Iranians Vote? Boro-Baba! Hoseleh DarI?


by MallyJack_Secrets

Since the past presidential election or as I like to call it "When John Kerry got his Bush-whacked", Iranians have just barely begun what can be amusingly generalized as "crabgrass"roots political participation.

In the past election, those ditzy rich Iranian wives clubs played with their balding husbands' dot com or crazy tech money, to see who could donate more zeroes, and take more pictures with the ultimate zero, John Kerry, as parties and secret by-invitation-only fundraisers were held from the hills of Beverly, to the hills of Los Altos, to Hillsborough, and lest no one forget to mention them, the Ton (as in of money) in Atherton. I don't know any rich Iranian neighborhoods in the east coast or Houston, so maybe readers can help me out here.

But Iranian old money (if a dot com cash-out during the nineties counts as old money) went to just one side of a 2 horse race. Not a dime (or any that would admit to it) went to the Bush campaign. Not even as an insurance policy against the dangers of gambling on just one horse, when you know one of 2 will win for sure. That is what we, in the cheap seats, know as "a sure thing". And not betting on both candidates is nothing short of mental damage. The stupidity of this lamest of brain moves has still not fully sunk in, as in this election we appear again poised to make the same goddamned mistake. Or, I should say those mass of unasked organizations that choose to represent the unrepresentative.

How people who are this rich can be that stupid is beyond me. But then again, I have always said, "All I want is the chance to prove that money won't change me." That and I believe that I would make a very good rich person in deed. Indeed!

What these self appointed spokeswives armed with Louis Vuitton checkbooks need to do is, hello? host both candidates! All the while dangling the check and seductively (or not) ask, "So tell me senator, what are YOU going to do for Iranian-Americans if you win?"

That's how you do it! Because if you give all your money to one candidate and they lose, as in John Kerry, then you have no leverage with the winner, what's his name. The game is not to pick the one you like and hope he gets elected. The game is to have whoever the winner ends up being, owe you his victory. Plus all we seem to be doing is giving away candy, or carrots, we don't seem to know that we also need a stick.

"Esteeck? Vot deh fok ees a esteeck?"  You might ask.

Simple. The esteeck is votes, numbnuts.

Iranians are still so paranoid, I swear there are some that think the SAVAK is still out to get them. The cost of this irrational (and arrogant) fear of imminent assassination, is that Iranians don't vote. Probably because they are too afraid to register to vote, or if they do, they still don't vote. Trust me I know, my SAVAKI friend told me the last time I was there for my weekly interrogation.

Because Iranians don't vote, we don't pose a threat to a single candidate who might easily lose an election in an Iranian-thick district, in which he happened to piss us off. Imagine if there was! I can think of no better instant status improvement, and respect gain, than if a key member of legislature, suddenly lost his 4-term sure-thing election, having realized too late, that his anti-Iranian rants, cost him his Capitol cafeteria lunch card!

But why dream when reality is a nightmare? Currently, well, you know what it is like currently. You don't need me to tell you how few of us actually vote, or those of us that do, aren't coordinated to make sure we vote as a block and bring down the bad man. When he good and well needs to be brought down.

Currently, sad Iranian groups like BAIAD (Bay Area Iranian Democrats) valiantly but mistakenly try to bring Democrats to keynote speak at (not to) the Iranian community, and if you ever dared to go to one of these sad small baldroom affairs, and didn't know any better, you'd look around and count only 63 Iranians in the Bay Area, rounded up mercifully by BAIAD to appear to be 100.

Even so-called non-partisan groups like BAIVOTER (Bay Area Iranian American Voter Association), whose primary charter is to simply register you, can barely boast an under 1,000 track record of registrations. Barely because they are so understaffed and underfunded that they don't remember who, nor kept track of how many, people they've actually registered! BAIVOTER is also so broke, that rumor is they failed to convince PARSA to give them a $5,000 grant, losing instead to a 7-brat daycare in Berkeley!

Let us depart the discussion on politics for a moment and take a look at this misplaced priority for a second shall we?

