From the historic hallways of the most beautiful state Capitol in our nation, this is Senator Keith Ingram.
Like most of you, I have so much to be personally thankful for – my health, my family, the roof over my head and more blessings than I can even count.
But Thanksgiving is a national holiday, so it’s appropriate that we remember the many things that we as a nation should be thankful for.
We are free to worship as we choose.
We are free to speak our minds, even if we want to severely criticize our government leaders.
We’re free to participate in government and vote for our favorite candidates.
If they win the election, they’re allowed to take power. In a dictatorship you can always vote for the opposition candidate.
The problem is, after all the results are counted the opposition never seems to get more than a few percent of the total vote.
Americans can take for granted that business is conducted in a free marketplace.
I know a lot of business people who complain about government regulations. But the fact is that government tries to serve as an impartial referee, to ensure fairness and transparency in the marketplace.
For example, if you invest in a company listed on the stock market, you have a pretty clear idea of the accuracy of its balance sheet.
That’s why people from all over the world invest on Wall Street, rather than Moscow or Beijing.
In America we have the freedom to be left alone, if we so choose.
The police cannot break down our door unless they have probable cause, which means they have convincing proof that they have brought before a judge.
And in America, judges and prosecutors are elected, and we’re guaranteed a trial by a jury of our peers.
If we’re accused of a crime, the government has to prove its case, we don’t have to prove our innocence. It’s the other way around in many foreign countries.
I firmly believe that it’s because of our multitude of freedoms that we enjoy prosperity.
The simple truth is that communities prosper when everyone is free to earn a decent living.
Look around the world and you’ll notice that countries without freedom are also the countries with the most poverty.
Of course, there’s a lot we can do to make life better in the United States. For my entire adult life I’ve tried to improve schools, make health care more affordable and give the police the tools they need to fight crime.
But let’s not overlook the many blessings and freedoms that we enjoy as Americans.
Every day we wake up in the greatest nation on earth, and for that we all should be thankful.
So from my family to yours, have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.
From the Capitol, it is always my great honor and sincere privilege to serve you as your state Senator. This is Keith Ingram.