How the people do it

Right now in the streets of Cairo, there is a contest going on.  It pits the extremely small ruling class of those who partake in the risks, sacrifices, and significant rewards associated with being a nation-state against the millions who do the same thing except without the rewards part.  It is the privileged few against the oppressed many, and it has finally come to a head.  We have seen this movie before, and we know how it ends…and perhaps the best we can do in the meantime is cheer it from a distance and pray that the final body count is very low.

It would be nice if our government were able to do those same things, but as Obama, the latest Republocrat, has proven, the policy is to go with the devil you know rather than the democracy you don’t.  The United States, you see, is the world’s leading exporter of democracy – but that doesn’t mean we just have to go around granting it to everyone, willy-nilly.  Some are more equal than others, and those in North Africa or the Middle East or elsewhere living on exploitation wages or under oppression in the shadows of modern opulence just have to realize that we can’t allow folks to vote for the wrong guys.  And if the powers-that-be just happen to sell us oil or bomb the right people…well, hey, those folks will just have to understand that democracy ain’t that important.

So it fell to the people of Egypt, just as the people of Tunisia had done only days earlier, to hit the streets and get their democracy the old-fashioned way – albeit with some new-fangled help.  The Series of Tubes conveyed emails, tweets, YouTube videos, and other info without intervening American media gatekeepers, who were busily being schooled in the art of actual journalism by al-Jazeera.  These same tubes had recently carried leaked U.S. diplomatic cables which helped spread some actual truth, or at the absolute least removed the usual amount of varnish from it at a time when it was desperately needed.  (Interestingly, the “public sector” objected to the release of its “private” information, and if you see no problems with the construction of that clause, then you, too, have a career waiting for you in government intelligence.)

Given their experience, I can’t help but wonder if once the various countries are finished, they might not consider coming to this country and teaching us how to do it.


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