Sunday, June 14, 2009
News of the violent demonstrations and government efforts to squelch the protests that have followed the presidential election in Iran are vivid reminders of the miracle of our American political system. In the United States we enjoy a peaceful transfer of power every four or eight years. Even in the aftermath of the bitterly disputed results of the Bush v Gore campaigns in 2000 our party leaders remained civil and there were no violent protests. Time and time again events around the world leave me in awe of the wisdom of our founding fathers for creating this hybrid Democracy/Republic that continues to stand the tests of time. As a Democrat on the losing side of the 2000 election I can somewhat empathize with feeling that an election was stolen, but then again I have no comprehension of what it must be like to live in a country where there is no transparency and no recourse for challenging the election results.
The fact that I am able to reflect on the 2000 election and express my dissatisfaction with the results is a gift that comes with being born a citizen of the United States of America. At this very moment Iranian citizens do not have access to Facebook, Twitter, cell phones etc because the government has shut them down. How ironic that one of the freedoms protected in the U.S. is our freedom to say negative things about that very government. No, the United States and it's political system may not be perfect--but it does seem to be the best thing that the world has going. I am grateful to be an American.