where the writers are
Iran

Lets get something perfectly straight. Iran's people are protesting a sham election, that would still be a sham even if its outcome was determined by the Iranian voters.

Why?

Because no matter who is the President of Iran, the actual leader is the Ayatollah.

Holding elections to vote for a President does not make a country a representative democracy, unless the elected official actually has the power to make changes which honor and support the people.

So as much as I understand the Iranian people's outrage at the obviously rigged election, their rage is misguided and pointless. in fact, if I didn't know better I'd think this was all part of a plot by the real holders of power in Iran to distract people.

I hope and pray the people of Iran are not distracted. To have a true representative Democracy (a Republic), everyone who has power over the people must be elected  by the people.

A pure democracy doesn't need leaders or elected officials. A true democracy just needs an infrastructure to enable voting. All laws and actions of the country are determined by votes. California is very close to being a true democracy, which shows that on the whole this is a dangerous thing because people, in general, are not very healthy minded. DGMS.

That's why the founding fathers of the USA made us a republic, a representative democracy. Those voted into power answer to the people and (this is critical) are responsible for the well being of the country and all its occupants. They must rise above petty selfishness and look out for the whole so when the occasion arises that the people are making a bad choice, the leader can override them and make the healthy choice. That is the whole point of the presidential office and why it is the highest power in the US. It is not because he can do what he wants, its because he is the last line to prevent the people from making unhealthy mistakes.

That's what the veto is all about. If the people decide to pass a law and all the representatives and senators vote according to the people's wishes, it is up to the president to be a fatherly figure and veto the law, with a full explanation of course.

He may be wrong, and he may lose his next election, but time will tell us if he was right or wrong and we can learn and grow from the experience.

Being a representative of the people requires a certain level of maturity. It requires a calm, intuitive, thoughtful, caring, compassionate and diplomatic outlook. Where the US fails (actually falls flat on its face) is that none of these criteria are used when people determine who to vote for. Instead the candidate picks an issue, picks the side of the issue where most people agree and then runs on that platform. Not only is this short sighted, but it shows a very juvenile mind who really has no right being a representative of the people.

Its not really the politician's fault though. Its ours. We allowed the system to devolve to the point it is now, where representatives care only about their own bottom lines, their own power and honestly don't give a crap about people. We allowed ourselves to be manipulated.

A democracy of any kind can only function in a healthy way if the participants in it are educated, aware and healthy.

So we got what we paid for. We allowed the plastic personalities to percolate upward.

Once in a while, a person who cares, is thoughtful, and healthy minded gets elected. I believe that Barack Obama is such a man. He really is looking out for our best interests. He really does care. And he is smart enough to figure out how to tackle the problems that have landed at his feet. We need more people like him in government. We need to elect more people like him to be our representatives.

The people of Iran do not actually have the ability to set their own destiny. All that power lies with someone "appointed by God." That person and his advisers bear that burden alone. Are they healthy? Do they really know what healthy is? Are they good at listening to the people? Do they have the people's best interest at heart? We can only pray that they do.

In the United States we can vote for people who are true representatives. We don't, but we can. Therefore we have it somewhat better than our brothers and sisters in Iran.

We can in any six year period completely replace most of the power centers of this country. We can choose to vote for someone other than the power centers want us to vote for. We can shift away from partisan politics, away from the idealism of the right and the left and vote for people who want to represent us in healthy and diplomatic ways.

Its really up to us.

The Iranian people, who honestly seem a lot like us, don't really have a choice. God bless them and may they find true freedom.

Actually: God bless us all and may we all find true freedom.