Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

Egypt, Freedom, America – what are we for?

In foreign policy, Opinion on February 11, 2011 at 9:12 am

In Egypt, what outcome does America support?  Are we for Mubarak?  His hand-picked VP?  The Muslim Brotherhood?  The mob in the street?  Some sect or other party we have no way of knowing?  Santa Clause?

The answer – none of the above.  America is for freedom.  America is for the truth.  It seems that the Obama administration is trying to predict the outcome in Egypt so we can be seen to have supported the winner of the fight for power – trying to be “on the right side of history,” that trite phrase the keep trotting out to sound smart.  [CLICK below to read MORE]

They’re making a losing bet.  The only right side is freedom, whether or not the side that takes power agrees.  If a man or mob takes control of Egypt who does not support freedom and truth, that will not make us WRONG.  Freedom doesn’t win every time, but the only long-term, right position is for freedom.  If that is America’s position, we’re never wrong and eventually – maybe not this year or even this decade – eventually we’re on the right side of the battle.  Ronald Reagan did not know that Lech Welesa and his supporters would prevail in Poland in the 1980s, but he did make certain that the world knew that America supported freedom.

It’s interesting to listen to the commentary from the American news media and the Obama administration, decrying the Mubarak dictatorship and his heavy-handed government – and then try to handicap the outcome of the unrest in Egypt by guessing who will take power next and hoping America will guess right.  All of the talk is about power, not freedom.  Indeed, it is instructive to compare Hosni Mubarak’s most recent speech (the one in which he did not, as expected, abdicate his dictatorship) to Obama’s most recent State of the Union address.  Both speeches were largely about the man making the speech, about the power of government over people.  “I’ve been a good leader; I’ve taken care of my people; I’ve done all I can for my people. . . .”  Mubarak uses the past tense to defend his grip on power; Obama uses the future tense to sell his attempt to impose the government’s will on us in every corner of our life.

The point is that the ruling class will always tell its subjects what the government wants to do FOR the people, how government seeks to make life better – “give me power, I will use it for the people.”  We should contrast that with the tone we recall during the presidency of, say, Ronald Reagan.  In him, we will recollect a message of “I want the government to let you to do what you can do for YOURSELF.  I want you to reap the benefits of a free life.”  In a free life, the government’s role is passive – it chooses no side, it only and always protects freedom and truth – no more and no less.

The most powerful man of the late 20th century sought none of that power; he let free men exercise their own power over themselves.  Yet this man, and all great men who preceded him, eschewed power and are, even from their graves, more powerful than any dictator or tyrant.  When he leaves Egypt, statues of the ‘all-powerful’ Mubarak will be tipped-over and crushed, like the statues of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.  America’s Washington Monument, our monument to the father of our country, the most free nation in history, is one of our most revered sites.

Give men a plan and they will produce exactly the minimum.  Let men be free and there is no limit to what he will produce.  Apply that rule to Egypt; tell the world we’re for freedom, and America will be rewarded and revered.

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