The recent revolutions in Egypt and in other nations in that region are being echoed with protests and bloodshed in Libya. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says we’re witnessing a fascinating time in history as citizens try to wrestle democracy from dictators. The more people of the world who are free from their governments, Grassley says, the better off we’ll all be.
“The world has a great deal to gain because with political freedom comes economic freedom and the ingenuity of the people around the world will be able to flower,” Grassley says. “That flowering will produce an increased standard of living, a reduction of poverty, and with all that comes a more peaceful society.”
Some reports say the streets of Libya’s capitol city, Tripoi, are littered with bodies as pro-government troops have allegedly shot down more than 250 people. Grassley and other U.S. senators met a few days ago with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss the situation. Grassley says Clinton had few concrete answers or predictions as everything in that region seems to be in flux.
“I see it very much as an outbreak of people who’ve been denied freedom wanting freedom,” Grassley says. “That’s pretty basic to human nature, to want to be free. I’m not seeing people do things other than what you and I would have a desire to do if we didn’t already live in the greatest country of freedom in the world.” Grassley says he hopes the dominoes fall to democracy, but he knows the ultimate response to these revolts could be continued strife and violence.
“I see society as being very transparent,” Grassley says. “I see that transparency working to the detriment of dictators who want to keep things pretty much a small group of people controlling everything.” He also notes how weeks of anti-government demonstrations in various countries has shown how the Internet and social networks are extremely useful tools for change.