Egypt's Warning for America
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The tragedy in Egypt is a warning to Americans that imperious executive power is a threat to liberty everywhere.
In Arabia, citizens are sharply divided between advocates of modernism and those who embrace strict interpretations of Islam and favor a theocratic order. Western political leaders seem unable to grasp several fundamental realities.
Other than the oil-exporting states, Arab nations have little to sell the world. Notably, Egypt can't compete with Asia in manufacturing, and its universities simply don't produce enough good engineers to compete in high-tech and service industries. Liberal democracies, without persistent Western aid, can't deliver the prosperity and opportunities for young people necessary to ensure political stability.
Many Arabs either don't grasp or care that a theocratic order sentences them to an impoverished medieval existence. To become president, Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, defeated the prime minister of deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak 51.7% to 48.3% -- not much different from Obama's electoral margins and granting as much mandate to act.Frustrated by a divided legislature and unsympathetic courts, Morsi sought to ignore the former and assert supremacy over the latter and govern through executive order. That's foul in most Westerners' book until one examines Obama's record. Declaring that "elections have consequences," he sought federal command and control over one-sixth of the U.S. economy: health care. When he lacked public support -- as expressed in polls, town meetings and a Massachusetts special Senate election -- and could not muster enough support in the Senate, he dragooned through congress a bill by legislative sleight of hand. When faced with the fact that Obamacare's fine on citizens for not purchasing health insurance might not be constitutional, he publicly sought to intimidate the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court at his State of the Union address. The contorted language and maddening reasoning of the Justice's decision upholding the law makes it clear that Obama managed to put himself above both the legislature and the courts, even if with better optics than did Morsi.
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