David Brooks' column today crystallizes an unfortunate reality in U.S. reaction to undemocratic changes of government. In short, elections are irrelevant.
Promoting elections is generally a good thing even when they produce victories for democratic forces we disagree with. But elections are not a good thing when they lead to the elevation of people whose substantive beliefs fall outside the democratic orbit. It’s necessary to investigate the core of a party’s beliefs, not just accept anybody who happens to emerge from a democratic process.
Update: The Wall Street Journal takes David Brooks one step further, and openly says that Egypt needs an Augusto Pinochet.
Egyptians would be lucky if their new ruling generals turn out to be in the mold of Chile's Augusto Pinochet, who took power amid chaos but hired free-market reformers and midwifed a transition to democracy.
That leaves me pretty speechless.