Freedom of Speech: Now Playing in Tehran, but Not Toledo

I’ve been following the Iranian protests these last days – like a lot of people.  I’ve been on Twitter (too much) retweeting credible information in a small effort to help.

But it’s made me wonder: what are these courageous people really doing?  Standing up and demanding to have their voices heard.  Standing up and demanding that their leaders be fair to all.  Standing up and demand that the truth be told.

All reasonable and justified goals, in my mind.

And Americans and the world by and large are supporting their demands and echoing the sentiment.

And yet, when hundreds of thousands of people have gotten together at Tea Parties here to say the same thing, what happened?  They are mocked, ridiculed, dismissed and marginalized. That whole ‘tea bagger’ thing is vile and illustrates my point.  Did the media and progressives belittle women’s suffrage, equal rights movements, pro-choice, anti-war, Darfur, pro-gay, anti-God, save the freakin’ trees, bees, whales & seals?  Is it only those people or issues they agree with that are supported and those they abhor that are held up to disdain?  If you love free speech, shouldn’t you support my right to express mine?

Could it be that half a world away, tyranny comes into focus more clearly than it does in Austin or Billings or Cincinnati or Buffalo? Could it be that simply because a party is in power doesn’t mean that the opposition shouldn’t have a voice in Tehran, but it’s perfectly alright if the Democrats ignore the 47% of the country who did not vote for President Obama.  They claim a mandate based on less than six percentage points and respond “we won, you lost” when challenged on their agenda.

Official election results claim Ahmadinejad won the election.  Whether that’s true or not, if he is returned to power, does that mean that his political party should be able to do whatever they wish whenever they wish to whomever they wish?  Does a presidential win mean that stoning women in the street is fine because those in power wish it?  Does it justify keeping people in poverty to pursue personal goals (like nuclear weapons)?  Does it mean that those who aren’t with you deserve no consideration? 

I do not agree with  President Obama’s agenda.  That’s why I didn’t vote for him.  Just because he won the White House should not mean that my voice should be silenced. Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid do not have the right to quash honest debate and the exchange of ideas in the House and Senate.  This is what a representative government is supposed to provide.  The party in power should not ramrod legislation through without a full and honest discussion of the facts of the matter – cost, ramifications,  pros/cons.   According to Dante’s description, I reckon most politicians can already comfortably fit into several of the circles of hell – yet they just can’t stop compounding their sins – this makes them gluttonous, Circle 3 and there you go.  Problem is, they use the American people and our futures to accomplish their goals in this little game.  It is about power and how much you can grab.

The protesters in Iran want their voices heard.  It’s a sad day in American when I have a better chance at being supported in Tehran than in Toledo.

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