For John, BLUF: The situation in Egypt asks, how do you preserve democracy.
Over at The Instapundit is a blog post on Egypt and Democracy and the rights and responsibilities of the People.
ILYA SOMIN: What to Do When Illiberal, Anti-Democratic Forces Take Power Through the Democratic Process.In the Ilya Somin article is a reference to a Washington Post OpEd by Fareed Zakaria, in which Mr Zakaria argues that Egypt erred when it ”chose democratization before liberalization.” What does that mean? Is one better off with a "liberal"♠ leaning dictator (think Michael Bloomberg) than with a bumbling democrat (think Jimmy Carter)? The key question is, will there be another election.
Remember: Democracy is a means, not an end. It’s valuable as a means of protecting those unalienable rights that include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
But those rights are unalienable — incapable of being alienated, that is, bought, sold, or given away — which means that even if you live in a democracy, you haven’t surrendered them to the majority. A majority that wants to take away your unalienable rights isn’t a legitimate government. I’m gratified by how many Egyptians seem to grasp that; it’s more than I expected, though perhaps not as many as it needs to be. It’s clearly more than the Muslim Brotherhood expected, too.
The current Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan, infamously said "Democracy is like a train. We shall get out when we arrive at the station we want." It may have been a throw-away line, but it isn't funny.
Regards — Cliff