In my seventeen years, I've discovered that democracy can be both a wonderful and a terrible thing. It's wonderful when it works like it's supposed to; protecting the rights of all the governed. It's terrible when it alienates the rights of a large percent of the governed, the youth, the future of our nation, who have absolutely no legal say in the government. My name is Kendra Leese, or if you happen to be a member of the organization Red Cloud Rising, Red Cloud One. I am the leader of a nationwide organization of leftist teenagers and young adults who are hard at work trying to change the way our country is governed.

The only problem is, it isn't our country anymore. After a drastic "red scare" began to circulate among parents in many places across the nation, legislation was introduced to outlaw socialism and communism, and imposed dire consequences on any person found to be a member of either party. It was quickly passed. At that time, I was fifteen years old and was already the leader of a small group of socialist teenagers. My parents were less than pleased. I was faced with a choice: abandon my principles and my followers, or defy my parents and the government. It was a very difficult decision to make. I love my parents dearly, and being raised in an Irish-American home made me fiercely patriotic from birth. However, I managed to look at the big picture. The country I loved was going down the tubes, fast, and if I didn't stick to my guns, the decay was only going to continue.

So we all went underground. To be sure, many chose the easy path. The last time I heard, my former right hand woman, Mykala Anderson, was the president of the local high school's Young Democrats club. But, my loyal group and many others across the nation joined together in common cause behind my leadership to form Red Cloud Rising. We come from many backgrounds, many different parts of the country, and even different political parties, but we all agree on one thing: America must change.