otherwise is an ass-umption. Changes in government can be scary, and yes, Al-queda (sp) I’m sure, is waiting in the wings to see where they can insert themselves, but that is not a guarantee it will be allowed to happen. The Egyptians plight is not based on religion, it’s about human fundamentals.

  8. Susan M
    February 1, 2011 at 11:10 am

    What type of structure do you want for Egypt, if not a democratic one? No really, not being defensive, just very curious what other options you would suggest?

    • February 1, 2011 at 11:13 am

      Hey I’m with you Susan. In the article I said I would be protesting too. I’m all about getting rid of corrupt government! I agree, why are the banks closed? Why did the police disappear for 3 days? Who made that call? I am all about freedom and liberty for the Egyptians — did you read my article? Too many of us Americans want to do away with the Fed or other areas of our Gov’t we believe are corrupt, but what kind of monetary system are we proposing instead? I just said that I hope someone is thinking about “what comes next.” I want to make sure it lasts. If they go with a true “Democracy”, where everyone gets a vote and a say in how the government is run, there will be problems. People have shown since Aristotle’s time that true Democracies end up in Tyranny. I don’t want that for the Egyptian people. I suggest something representative. Best option? Something with separation of powers, checks and balances, and representatives like the US Government.

  9. RSkinner
    February 21, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    All those years of trying to control or at least exercise some of favorable structure for our interests, as well as what we felt were the best interests of the Middle East seem to have all gone to heck in 3 weeks. Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Iran, Etc. Seems like no matter how much input and structure you give from a position of authority peoples personal agency seems to win out. Whether its the agency of an abused populace or the tendency of men to take more control and benefit than is called for we are all just products of decisions. Which is particularly scary when you consider the amount of critical thought each one of us puts into these huge issues. Present company excluded of course. 😛 But how much of politics or social opinion is based on hyperbole and conjecture.. Seems we continue to seperate further and further into our own corners with less and less discussion on compromise and mutual benefit. I hope Egypt can set a precedent for others to follow with thoughtful well evolved political structure that represents the needs of all of it’s citizens but without effort by each individual the system could be swayed easily by someone who convinces them that they can do the thinking for them.

    • February 24, 2011 at 12:15 pm

      You’re right on Skinner… that’s my main concern. Does the loudest voice now take charge? How is the new system getting set-up? What safeguards are being created to ensure freedom in the future, not just the honeymoon period?

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