Many Libertarians and conservatives, and not a few liberals, are expressing intense concern about the aftermath of the Arab Spring. The preliminary results of the first post-Spring elections, in Tunisia, deepen their concern. An “Islamist ” party prevailed easily in what everyone agrees were fair elections. I would prefer a market-oriented democratic party favoring separation of religion and state had won. Unfortunately, Tunisian history and thirty years of tyranny did not produced conditions propitious to those views. The reality is that the dictatorship persecuted the Islamists and that they resisted bravely and effectively. Of course, the average democratically inclined first-time Tunisian voter was appreciative. What else would you expect? The leadership of the winning Islamist party insist loudly it’s a moderate party with no intention of turning back the clock on such things as women’s rights, for example. Why not believe them for a while? I, for one, with my origins, am deeply aware of the fact that the parties that rolled back the progress of communism in Europe post-WWII and who presided over an expansion of both prosperity and individual liberties called themselves “Christian Democrats.” An overt religious affiliation in a country that is largely religious is not the worst thing possible. What’s the alternative, anyway? Do you want to call for a return to dictatorship? Will you begin missing Saddam Hussein, or even the small corrupt despot Ben Ali of Tunisia?