Revolution is a big deal in the United States. Without it, we wouldn’t even be here. Men like Ben Franklin and George Washington are traitors to the Crown in the United Kingdom, but in the U.S. we’re taught they’re our founding fathers and are our heroes.
Is what’s happening in Tunisia and Egypt any different? They may not have fallen into outright warfare yet, but they’re in a volatile situation and the protesters’ ultimate goal is the founding of a new government. Are there faces and personalities behind the conflict that will become their founding fathers and national heroes? Or will the existing government restore order and bring charges against a handful of people who were simply tired of the government abuse?
Unfortunately the lesson appears to be lost on some of our leaders. While President Obama supports the revolution, our legislators are trying to pass laws that would hamper our abilities to do the same. Specifically, they want a kill switch for the Internet.
This is dangerous territory. One of the first things the Egyptian government did was cut off Internet access in an effort to prevent protesters from organizing and to keep news from spreading to the rest of the world. Fortunately word’s getting out anyway, and all it did was make things worse for the government. (And rightfully so.)
Let’s think about this, Congress. What’s more dangerous? A people with protected speech and the ability to criticize their government, or a people suppressed to the point they can’t take it any longer and it all comes out at once? If our country was founded on revolution, why should the people be forbidden from exercising that same power to preserve it?
Let’s remember how we got here, not emulate the dictators we’re hoping will fall.