It is difficult to change ones stance on an issue and not be accused of flip-flopping. It is especially hard to do here in Iranian.com where the comments can get especially nasty. However, I have never been the timid sort and as a veteran writer on this site, used to the trenches of the comment section, I have developed thick skin. Plus, I have a right to change my mind. If I did not have this right then campaigning till the last minute would be a worthless endeavor. Yet we see it happen in the best of democracies! So here I jump.
I have been moved by the show of daring and passion of the supporter of Karrubi and Moussavi to change my mind about voting. As some of you know I wrote an article a week or so ago claiming that I was uninspired by the choice of candidates, especially Moussavi, the main challenger to Ahmadinejad. I felt an ennui and weariness towards a theocratic system which I abhor. I felt too alienated and the candidates were too lackluster to make me want to vote in a system I do not deem democratic.
Now, do not get me wrong, I still abhor the system and the theocracy, I am not even sure if our votes get counted or if Moussavi gets elected he will not be politically impotent like Khatami before him. However, I now believe that we should vote as an act of support for the students and those who have taken these elections to revolutionary proportions. I salute those students,activists and supporters of change who have brought the nation to this fearless place where we had not been since '79 or maybe 18 Tir.
In June 2003 I felt the same way
I admired the students of Sharif University when they shouted 'marg bar diktator" when Ahmadinejad paid them a visit a year or so ago. I especially loved a photo of a nerd with thick glasses and beard holding a sign saying, "Rais jomhooreh facist, polytechnique jaay to neest!" I cannot help but cheer this youth. I cannot help and support them. This one is their battle and we should stand by them in solidarity.
These past few days I have been getting eyewitness accounts, clips, article and t.v. coverage of the fervor in Iran. The slogans themselves are enough to move you to want to support those who come out and shout them. One said by Karroubi supporters, brings tears to my eyes every time I repeat it, because it has been my biggest wish all of my adult life: "Hagh Zaneh Irani, Hejab Ekhtiari!" I cannot help but cheer for those people on the streets of Tehran who shout this out for me. My heart yearns to be with them.
What these mostly young and female supporters of change have done is to take these elections to revolutionary proportions and for that I salute them. No matter what happens. Whether or not these votes get fairly countd or a new president comes to power, I think it is worth it to vote as an act of support for these men and women. They have, with their fervor, turned the act of voting into an act of resistance worthy of undertaking.
For those of you ready to lynch me for flip-flopping remember this from my favorite founding father Tom Paine(I am paraphrasing): those who hold too dearly to their opinions risk becoming imprisoned by them.
I will end with another favorite chant heard on the streets of Tehran: "Marg bar Taliban cheh Kabol,cheh Tehran!"
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