Being a young person interested in politics, it’s not often that I hear people telling me how thankful they are for government. Doesn’t it seem like if and when you hear someone talking about government, they’re mostly complaining?

In fact, there is a popular quote that circulates each election cycle, which encourages people to vote, just so they can have the right to complain! Who’s to say that we can’t look at our government with gratitude, as well? I mean after all, it is the season to be thankful.

So… What is there to be thankful about in our government? For starters, we can be assuredly thankful for the opportunity to choose our government. We even often have the opportunity to vote directly on policy issues, especially in state government.

Just this past election there were five statewide amendments that were placed on the ballot for us to approve or disapprove. I am thankful for the right to vote and am even more thankful for a government that respects that right.

When discussing government, we must remember who that really is. We tend to think of ‘government’ as just politicians. In reality, it consists of individuals who maintain our standard of living on a daily basis.

This includes police officers, fire fighters, military personnel, social workers, educators and many more. Without these ‘government’ officials working each day to protect, educate and assist us, our quality of life would suffer.

On a local level, I am thankful for elected officials who appreciate Alabama values. While I often disagree with our state’s current leadership, I do appreciate the fact that our representatives in state and local government do their best to uphold and preserve the values of Alabama families.

This, to me, includes developing state budgets in a conservative manner and expressing appreciation for taxpayer dollars. Whether I agree or disagree with specific budgeting policies, I do respect that they have at least tried to pay tribute to conserving taxpayers’ dollars in drafting state budgets.

See there! We can be thankful for government, too!

“To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction,” said physicist Isaac Newton in his ‘third law’ of physics. In politics, we can (or should be able to) apply this law as well. Let’s call this our ‘Political Third Law’ of sorts: for every negative government action there can also be an equal and positive action.

As we begin the season for gratitude and giving, let’s not forget those in government who are working for our common interests. Too often a few rotten apples spoil the character of those few good men and women. Happy Thanksgiving!

Brett Johnson
Staff Writer

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