Egypt today can seem a depressing place. Discourse seems to only revolve around price hikes, fuel shortages, tragic train and road accidents, attacks on innocent girls and scary plans by scary-looking people to take the country back to the stone ages. Anything and everything is cited as yet another piece of damning proof of the incompetence and danger of the Islamists, feeding into a spiraling cycle of depravity that can only be broken by a full fledged coup d'etat by mystical heroic figures who will intervene to save the day.
The principal proponents of this desperate outlook are very same "progressive" idealists who initiated the overthrowal of Mubarak's rule, and who now look longingly to an era where traffic was apparently less chaotic, where tragic accidents were apparently less horrific, where the educational system was apparently less awful, where people and religions were apparently less uncivil, where Gaza was apparently less incendiary, and on and on and on. And apparently forgotten and forgiven are the cynical and stifling politics, cultural atrophy, failed war and foreign policy, stagnant economy and mass corruption emblematic of the military state.
The exacerbation with the reprehensible Islamists is fully comprehensible, but cheering on the return of the successors to the free officers is wrong-headed. Egypt cannot afford to relive the failed six decades of military rule. Egypt must create an equitable, inclusive, forward-looking framework to develop itself socially, politically and economically. The country needs leaders capable of addressing, organizing and leading it out of chaos and into the modern world. That will not be found with a military command rooted in despotic failure anymore than with cunning Islamists rooted to a regressive philosophy.
Egyptians should not be satisfied with the less terrible. Egypt can do much better.