Is it really that bad in the United States? Every day, this country displays to me how lucky I am to be here and not there.
On the other side of the planet, an influential election is taking place in Iran. Hard-line candidate Ibrahim Raisi is challenging incumbent Hassan Rouhani to become the next Iranian president in this Friday’s election. Rouhani has been known as a moderate president during his five years as the head of the country. His moderation is not exactly humanistic, many say.
During his tenure, Rouhani has been an enemy to the advancement of human rights in the Middle East and the rest of the world. According to Human Rights Watch, Rouhani has not fulfilled many of his campaign promises he made when he first ran for office. Drug-related offenders have been executed at an alarming rate and free speech continues to be a massive hurdle for Iranians. Facebook, Twitter, and hundreds of websites are barred from use.
Here in America, no matter how hard he has tried, Donald Trump has not been able to block any portion of the first amendment that has and will continue to be used against him during his time as president.
Over in Iran, users of Telegram and Instagram have been subject to arrest by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. This proves to me just another reason why we have been so blessed in this country. Freely, we can say what we want, post what we want, and spread all the fake news that our little heart’s desire. Even our nation’s president can say whatever he wants, showcasing just how free our press stands.
As I sit in Tim Ryan’s congressional office on my second day, it is clear to see and hear the frustration around me with the Trump presidency. Some of the calls to the office that I answer as an intern are simply therapy sessions for people worried about our president and his ties to Russia. And believe me, there have been many. Nevertheless, I sit here – writing what I want.
Here in America, the debates are about if a drug offender should be incarcerated for ten years or two. In Iran, a drug-related offense can lead to an execution.