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Still reason for hope this Thanksgiving

Cooler weather has been ushered into Alabama and the frenzy around the recent election cycle has begun to calm ever so slightly. While the lack of a crimson tidal wave at the ballot box has created concern for conservatives across the nation, there remains hope in Montgomery and Washington better days are still ahead.

In short, I am saying there is still reason for Thanksgiving in Alabama and the U.S. Certainly, we are being led at the national level by a president who seems more concerned with appeasing the environmentalists who backed his campaign.

These same individuals have 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 to be less concerned with meeting the ever-growing needs of the average American household. Yet there remains hope.

We remain under threat from within our own borders, not only due to our inability to protect our physical borders, but because of leadership within the national Democratic Party who seem content on placating those with extreme social issues. This seems to warrant more attention from national Democratic leaders than working toward strengthening the American family and undergirding the foundational principles upon which this nation was founded. But there is still reason to believe.

News headlines are filled with wars and military confrontations around the world—from the continued battle between Russia and Ukraine to the Chinese saber-rattling toward Taiwan. Even this fails to mention the continued nuclear weapons tests by North Korea. I am fearful our nation is witnessing a withering of international respect among our peers—both friend and foe. Countries who once turned to the United States for direction and support are now seeking such refuge from others, most of whom do not have America’s best interest at heart. But take heart, my fellow Alabamians.

There remain those in Washington who continue to take pride in America and the values many of us still hold dear. There are those in Montgomery who cherish our Christian heritage and long for a return to an honest interpretation of the words, “One Nation Under God.’’

Despite our numerous shortcomings as a union, the union still remains intact, as battles lie ahead. Control of Congress is critical, as will be returning a Republican to the White House in 2024. I can attest to the fact the majority of the Legislature still seeks and pursues what is good for Alabama and those who call it home. I pray this brings some comfort to those who watch our actions from afar and often must wonder do our leaders understand their daily obstacles.

We will be looking to improve education even more in the upcoming, session, as I pray to play a critical role in the process, while partnering with leadership as the plan is being drafted and implemented. Much improvement is needed in our educational system. But be grateful the shortcomings are now being recognized, as plans are being penned to remedy many of the issues in question. Gov. Kay Ivey has exclaimed her desire to see improvement, as have key leaders in the House and Senate. This blooming attention to detail and willingness to work together should be of encouragement to those who send us to Montgomery.

The holiday season is upon us. Thanksgiving is here and Christmas will be sliding down the chimney soon. A new year awaits in January, as new constitutional officers will take the oath of office to move our state forward. The desire is there and the leadership teams are being constructed. Plans are being drawn and the communication between the governor’s office and the Legislature about what ails this state is alive and well.

Knowing we have such an awareness to the needs of Alabama and a dedication to serve the people of Alabama should serve as a reason for thanksgiving during this special time.

From a national perspective, our surroundings would cause us to believe all hope has been lost. But from an up-close perspective as a member of the Alabama Legislature, I honestly believe our state’s brightest and most promising days lie ahead. And for this, I am grateful.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, may we think back to the cold and hungry souls who first landed on our shores with the ideal of a new beginning and an opportunity to make life better for the generations to follow? My pledge to all who call Alabama home is to play my part in Montgomery to take the necessary steps forward toward the purist American vision and promise, which I still believe can be achieved.

Tracy Estes is Alabama State House District 17’s state representative from Winfield.

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