To the editor:
Any letter to the AIER (American Institute of Economic Research) that purports to speak for all of Great Barrington is guilty of the very “transgression” it takes issue with.
I am a longtime Great Barrington resident and certainly such a letter by our selectboard — particularly one full of opinions, emotional remarks or insults about the declaration’s contents — would not speak for me.
We are a town of diverse individuals. Even those of us sharing similar political views on certain issues differ on others, including nuanced aspects of this situation we find ourselves in in 2020. (And for that diversity I’m grateful; otherwise we’d all be in lockstep and that’s a scary prospect to me.)
Certainly, there are Democratic, Republican, Libertarian and Independent neighbors among us as well as those who consider themselves apolitical. Has life in this town, in this country and on this planet been reduced to picking a “side,” adhering strictly to that side’s prescribed talking points, denigrating views we don’t agree with at first pass, issuing harsh denouncements of well-researched and articulately laid-out considerations that challenge us, and “otherizing” others to the point that nothing they say can be entertained for even a minute?
There are multiple viewpoints and scientific analyses on these current issues, and the AIER declaration (which is what I tend to call it) brings up some of them. I, too, wish they had called it something else only so that an outsized reaction to the name would not eclipse sincere and level-headed consideration of its thoughtful contents.