By Stacey Roberts
“There is no one left, none but all of us.”
Some of us have gone to the polls and voted, lured by the promise of change. Some of us have protested or marched. Some of us have ranted about injustice on all the platforms we have these days. Some of us have wondered who’s in charge and what they’re up to. Some of us have watched the news and want to know who they’re working for. Some of us have done what we can.
All of us have watched our elected government, funded by our money, descend into partisan gridlock that looks like sniping toddlers in need of a nap and a snack.
All of us have watched America become coin-operated, as big business and special interest groups buy their way to first in line then shut the line down. All of us have seen campaign ads that scare us into thinking the other side will take money out of our pockets but reassure us that their side will put it back. All of us have noticed that these candidates are promising nothing else.
All of us have watched politicians put themselves up for sale with our wishes and wants as part of the package deal. All of us have watched the price drop on their principles until Senators and Congresspersons are giving our institutions away for party favors or a campaign check, or just the empty promise of it.
All of us have borrowed money against future prosperity that seems less likely with each passing day. All of us have worked harder than ever for less than ever. All of us think about retirement as a pipe dream while we buy lottery tickets.
All of us have learned about the greatness of America’s history and wonder if there will ever again be an American government capable of ending slavery, saving the country from a Depression, winning wars and peace, and leading the world not by might and money but by the principles we’ve held and fought for since we were weak and destitute.
If our leaders are for sale and business is buying them, if our principles can be thrown away for pyrrhic partisan victories, if everyone is truly only interested in getting and spending, then there is no one left to change it, to fix it, to redeem the country so many have worked and fought and sacrificed for.
No one left but all of us.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.