Cooler weather has been introduced in Alabama and the frenzy surrounding the last election cycle has started to calm down a bit. While the absence of a crimson tide at the ballot box has worried conservatives across the country, hope remains in Montgomery and Washington that better days are yet to come.
In short, I’m saying there’s still reason for Thanksgiving in Alabama and the United States. Certainly we are being led nationally by a President who seems more interested in placating the environmentalists who have backed his campaign.
The same individuals influenced his decisions to shut down the Keystone pipeline while also failing to renew drilling leases off the Gulf and Atlantic coasts. President Biden seems less interested in meeting the ever-expanding needs of the average American household. But there is hope.
We remain threatened within our own borders, not only because of our inability to protect our physical borders, but also because of leadership within the national Democratic Party, which seems content to appease those with extreme social problems. This seems to deserve more attention from national Democrat leaders than working to strengthen the American family and underpin the fundamental principles on which this nation was founded. But there is still reason to believe.
News headlines are awash with wars and military disputes around the world – from the ongoing struggle between Russia and Ukraine to China’s saber-rattling against Taiwan. This, too, conceals North Korea’s continued nuclear weapons tests. I fear that our nation is witnessing a dwindling international respect among our peers – both friends and foes. Countries that once turned to the United States for guidance and support now seek such refuge with others, most of whom do not have America’s best interests at heart. But be brave, my countrymen from Alabama.
There are those in Washington who remain proud of America and the values that many of us still hold dear. There are people in Montgomery who value our Christian heritage and yearn for a return to an honest interpretation of the words “One Nation Under God.”
Despite our many shortcomings as a union, the union remains intact while struggles lie ahead. Control of Congress is crucial as 2024 will see a Republican return to the White House. I can testify that the majority of the Legislature is still seeking and pursuing what is good for Alabama and those who call it home. I pray this will comfort those who watch our actions from afar and often wonder if our leaders understand their daily obstacles.
We will seek to improve education even further in the coming session and I pray to play a vital role in the process as we work with leadership as the plan is designed and implemented. There is a great need for improvement in our education system. However, be thankful that the shortcomings are now being recognized as plans are being drawn up to fix many of the issues in question. Gov. Kay Ivey has expressed her desire for improvements, as have key leaders in the House and Senate. This blossoming attention to detail and willingness to work together should encourage those sending us to Montgomery.
The holiday season is just around the corner. Thanksgiving is here and Christmas will soon be down the chimney. A new year awaits us in January, when new constitutional officials will take the oath of office to move our state forward. The desire is there and the management teams are being built. Plans are being drawn and communication between the governor’s office and the legislature about what is lacking in this state is alive and well.
Knowing that we have such an awareness of the needs of Alabama and a dedication to serving the people of Alabama should serve as cause for thanksgiving at this special time.
From a national perspective, our surroundings would lead us to believe that all hope is lost. But up close, as a member of the Alabama Legislature, I honestly believe that our state’s brightest and most promising days are ahead. And for that I am grateful.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, may we reflect on the cold and hungry souls who first landed on our shores with the ideal of a new beginning and the opportunity to improve life for generations to come? My promise to all who call Alabama home is to play my part in Montgomery to take the necessary steps toward the purist American vision and promise that I still believe can be achieved.
Tracy Estes is the State Representative for Alabama State House District 17 from Winfield.
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