This year, among other things, I’m grateful to live in a country where one group, party, or faction doesn’t wield a monopoly on power. Where power, in fact, ultimately belongs to no one but the republic itself.
I was born in Iran, and for the last two weeks, the government there has waged a vicious campaign of repression against its own people. They have killed, maimed, and detained. They have shot them dead in the streets. They have picked them off from atop buildings. They have choked off their access to the internet and, thereby, to information and the world. It’s a regime at war with its people.
It started when people revolted against a price hike on gas, but the government was ready. It immediately ordered forces to fire on people, rapidly shut the internet down across the country, and cut people off from the world. God only knows what happened in the dark.
So I’m grateful to live in a country that separates church and state and respects no supreme leader but the supreme law of the land. Somewhere that reveres freedom of thought, speech, and expression even when they’re messy. Somewhere that lays power at the foot of people not just in name but in letter and spirit.
I’m grateful for this constitutional republic, and I’m grateful for democracy.
It is messy, but it’s a miracle.