Hope springs eternal

The elections in Egypt seem to be proceeding without incident so far.  This is good news, and I think one that should cause one to question many of the conservative assumptions about the possibility of democracy in the Middle East.  Commentary and politics on the question of Middle Eastern democracy often has somewhat of a mixed character – democracy in Iraq is good, but democracy in the Palestinian Territories (when it favors Hamas) is a danger to the security of the Western World.

If one starts with the (admittedly very debatable) assumption that people everywhere have more or less the same desires, then one ought to be very cautious about the consequences of adopting a consequentialist position towards others’ freedom.  After all, we would harbor a pretty big grudge against anyone who treated us that way.  It makes little sense to turn around and wonder why elections lead to anti-American regimes in countries after Americans have spent so much effort fighting against those elections.  Just a thought.

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