Guest column: Grateful for our nation

Some would have us believe that America is on its last breath and headed towards certain destruction. I reject that cynical attitude, writes Senator Brent Hill.

Every day I get emails telling me how terrible our country is doing. I bet you see a lot of those too.

You turn on your radio, television, or computer and you are bombarded with anti-government rhetoric claiming corruption and deception. Eventually, they wear us down; they get us discouraged and angry. They would have us believe that America is on its last breath and headed towards certain destruction. I reject that cynical attitude.

When this country was established, our Founding Fathers believed it had a Divine Destiny—that its formation, protection, and mission were part of God’s plan. They believed that God is deeply concerned about what happens in this nation, because America stands as a beacon of hope to His children across the globe.

And our miraculous history supports that belief: from our incredible victory in the Revolutionary War to the inspired creation of the U.S. Constitution; from the preservation of this nation through a terrible Civil War to its successful defense of freedom in many wars since; from its survival through the Great Depression to its dominance in world finances. Time after critical time, when the odds against us appeared insurmountable, this nation we call America has been preserved and strengthened.

Is it any wonder that our nation’s Founders closed the Declaration of Independence with the words: “And in support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”

As I visit other countries, usually for diplomatic purposes, I find nations striving to provide the freedoms, opportunities, and prosperity afforded our citizens. Many have made progress as they have embraced the principles espoused by our Constitution. But one need only spend a short time in any other country to appreciate the extraordinary blessings we enjoy as Americans.

Of course, we have our challenges and we must always face them head-on and work together for resolutions. But despite our weaknesses, which have existed since our inception, we enjoy a level of freedom and opportunity never before achieved in the history of this planet.

As disgusted as I am over politicians who put their own greed ahead of the people they represent, I recognize that they are few, and I am grateful for the thousands of honest public servants who are making significant sacrifices to faithfully serve.

I am indebted to hundreds of thousands of courageous men and women who have sacrificed blood and treasure in defense of liberty here and around the world.

I am thankful for a Constitution, inspired of God, that establishes checks and balances to prevent any one president or any one congress or any one supreme court from destroying our nation. Even on those occasions in history when we have been plagued by bad leaders, bad legislation, or bad judgements, our form of government has provided correction and healing, bringing us back to the Divine Destiny our Founders envisioned.

Yes, we have problems in America, and we must confront and solve those problems. But in all of our confrontation, let us never lose sight of our greatness and goodness. America is a choice land; a blessed land; a promised land. We live in a time of thanksgiving. On this Thanksgiving Day, let us give thanks.

Hill, a Republican from Rexburg, serves as president pro tempore of the Idaho Senate.