A choice other than ‘straw’

Posted: September 23, 2013

The Nov. 5 election for delegate in our 29th District is fast approaching, and political rhetoric is rampant.

My opponent recently wrote that it would be wrong for citizens to vote for someone simply because that person is a party nominee. He then created a straw man who would “parade the banner of ‘No Compromise, No Negotiation’ in Richmond,” and predictably suggested that electing such a person would likewise be a mistake. He implied that the only other choice was to elect him.

But, in fact, voters have another choice. They can cast their votes to send me — Mark Berg — to represent them in the House of Delegates.

I ran in the June Republican primary on a platform of limited government and individual liberty because I’m concerned about the direction our commonwealth is heading, and what the future holds for the coming generations of Virginians. Many people with whom I have spoken understand that proponents of big government are leading us down the wrong path, and that we need to change course. They understand, as Ronald Reagan did, that “as government expands, liberty contracts.”

I’ve campaigned on the promise to work to rein in excessive government. This includes fighting against Medicaid expansion and the implementation of ObamaCare, cutting government spending and taxes, and decreasing the inordinate number of regulations affecting our businesses and personal lives.

It also includes ensuring that governments diligently perform their legitimate and essential functions, such as upholding the rule of law, adequately providing for the public safety, and guaranteeing fair elections. Specifically as it relates to our commonwealth, it entails pushing back against federal government overreach. Unconstitutional interference relating to health-care mandates, freedom of religious expression, gun rights, search and seizure activities, and indefinite detentions threatens the values Virginians have championed for more than 230 years.

Individual liberty is best preserved by defending and adhering to the Constitution and the principles found in our Declaration of Independence. These truths — that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that government derives its just power from the consent of the governed — formed the foundation of our country. They allowed the states to thrive, and enabled the United States to become the great nation that it is. I’ll fight to prevent these fundamental principles from fading into a distant memory.

I intend to be a citizen-statesman, not a career politician. I will be a conservative leader, not just another go-along-to-get-along warm body. The people of the 29th District in Frederick and Warren counties and in Winchester can count on me to be a principled delegate who will effectively defend their interests and values in the General Assembly.

Mark J. Berg, a resident of Winchester, is a candidate for the 29th District House of Delegates seat.