The world is watching as ordinary Iranian men and women take to the streets of their communities and towns to protest an autocratic government that has long repressed their basic human rights and squandered their resources to enrich and support terrorists and other oppressive regimes. As these protests continue, and as violent tactics are employed against them, Stand Up Republic is encouraged by any people who commit to peace, justice, and liberty in the world. It is our hope that these demonstrations will lead to a freer, more democratic Iran.
The Iranian protests are important for another reason as well; they remind us why we fight for liberty, justice, and truth here in the United States. Our nation was founded by ordinary men and women who threw off the yoke of tyranny in pursuit of those same principles we treasure today. Despite its imperfections, America has stood as a beacon for liberty and a bastion of democracy, constantly striving to live up to its foundational principles. America’s example is reflected in the hopes and dreams of people around the world who yearn to breathe free. Every threat, every attack, and every attempt to undermine our democracy in America strengthens dictators and dims the light of liberty for those abroad as well.
Pundits and observers have long argued that some people and cultures — such as Iran’s — are not naturally disposed to liberty and democracy. It is true that America cannot, and should not, impose democracy on others. But it is entirely untrue that some people do not, by their nature, innately desire freedom. Young Iranian men and women, who have lived their entire lives under an authoritarian regime, are standing up now in pursuit of freedoms they’ve never personally known. The desire for liberty is deeply ingrained; it is, as our founding fathers wrote, a self-evident truth. It is only by force that some leaders manage to rob individuals of their natural freedom, and we must stand up to oppose this oppression in all its forms.
Stand Up Republic’s Statement on the Protests in Iran was originally published in Stand Up Republic on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.