- - Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Thank goodness for Thanksgiving! So much of the year is spent dealing with negative news, but we understand and accept the importance of knowing about forces arrayed against us. It’s valuable because it signals something that we need to be aware of for the safety of ourselves, our family, and of course, for our country.

In our great nation, every day, we experience reminders about the vital importance of gratitude. Gratefulness can be as powerful and valuable as warnings about the malevolent.

Most of us make a point of reminding ourselves about what we are thankful for. During this Thanksgiving holiday, with so much inexplicably horrible news, it’s time to contemplate even more intensely the good around us.

It’s hard to believe we are moving into our third year dealing with a government obsessed with using COVID-19 to control our lives. This realization invites even more gratitude for the people who stepped up during this unfathomable time to defend strangers, their towns, their workplaces, and this country, with advocacy and action rooted in the American ideal. 

I’m especially grateful for the parents who have stepped up to engage with their local school boards. These are everyday parents, likely most never considered themselves ‘activists’ and lived quiet lives. But all that changed when they realized that the twin cancers of “critical race theory” and leftist woke policies were threatening to destroy their children’s educations and futures. Suddenly the private, quiet heroes known as American parents were compelled to become very public advocates and champions not just for their families but for all of us.

It’s been exciting and inspiring watching the news coverage of regular parents deciding not just to get mad but to do something about it. They noticed something was wrong, learned about the issues and became engaged. Even in the face of threats and harassment, they stayed strong and focused on defending their children and, ultimately, this nation.

I am grateful that their advocacy is so powerful that the Democrats felt the putrid need to sic the FBI on these parents. Their inspiration for all Americans is priceless and has helped to turn the tide for everyone who believes that we can do better, that we deserve better, and that we are the ones to make change happen.

This is also a Thanksgiving that sees our original pandemic heroes facing a baffling threat to their livelihoods and careers. These are the same people — nurses and doctors and other health care workers — who worked on the frontline as First Responders during COVID-19 at its most unknown and terrifying. There was no vaccine, no comprehensive therapies, no real understanding of the pandemic except that it could kill you in horrible ways. And yet, they went to work every day, putting their lives at risk because it was their calling and commitment.

Now many face condemnation and crushed careers if they refuse to accept having the vaccine forced on them. Around the country, these selfless heroes who saved us when we were at the greatest risk are being fired, ‘suspended,’ retiring early, or quitting to maintain their values and principles.  

On the one hand, we were thankful to them because of the recklessness it required to go headlong into the fire of COVID-19 to save us. And now we are supposed to condemn many of these same people for making a considered decision about their own health? I choose gratitude and support and condemn politicians issuing edicts forcing our First Responders to violate their own conscience at the risk of ruining their careers and lives.

I’m grateful that we are part of an American experience that has raised generation after generation of people who continue committing their lives to our communities every day at great personal risk. Health care workers, police officers, firefighters, EMTs, our troops, our veterans, and yes, also those grocery stores and pharmacy workers who went to work every day facing hundreds of strangers during a pandemic despite the risk, we thank you.

To be a part of the American experience reminds me, especially during difficult times, that Americans do not and will not abandon their American dream and the values that have helped make this country the best nation on Earth.

Many people have worked frantically to frighten us into submission and threaten us hoping we will abandon what matters to a genuinely free people. I am so thankful the last few months’ polling has made clear Americans are refusing to surrender to the worst among us. Regular Americans, repulsed by how comfortable so many are in jackboots, are leading the way against this lurch toward soft tyranny on every front.

I’m grateful for us, for what we stand for but also for what we do to safeguard the American ideal. This is a Thanksgiving in celebration of not just what we have but what we are committed to protecting.

• Tammy Bruce, the author, host at Fox Nation, and contributor at Fox News, is a radio talk-show host.

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