As Americans we’ve been raised on a simple moral formula: Democracy is good and dictatorships are bad. Historically, it’s tried and true – democracies rarely go to war with each other, democracies tend to protect individual liberty, and democracies are generally more prosperous than dictatorships.
But our Founders recognized something that too many of us forget: A democracy is only as good as its citizens. A totalitarian, violent, racist electorate tends to elect totalitarian, violent, and racist politicians. In other words, democracy without individual liberty is just another form of tyranny.
Nowhere is this more true than in Egypt, where the nation’s elected government seems on the verge of implementing Sharia law while its military rulers pledge to offer much greater protection for religious liberty – specifically or Egypt’s Christian minority. So now we have the Egyptian military – lavishly equipped with billions of dollars worth of American military equipment – facing down the millions of the Muslim Brotherhood. Who will prevail? Who should prevail?
Whatever the outcome, there’s not much cause for optimism. As Egypt’s election indicates, there is a broad Egyptian constituency supporting Islamic extremism, and that constituency is both anti-American and anti-Semitic. Don’t believe me? Check out this YouTube of a stadium full of Egyptians calling for another Holocaust:
It’s impossible to imagine such a scene either in America or Israel, and scenes like that make it difficult to support Egyptian democracy.