We American's can speak out, criticize our elected officials, and peacefully demonstrate pretty much without the fear of reprisal?News on the international wire services this morning show police in Moscow have detained about 100 people suspected of planning a rally near The Kremlin. Do you notice the similarities here and the differences.
I recently returned from 9 days of travel in Russia, a beautiful country. Russia is larger geographically than I had imagined, and much more beautiful. As I rode the bullet train from Moscow to St. Petersburg , the landscape and vistas reminded me of some of the scenes from the movie Dr. Zhivago. Despite incredible natural resources, Russia is not free. The Russian people still live in fear. The average Russian has no say in governmental policy and can do little to influence it's outcome. Dissidents are few and far between.
Here in the US, we are witnessing street protests by Americans who are unhappy with government policy. How very American and yes how healthy. We can protest and yes we can create change. The major difference between us and the Moscovites is that we have a free voice, we can vote unfettered and we can change our elected officials. The people of Moscow can not. Putin will run unopposed for President for another 4 years and probably 4 more . Our elected officials seldom run for election unopposed. Also, anyone can get on the ballot here. True there is a process to getting on the ballot as a candidate, but contrary to popular belief, it is an open process.
We American's have much to be thankful for. Let's start channeling our energies into working within the structure we have created to effect the change we desire.
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