Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (R) is touting his state as “America at its best,” purposefully setting Tennessee forward as a model for other states to follow in building opportunity, security, and freedom in the U.S.
The Daily Wire obtained exclusive access to a video from Lee promoting his State of the State address, set to be delivered on Monday evening. The governor also spoke with The Daily Wire over the phone on Sunday afternoon ahead of his address.
“Our American spirit is being tested, but in Tennessee we’re proof that America hasn’t lost her way. From frontier to frontrunner, our state has been a beacon to the nation 225 years. This is America at its best,” Lee opens in the promotional video.
“We guard God-given freedom with a safe and just society. We innovate to meet the greatest challenges of our day, we value the privilege of America, and we hold great hope for the future. Now more than ever, it’s clear that our ordinary is the rest of the country’s extraordinary,” he continues. “Our national guard, our nurses and healthcare workers, first responders, teachers, small businesses – Tennessee is the capital of working people, USA. The times we’re living in are not for the faint of heart. Scripture describes an especially wise people who understood their times and knew what to do. May we be those people. As Tennesseans, we will pray, we will serve, we will act. America needs Tennessee because we are America at its best.”
From the chaos in Afghanistan to the spread of Critical Race Theory in U.S. schools, many Americans are worried about the future of the United States, Lee says. His state is providing a model for others to follow to restore the “American spirit,” and people are responding.
Tennessee is one of the most sought out states for individuals and families relocating since the outbreak of COVID-19 nearly two years ago. In 2020, Tennessee topped U-Haul’s list of one-way moves, beating out Texas and Florida. According to Lee, Tennessee’s draw comes down to three of its core values as a state: opportunity, security, and freedom.
“The last couple years have really shown a bright light on the real differences between the way states are operated,” Lee told The Daily Wire. “I think many Americans actually still believe this is the greatest country in the world even though they look around the country and they see things that scare them happening in some places and policies that they think are very troubling.”
“People believe in large part that this is the best country in the world but they want to be reminded of that and they look around the country and they look for places that remind them that America hasn’t lost her way and I think Tennessee is one of those places,” Lee said.
Tennessee is controlled by a Republican governor and Republican supermajorities in the state legislature. Lee and other GOP leaders have used that control to pass a number of conservative policies cracking down on Critical Race Theory in schools, Confucius Institutes on college campuses, and passing legislation that would ban abortion after roughly six weeks.
In addition, Lee and Republicans have pushed back against continued lockdown measures over COVID-19, banning school mask mandates and filing multiple lawsuits against the federal government over vaccine orders.
“There are clearly differences in the amount of government interactions or the amount of government interventions into people’s lives over the past several years,” Lee told The Daily Wire. “I think [Americans] look at Tennessee and they say, ‘that’s a place where I can find opportunity, security, and freedom, and I’m going to go there,’ and they’re coming here in record numbers.”