Iran, Iran, Iran
Am I the only one who doesn’t see a correlation between what’s going on in Iran and a lacking backbone in America?
I have only been keeping tacit track of what’s going on in Iran but obviously there is some unrest over the election results. Is anybody really surprised? The elections in Iran are sort of like a foregone conclusion. That is, the Supreme Leader is still making all the decisions; the president is just a figurehead. The Family gets what the Family wants. And you don’t cross Family. Doesn’t anyone remember what happens when you cross the Mafia? But I can understand voters feeling violated. Progress is human nature; people around the world saw America choose between a black man and a white woman and the world was inspired.
Still, I have a problem with all the direct correlations.
I was speaking with this friend of mine yesterday on Facebook. Apparently he sees this Iran thing as a direct parallel between what the LGBT community in America is going through right now. He doesn’t understand why many of his queer brethren can’t just rise up and speak their minds! Then the oppressors will be put in their place; they will gladly cede control if the LGBT community would just PROTEST!
I don’t agree with that.
Then I thought about it; I did a bit of admittedly rudimentary research. Iran has 70 Million people; America has 308 Million. The dynamics of a society like that in America are vastly more complex and spread out than the decidedly smaller, more concentrated regions in Iran.
The elections in Iran affect everyone. That is a fact. The decisions of a moderate government would be different (even if the outcome is the same) than the decisions of an extreme government (backed by extreme the ruling family). While I can appreciate the fact that gay marriage should be allowed (once you allow it in some places, you can’t take it back. Period) the fact of the matter is that gay marriage doesn’t affect me directly. It doesn’t impact my life; it doesn’t impinge on my ability to live my life. My two best friends are gay (and married; in California; …for now…) and if that privilege was taken away from them, I would be very sad. But I’d still live my life. And I’m sure that they both would too. They’ve been together for a long time; they complement each other well; I can’t imagine why either of them would go away. However for the dissatisfied Iranian, this is their life. While married or civil union for my friends; life will go on. For these people in Iran, the change of rule, even if it doesn’t factually change much, would be huge.
So I considered it. I wondered what America would be like if America were like Iran. 1/3 the amount of people with every man, woman, and child in one way or another directly affected by the gay marriage issue. With a smaller and more concentrated population. Half this hypothetical America would be in support of gay marriage and half of which were against it. Call it extreme left wing GLADD member vs. extreme right wing fundamentalist Christians.
I’m pretty sure that if gays and lesbians were strolling by their fundamentalist Christian neighbors store front, (fundamentalist Christians with machine guns at the ready) kissing and loving, in a lawless society; then I’d bet there’d be bloodshed in this America. The same would be true if men and women were swapping spit; getting down to bestiality in the streets as the turban clad lesbians and gays looked away in disgust. There would be blood.
So when you’re comparing IRAN with AMERICA, you need to level the playing field. My friend has always been opinionated but in this regard, I feel that he’s being blinded by the passion. And passion leads to irrational thinking. Which could lead to bestiality in the streets. (Besides, aren’t people already protesting? My NYC friend needs to get hip with Prop 8 in California; there were protests all over the place!)
Then there’s my Associated Content friend Jeff. Jeff just published this piece about “Iran What Americans Should Have Done in 2000?” Jeff posits that if people (Floridians even!) had just demanded a recount in 2000, these last eight years may have been the happy old times of John Kerry by the fireside.
I don’t think that would have been true either.
I believe that the 2000 American Presidential election and the whole “hanging chad” controversy was wrong, I also don’t know how different anything would have necessarily been. 9/11 would have still happened and the sitting President would have had to have done something.
I am also not unsympathetic to the ravages of war. My brother and his girlfriend both went to Iraq; they are reservists and could even be going back. In 2010. And there’s a Democrat in office. So it seems to me that however things went down, it might have been different but it also might have been worse. Especially if John Kerry was a President “installed” after another one had been elected. I’m sure the world would have looked to the United States quizzically. And when 9/11 did happen, all the blame from Republicans would have fallen to John Kerry.
But that’s just it! It’s not any one thing or another! It’s a totally different mindset. It’s crazy, stubborn people with crazy stubborn ideas, doing totally off-the-wall-crazy actions. So when my friend Jeff implies that President Kerry = Sunshine & Roses; I don’t think he’s being completely honest with his readers or with himself.
Let’s keep Americas problems in America and let the rest of the world do their thing.