By Stacey Roberts
No matter who wins the next election, America loses.
We already know our next President doesn’t have the integrity George Washington had when he put America’s cause ahead of personal considerations and patriotism ahead of party.
We already know our next President doesn’t have the strength Abraham Lincoln had when he reminded us of the heartbreaking necessity of shared national sacrifice and the need for American unity despite the inherent divisiveness of geography, class, religion, partisanship, or belief.
We already know our next President doesn’t have the optimism Franklin Roosevelt needed to bring Americans from the depths of despair to the heights of hope, which we used to end a Depression, win a world war, and become a global superpower.
We already know our next President doesn’t have the courage it took for Dwight Eisenhower to warn Americans about the corrupt corporate interests that keep politicians in office and our government mired in self-serving dysfunction.
After the next election the House of Representatives will be more petty and vindictive. They will spend their time and our money investigating things that most of us don’t care about, turning their Constitutional role of oversight into a partisan hammer to smash the other side with.
After the next election the United States Senate will have driven more moderates into retirement or downfall. What was once called “the world’s greatest deliberative body” will keep devolving into a stalled pack of expensive do-nothings for whom compromise equals defeat and keeping their seats well into their doddering old age is what really matters.
After the next election the national debt will rise. Healthcare will remain unaffordable. The monumental and essential task of educating future generations will struggle to breathe, its staffing and funding choked off.
After the next election more hardworking people will live in poverty. More billionaires will be added to the lists.
After the next election the media’s balance sheets will be fat with all the money they made from political bloodsport. Partisan pundits and commentators will be set for life. People whose names you didn’t know a year ago will sign lucrative contracts to go on TV and radio and write books to tell you how horrible politics is even as they gorge off what falls from its table.
After the next election we will keep giving all we have and get nothing.
After the next election the people of the United States will find out that the only change from the last election is that things are worse, and that America’s decline from greatness has gotten one more high-octane boost.
After the next election the citizens of this country will realize that they were the only ones who could have changed all that.
They might not.
If they don’t, the next election will be just like the last one.
Stacey Roberts is the author of “No One Left But All Of Us” and the founder and executive director of the Valley Forge Project. He can be reached at email@example.com.