Jim Bronson: Right from the Berkshires, an introduction

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PITTSFIELD

Recently, a group of your neighbors approached The Eagle with the idea of writing a series of articles representing viewpoints and ideas not often discussed
in local media, specifically perspectives from a conservative/libertarian/Republican point of view.

We originally planned to title this feature "The Berkshire Conservative." After kicking the name around a while, we concluded the conservative moniker potentially limiting.

You will see this column here every other week. For illustrative purposes, let us call every person that thinks or votes to the right of center a righty.

One might be wondering why The Eagle chose to publish our column because it has been said that at most there are 50 righties in Berkshire County. Our research indicates upwards of 20,000 people in the county are righties, to be sure a minority in a place with over 130,000 residents. I'll wager that 20,000 are exponentially more right-wingers than you thought.

The fact is righties are not alone in the Berkshires. To close out the introduction and answer a question or two along the way, let me tell you a bit more about the writers who will take turns writing in this space.

All of us live here. Some are natives. Some, like me, are transplants. The men and women come to you with varied backgrounds; you will find former military and law enforcement personnel, an economist, a couple of business people, an attorney and a publisher.

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Did I just hear someone say, "Great. Lawyers, guns and money?" Someone else said, "tea party, NRA, big business."

As you get to know us, we trust you will find our opinions reasoned, informed and thoughtful. We will not present homogenized content, as authors will bring their unique style and perspective.

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We are not intent on concocting political hit pieces or engaging in name-calling, we will leave that to others. Sure, we will call out politicians when appropriate, though our writing will typically focus on important issues and ideologies. There are no puppeteers, masters, organizations, moneyed interests or what have you behind our words, just eight or nine of us that felt the time was right (pun intended) for this column.

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We sincerely thank the management at the Eagle for publishing our work. We invite your feedback through letters to the editor or via the Eagle's website.

In the coming weeks, our discussion topics will include the major change in curriculum coming to a school near you called Common Core, the proposal to increase the minimum wage, health care, foreign policy, and much more. We look forward to the discourse.

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As for me, I will bring you commentary from the conservative viewpoint, with just a little bit of libertarianism sprinkled in.

An American conservative is a person who believes our country's best days are yet to come, they are not fading in the rearview mirror. We enthusiastically believe in the power and sovereignty of the individual. We embrace the notion that our country offers equal opportunity for all. We understand this cannot equate to equal outcome. We celebrate the success of others and understand that more than likely a successful person worked extremely hard and sacrificed much to get where they are.

Do some financially successful people cheat their way to the top? You bet. Do they all? Not a chance. We believe our state and federal governments have become too big and bloated to efficiently serve the citizenry, in fact, the excess of government control and regulation is more harmful than helpful.

To most righties, the preceding caused you to nod in agreement.

To the rest of my neighbors, if you found yourself agreeing on several points, you too just might be a conservative -- Right from the Berkshires.

Jim Bronson is the chairman of the Berkshire County Republican Association.


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