Egypt, Turkey, and the Will of the People

We judge rulers and governmental institutions by their actions and whether those actions conform with justice as delineated by God. We don’t hide our beliefs behind superfluous and ultimately meaningless designations of “democratic” or “undemocratic.”

If there were any doubt left about whether these terms had an meaning, the reaction to the Turkey Coup should have settled the issue conclusively. Two coups in two countries: Egypt and Turkey. Depending on one’s personal commitments and religious orientation, one coup was “certainly” democratic and the other was “clearly” undemocratic. Why? Because one coup “obviously” represented the will of the people and the other “undoubtedly” did not. The people killed in each coup were “martyrs” or “traitors” depending on who you ask, depending on which coup you are talking about.

So we can debate democratic-ness till we are blue in the face, but we will never get anywhere because this is an empty, hopelessly subjective concept that can be projected onto any political act or governmental structure.

By wrapping our language in this liberal veneer and employing empty concepts like “democracy” to convey our opinions, what we are really doing is postponing a real discussion. The real discussion is: what does a governing authority owe its people and what do the people owe it and, more importantly, how do we know what’s the right answer? Are we nihilists who don’t believe there is a right answer? Or do we believe that there is a right answer, in which case, how do we determine it?

These are the kinds of questions that make us think about human purpose and the nature of our existence and our relationship to our Maker. But liberalism doesn’t want us to have a conversation on that level. Liberalism doesn’t want people to think on that level, to bring God to mind. So it tells us that God is irrelevant. Deeper metaphysical questions are irrelevant. The meaning of your existence is irrelevant. Just busy yourself with these artificial terms. Just bicker about what empty labels are applicable to this or that regime. Submerge yourself in a debate that, by design, has no fruitful end. Talking about God is too uncomfortable, too childish. You might as well argue about Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. Instead, join the ranks of the liberal intelligentsia and have a Serious conversation about democratic representation, secularization, etc.

I think I’ll pass.