An Open Letter To The People Of Egypt

Egypt, the world is watching….


An Open Letter To The People of Egypt

Dear Freedom Fighters Of Egypt:

You have given yourselves the ultimate chance, a pristine opportunity.  The chance to have a representative government, the chance to live free, the chance to have true free enterprise and to make of yourselves whatever you’d like…if only you don’t waste it.

If you thought getting to this point was difficult, getting to a truly representative government in Egypt, and true individual freedom, will be a much more rocky and dangerous path.

When our forefathers, the founders of the United States of America, decided to throw off the bindings of a non-representative government, so many years ago, they did so by first drafting a document, the Declaration of Independence, then when independence was won, a Constitution.  The first document was a statement grievance and of hope, the second a roadmap to a better country, a republic wherein each man’s vote was valued and counted, but where region and regional rights played an equal part.  The second document stated what they thought ideal to weave into the fabric of a free society, a society where all men were treated equally, according to their ability and enterprise.  A society where a man was only judged by a jury of his peers, and where he was presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt.  A society based on a free enterprise economic system, where each individual was bound only by his ability and work ethic.  All of that we had, and, after only 225 years we are fighting to keep what those wise men deemed the way to create and operate a country.

America is not a perfect society or country, but she’s the best in a world where dictators and autocrats have long tried to destroy her threat to their despotism.  I hope Egypt follows her in independence and freedom.

As you must continue to fight to take advantage of your newfound opportunity, we must fight to preserve ours.  Freedom, you will soon learn, is an ongoing process.

Having watched some stupendous changes in the American way of life during my 70 years I am going to be presumptuous enough to offer you some advice.  And I say presumptuous as we have only been a country for some 230 years, and you have been a growing civilization for 7,000 or so.  However, Egypt’s been burdened with an autocracy for all that time.  You’ve never tried to live free.  Freedom has so much to be said for it, but it’s also a yoke, a yoke of constant vigilance.

My first advice is that freedom is not free.  You had a taste of that concept with the 300 or so lives you lost during your demonstrations to get rid of the autocrat who ran your country for 30 of those 7,000 years during which you were forced to serve one man or woman.  Freedom is very, very expensive.  In our short existence as a country, we’ve lost millions of men and women in the battle to stay free.  Over a million in one conflict alone.  And many of those gave up their lives not only to protect freedom in America, but freedom all over the world…and are still doing so.

So, my Egyptian friends, freedom comes at a high cost.

And a good part of that cost is not only blood, but responsibility.  And probably the one thing that sets America and just a handful of other countries apart from their neighbors the world over, is a willingness to accept majority opinion.  Elections are the very heartbeat of freedom.  If you have a different opinion from the majority of other voters, then you wait until the rest of your countrymen wise up and vote they way you’d like.  No matter what, you accept the majority.  No matter what, you respect the results of free elections.  In every election, there will be many who don’t agree with who was elected.  In our republic, it’s been, in fact more than once, a small majority who didn’t agree yet lost an election becaise we are a republic and have an electorial college, yet they still were content to bide their time until another election rolled around.  And then they could fight harder, in the sense of working harder, to have their favorites win the day.

So, Egyptians, draft yourselves a Declaration of Independence; use ours if you like…I’m sure Thomas Jefferson would smile and endorse your plagiarism.  And don’t be shy about taking a hard look at our Constitution, and pluck from it, as it’s created the most successful, the most sought, the most free country on earth.  I’m sure there’s not an American who would begrudge you the loan of it, particularly James Madison, who was responsible for much of its content.

Above all, particularly in a country who’s great majority is of one religion, keep that element from dictating to you how your government is to be run and your laws created.  The fruits of freedom don’t fall from a dogma tree, they sprout from the best part of all religions, and most common of religious beliefs…do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

Follow the path of morality, of equality, and you’ll arrive at a place to be envied by all of your neighbors.  I am very proud of you, and I pray for you, and know all of the free world does as well.  We are watching carefully, and hopefully.

With the highest aspirations for you and for Egypt,

L. J. Martin

Walk with pride, Egypt, down the path of freedom.

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