PLEDGE NOW
Egypt's Elections: Islamists, Liberals And The Generals

With guest host John Donvan

Egyptians vote again and General Sisi is set to win. It has been a roller-coaster ride –from dictator Mubarak to the Muslim Brotherhood, it’s back to a military strongman.

An Egyptian woman registers her name at a polling center during the second day of voting in the presidential election as an army solider stands guard, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, May 27, 2014.  (AP)

An Egyptian woman registers her name at a polling center during the second day of voting in the presidential election as an army solider stands guard, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, May 27, 2014. (AP)

Democracy fails. That’s the election taking place this week on the other side of the earth in Egypt, the nation where Arab Spring supposedly was going to change everything. Instead, the army’s back in charge, deciding who can run and who’s banned. On the banned list: Egypt’s biggest party, the Muslim Brotherhood. They’re missing from this election. Also missing? Any outrage from the White House that the game was cooked. Which raises the question: In places where Islamist parties are likely to win, just how committed is the US to democracy?  This hour On Point: the Democratic election that isn’t. Not really.

— John Donvan

Guests

Louisa Loveluck, Egypt corespondent for the Christian Science Monitor. (@leloveluck)

Shadi Hamid, fellow at the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy. Author of the new book, “Temptations of Power: Islamists & Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East.”  (@shadihamid)

Robin Wright, journalist and author, distinguished scholar at the United States Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson International Center. Author of “Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World,” “The Iran Primer: Power Politics and U.S. Policy” and “The Islamists are Coming: Who They Really Are.” (@wrightr)

From The Reading List

The Atlantic: The Future of Democracy in the Middle East: Islamist and Illiberal — “Illiberal democracy has risen to prominence in part because Western Europe’s careful sequencing of liberalism first and democracy later is no longer tenable—and hasn’t been for some time. Knowing that democracy, or something resembling it, is within reach, citizens have no interest in waiting indefinitely for something their leaders say they aren’t ready for.”

Christian Science Monitor: Egypt extends voting by a day in latest bid to boost low turnout — “In a vote that has often resembled a coronation more than a contest, high turnout is crucial to the legitimacy of the results. Early returns show Mr. Sisi winning by a landslide. But the low turnout indicates that a large swath of voters – far more than just the Islamists who have been pushed underground – are not convinced the former military chief can fulfill his promises of security, stability, and economic growth in the deeply divided country. ”

Washington Post: If Thailand is a coup, why wasn’t Egypt? — “The Obama administration ultimately side-stepped the decision on whether Egypt was a coup or not entirely. There seems to be a disconnect there, and it clearly wasn’t lost on reporters at Thursday’s State Department briefing. So what exactly is different about Thailand and Egypt? According to Jay Ulfelder, an American political scientist who focuses on political instability, not as much as the State Department hopes.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 30, 2016
Author and Harvard Business School social psychologist Amy Cuddy. (Photo by Bob O'Connor / Courtesy The Author)

Strike a power pose. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy on the power of presence when you’re ready to act and win.

May 30, 2016
Rock icon Donald Fagen looks back on a lengthy and ongoing career in his new memoir 'Eminent Hipsters.' He co-founded the classic rock group Steely Dan with Walter Becker in 1972. (Penguin Books USA)

Steely Dan frontman Donald Fagen talks “eminent hipsters” and the cultural outliers that shaped his sound. He joins us.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 27, 2016
In this Oct. 27, 2015, photo,  Big Muddy Farms, an urban farm in northern Omaha, Neb. is seen amongst residential homes. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, we’ve got top gardeners spilling the beans on how to grow everything.

 
May 27, 2016
Riot police block off the Albuquerque Convention Center to anti-Trump protests following a rally and speech by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the convention center where the event was held, in Albuquerque, N.M., Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Obama at Hiroshima. Turmoil at Trump rallies. Clinton’s emails, heating up. Sanders predicts a “messy” convention. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
In The Garden, Mother Nature Makes The Rules
Friday, May 27, 2016

Executive producer Karen Shiffman explains why she turns to her garden for food, friends and natrual comfort.

More »
Comment
 
WWII Vet Larry Kirby Reflects On American Values
Thursday, May 26, 2016

Looking ahead to Memorial Day, a World War II veteran looks back at the experiences that mattered to him, both in and out of war.

More »
Comment
 
Gloria Steinem Explains Her ‘Bernie Boys’ Comment
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Feminist activist Gloria Steinem explains why her apparent diss of female supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders was anything but.

More »
Comment