>Looking to Egypt Now — What’s Next?

>Hosni MubarakImage by robertxcadena via FlickrBy now, the news that Mubarak has stepped down, essentially forced out of power by the protests in the streets for the last 18 days, has spread.  Yay!  Democracy won!  Life is good!  Life is grand!  The people are victorious!   Woo hoo!


Now what?

What’s next?

It’s been great seeing the images on the TV every night and reading “Tweets” from a few thousand miles away.  Our politicians have used the plight of the Egyptian people for their political gain.  We need to remember, it wasn’t OUR revolution.  We just got to watch.

And, I think it’s true, that now the news will fall on whatever the next hot news item is.  Perhaps there’s a military uprising in “Where-ever-istan.”  Perhaps the president of “Far-away-from-here-land” will have an affair or steal money or trash talk the US.  And that will take our attention.  We’re fickle people when it comes to our news cycles.

But, we need to remember that, while it may be a new day in Egypt, it’s not all rainbows and puppy-dogs.  While I’m no fan of strong-armed dictators with secret plain-clothes policemen running around, taking people away from their families…there’s little decision-making involved by the people themselves.

But, now the military is in control.  And the work of the people is beginning.  What’s next?  What matters now.

I found the following over at ReadWriteWeb and it has some good stuff in it:

What matters is that we, not just the Egyptians, are now living in a world where difficult things are possible, where beautiful things are doable. That changes everything. The writer Delmore Schwartz famously said, “In Dreams Begin Responsibilities.” But when those dreams finally come true, you realize the responsibilities are just beginning.

Right now, control of Egypt has devolved into the hands of the country’s military. Egypt’s military is well-regarded and trusted, unlike its police and security forces, who are reviled. But a military-run Egypt replaces one kind of a problem with another. The people on the ground in Egypt now have the unenviable task of securing a transition from protest to power. As the Prussian prime minister Otto von Bismark said, “Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.” There’s going to be a lot of people who are going to have to hold their nose and make an awful lot of sausage.

Government is never as romantic as rebellion but without it rebellions are meaningless. If you watched and encouraged from the sidelines – on Twitter or Facebook – I kind of hope you stick around. The Egyptians are going to need cheerleaders more than ever. 

So, as we look over to Egypt, we need to start cheering for them.  And we can’t forget that some of the hard work of governing is beginning.

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