Hmmm, let's see, on the one hand you could fund real voter registration that could help us establish our community firmly within the political process if you wanted to. On the one hand. But, on the other hand you could provide for those disinfecting anti-bacterial wipes, to an untrained, and unlicensed stay at home mom with nothing better to do than de-snottify 7 or 8 of those annoying leaking 3-year olds while they watch "Babak and Friends" 1,000 times a day, and try to figure out why Shohreh Aghdashlou's voice sounds eerily like Satan.

So, fund voter registration and affect change, versus watch TV and slurp up snot all day... What to do? What to do?

But trying to decipher Iranian Foundation logic is a whole other article. Which I am working on.

Back to politics....

So this election, which is possibly the most important one for us yet, given that one candidate wants to "O-bomb-us" within minutes of his "long walk", while another wants to get to know Ahmadinejad and sniff in his "eau du esfand" up close and personal. Both, affect us in the most profound way. Yet neither candidate has any plans to speak to Iranians, never mind hear what we have to say. They don't even want to speak to NIAC. Even if they pretend to be a lobbyist. Even if they are pretending to be AIPAC.

Why? Because unlike last time, neither candidate needs, nor wants our money. Estimates of Iranian donations in the last election go as high as $5 million. A number that Obama can raise in a yawn and a long weekend. Just from his website. So that's out. Sorry Gucci-gals, NO SOUP for you!

The other reason they don't care about us, is because we don't vote, or at least we can't prove that we do in any numbers that worry anyone. Sorry guys, She doesn't want to dance with you!

So now, thanks to the IAPAC (Iranian American Political Action Committee), now a wholly owned subsidiary of PAAIA (Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans), American politicians have been trained to come get our money, but can go right back to doing whatever they want, because a greedy senator from Oklahoma doesn't have to worry too much about the backlash from the Very Organized Iranian Voting Oklahoma-Iranians (VOI-VOI) . By the way does everyone know that thanks to PAAIA, that we have been magically "allied" now! I wonder if anyone told the Monarchists and the Tudeh groups that they can now be friends with the Mojahedeen. Cool! Hey Thanks! PAAIA! You Go Gurl!

When I started to write this piece I was looking for an angle on some kind of uplifting action-generating lecture, you know the part where I am supposed to wrap up a negative observation with some kind of wishful thinking, or hopefully optimistic suggestion for improvement of a bad situation. But now that I think about it some, I think won't do that this time. It's far too tiring.


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more from MallyJack_Secrets

to Abarmard

by MallyJack_Secrets on

Everything you said was good until you brought up NIAC. Nothing against the idea, but don't you think that it is the cart before the horse? NIAC has no authority to do what it does. I'm glad they do it, but they are certainly illegitimate until the Iranian community organizes itself and appoints NIAC the lobbyist that it really is. And before you think it, I did not say lobbyist for whom!

Nothing is Secret!


Reply to IranDokht

by MallyJack_Secrets on

Sorry if the cycnicsm is too much for you too bear. I guess 30 years of watching Iranians try and get a clue, even through the answers are obvious, is a bit frustrating. Maybe you can excuse idiocy in favor of blind loyalty, but I simply can't anymore. Please allow me my right to exclaim that the emperor indeed has not a stich of clothing. And of course I am Iranian. That is why I get to criticize us! Now tell me if I am wrong!

Nothing is Secret!


Some valid points

by Abarmard on

Iranians should get more involved in politics and make their voice heard. No question. Better yet, adding to their vote, their membership in NIAC would greatly allow Iranian influence and point of view to be known. It's the matter of time that the new Iranian generation take over the old and LA culture gradually shape itself to serve the Iranian interest. The sooner, the better.

Although I agree with your general theme, I believe that your writing is after my generation. Still keep writing :)


Dear MallyJack

by IRANdokht on

Although I like your wit and your style of writing, this blog was a hard one for me to read through.

It's troublesome to see how little respect you have for Iranians, our views, our abilities and intelligence.

To know that you see us as pretentious, imbecile members of a herd is insulting and very disturbing. I am curious, if you're generalizing to this extent, how would you describe yourself? Are you iranian too? or are you considering yourself the only exception to the rule?