February 10th, 2011

Me

Ladies and Gentlemen, Hosni Mubarak Has Left the Building

CNN is reporting that after two weeks of protests against his iron-fisted, repressive regime, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak may step down as soon as tonight.

Absolutely amazing. In Egypt, they take to the streets to demand freedom, democracy, equality, and opportunity. Here, we take to the streets to call our president Hitler for trying to overhaul the nation's draconian and ineffective health insurance industry. I wonder which one more accurately exemplifies the phrase "power to the people."

Not that I mean to make this about us instead of them, but it's hard not to wish we Americans still had the drive, energy, and passion for democracy and opportunity (and unity!) that's been on display in Egypt these past couple of weeks, rather than protesting to maintain the status quo, calling each other names like we're each other's enemies, or showing embarrassingly small turnouts during elections. Seriously, I feel like we could learn a lot--relearn, really--from these crazy kids in Egypt.

Anyway, fingers crossed this doesn't get hijacked to become another Iran, where a repressive dictatorship was overthrown in favor of an equally repressive, if not more repressive, theocracy. Because yeah, this is a wonderful and historic moment for freedom and democracy in a region that doesn't tend to offer either of those to its people, but it's also hard not to be a little nervous too, because it's such a volatile part of the world and the Iranian revolution remains fresh in our minds, even today, more than thirty years later.

But today I'm more interested in celebrating than worrying. Power to the people, Egypt! And power to the people, U.S.A.!