Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Valentine's Day Card to Egypt

I don't have all of your addresses, so here's a group Valentine's Day card to the people of Egypt to express my love and admiration for your miraculous and inspiring achievement.

Your heroic perseverance, poise and dedication showed us all that anything is possible.

That Facebook can be used for more than just promoting comedy shows and sharing with 1800 people how wasted you were last night. And that Twitter can mobilize rallies for democracy instead of just inform us what Shaquille O'Neal had for lunch.

It took the Egyptian people 18 days to bring down a dictator. It took me 18 days to decide which coffeemaker to buy on Talk about using your time productively.

The road to democracy in Egypt will be difficult and messy. But the truth is our democracy is still difficult and messy after 234 years. The U.S. wants Egypt to be just the way we are. But Egypt can produce a democracy that's even more, well, democratic than ours.

First, your military. I know you love those guys and most of them are an admirable group. And they stood by you in the most trying of times. But once they guide your country through the transition to free and fair elections, make sure they don't decide to run the country. I'm not saying they would, but just in case. And when you prepare your first budget don't give them a crazy amount of money. We do that here and quite frankly it's largely a big waste of money that could be better spent on social programs here at home.

Now that you'll be able to criticize your government and speak freely on all issues, go ahead and enjoy! But don't create shows where people of opposing views yell at each other and talk in sound bites. We do that in the US and it just appeals to the lowest common denominator.

Have plenty of good, thorough news programs. And make sure all of your cable systems carry Al Jazeera. And The Daily Show.

And insist that your politicians be intelligent. And don't give them reality shows. In fact, don't have reality shows, period. There's nothing like a good half hour scripted comedy. But I digress.

I hope you can find a President like ours, who is worldly, really smart, thoughtful, and who understands what you're going through.

And try to make it possible for people to run for office who don't have a lot of money. And insist on a single payer health care plan. And keep trying to help bring about peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

The truth is, I don't even have to be telling you this. If you can overthrow a dictator in 18 days, you can do anything!

And remember. Not only can your democracy be as good as ours, it can be even better.

Happy Valentine's Day!