Egypt – Another test of Brand America’s Authenticity

I don’t pretend to know enough about the geopolitical ramifications of the current crisis in Egypt to have a valid opinion on what the economic impact might be for the United States. In researching the issue, I did find a decent article on the subject.

Complicated View

I also learned a bit more about the Suez Canal and the amount of oil that is transported through it. The Suez Canal is considered a geographic chokepoint because of its importance to the world oil trade and because its narrow width could be blocked easily. The Suez Canal provides the shortest shipping route from Asia to Europe, allowing marine transporters to skip going around Africa’s southern tip. I read that about 1.8 million barrels of oil are transported through the canal daily. In addition to the Suez Canal, the SUMED (Suez-Mediterranean) Pipeline carries an additional 1 million barrels a day. For perspective, total world oil production is roughly 84 million barrels a day. Experts are saying the current crisis in Egypt is unlikely to impede transportation of goods through the Suez Canal or SUMED Pipeline. But, just the suggestion of it caused the price of oil to hit a 2-year high.

I am certain the economic impact potential is far more complicated than what I have described above. For example, there is the whole fear of Middle East instability, rise of terrorists, increased threat to Israel, and a host of other considerations that experts will expound on as the Egypt situation continues to evolve.

Simplistic View

But, as a brand builder, I see the decision on which position the U.S. should take much more simplistically. I see it as a test of the authenticity of Brand America’s Promise. Will we walk the talk when the going gets tough? In my opinion, that is the question on the mind of many people around the world.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

I ran across a cartoon that hypothesized what it might be like if the Declaration of Independence were to be signed today. It gave me a chuckle, but I choose to believe that the pun is simply not accurate. My guess is the cartoon is copyrighted, so here is the link.

In contrast to the cartoon, I prefer this video reading of the Declaration of Independence. The emotion of the actors helps emphasize the importance of the words.

Yet I do believe the world is wondering if today’s American’s still believe as deeply in the promise of Brand America as our signing forefathers did.

They wonder if we believe in the sentiment behind Lincoln’s words “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” are intended only for Americans.

Authenticity Matters

Authenticity is key when defining a brand promise. Walking the talk matters. I don’t have any particular wisdom or guidance on how the United States should respond to the crisis in Egypt. I simply know it is a test of the authenticity of Brand America’s Promise, and that the actions taken by “we the people” should be transparently consistent with that promise. It’s a test that I hope Brand America passes with flying colors. It’s a test I don’t think we can afford to fail.

Pay it Forward

What are your thoughts on the potential impact of decisions made in U.S. foreign policy matters on the perceived authenticity of Brand America’s Promise?

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