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A New Global Politics Emerges
So I sat in a chair at MSNBC this morning right at 11am, and then the announcement came - Mubarak is stepping down. For me this will be a day I will never forget for many reasons, And I thank MSNBC for giving me the chance to then comment on these extraordinary events on television. What an honor it was. And I remain emotionally drained, excited and cautiously optimistic.
My own view, as I said on the air, is that we are entering a new era of not just Egyptian, Arab or Middle Eastern politics but of global politics. I wrote about this a few days ago in this piece, so I won't repeat what I said then. But several quick thoughts:
The Cairo Speech - We cannot forget that President Obama went to the region 18 months ago and argued against Arab exceptionalism - that in fact the region could see democracy flourish. In rereading this speech today it is impossible to argue that Obama has been behind the curve in these events, or did not help inspire them. He did not make these events happen, but he certainly played an important role.
These events will inspire a new global generation. More than half the world today is under 30, and in the developing world the percentage is much higher. These young people throughout the world, wired together through globalization and modern media, will determine the fate of the world in the 21st century. Their interconnectedness has allowed them to see what is possible in human society, the kind of freedom and opportunity open and free societies offer. The Egyptian uprising, wherever it heads, will become a critical teaching moment for young men and women through the world who want a better life for themselves and their countries. And in that sense I think this is an event of enormous global importance, a historic tipping point that helps shape an entire global generation's understanding of what is possible.
I have argued for some time now that we are entering a new global political era that will not look at all like our 20th century politics. The events of the past several weeks have confirmed that. It is a new global paradigm, and many of the rules, assumptions and understandings of the past will simply not apply to a new, fast-changing world, a world that has the opportunity to be so much better than what has come before.