It's time. After almost 5½ years and 130-plus columns, I am going to call it a career.
I had originally considered doing this sooner, but there was no way I was going to miss the fun of the 2010 elections. It's only fair to let someone else enjoy writing the column for the 2012 celebration.
I would never have imagined that I would get the huge number of supporters and new friends that I have over the past five years. This little local newspaper has an unbelievable reach.
I have received feedback from all 50 states and four foreign countries. Several columns appeared on Lucianne.com; one on illegal aliens was read on national radio, and most enjoyable was when my column was reprinted (without permission) on the website of Mr. atheist, Darwin lover, secular progressive, himself, Richard Dawkins.
Because of that posting, I was able to antagonize a very large number of Dawkins disciples. Just go to his website, type "Sears" in the search window and have a bunch of laughs. His disciples seem to be very unstable people.
I remember when I first bounced the idea of "retiring" off Daily Star Editor Sam Pollak. It was back in August when I mentioned the idea, and he talked me out of it by saying, "Look at it this way, there are a lot of liberals you haven't ticked off yet."
It was a convincing response since it had been a lot of fun causing liberals such apparent angst. My, how they rant and rave. I wonder if they punch the walls and kick their pets around. I know they dislike immensely what I have to say, but they keep on reading, now don't they? There have been about 10 regulars who have provided about 90 percent of the negative feedback.
I have to sincerely thank Sam for giving me the opportunity to write the column. I remember the first time he called me with the offer. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do it.
The first person I went to was my brother, who told me I would be crazy not to accept the offer. He was right, but it is rather pathetic that there are individuals who have gotten angry with my family members and relatives simply because of me. Again, very pathetic people.
I hope Sam doesn't regret his decision to recruit me, but he is a man whose word can be totally counted on. I remember early on when he told me he didn't agree with me 99 percent (maybe it was 100 percent) of the time, but he would staunchly defend my right to say what I felt was important.
He never once went back on his word. He is an honorable man and a friend I know I can count on. I do have to apologize for the number of angry phone calls and letters he must have received because of me.
Conservatives everywhere should write to Sam and thank him for trying to bring balance to the newspaper. I don't think people appreciate or realize the efforts he has made to bring more balance to The Daily Star.
Lastly, I couldn't be happier that Sam, in his wisdom, selected Chuck Pinkey as my replacement. I have known Chuck for about 1½ years, but I have been enjoying his classified ad section mini-columns for a number of years. I have found him to be a very honorable man, a rock-solid conservative who will not be intimidated by anyone (especially a liberal), and a good friend. I would never have met Chuck had it not been for this column. The baton has been passed to a very capable person.
But please don't take Chuck for granted. I know from experience that support in the form of phone calls, e-mails and giving feedback in person will be greatly appreciated by him. Remember, he is stepping up to the responsibility of carrying the banner of conservatism publicly, and he will certainly receive lots of abuse.
I am leaving with mixed emotions. I know I will miss writing the column but at the same time will appreciate all the free time I will now have. Just remember, fellow conservatives, facts and logic are on our side. The left has nothing to fight back with other than emotions. We will be successful in taking back our country but only if we continue to stay involved and stick together.
Isn't it a good feeling to know that we are "On The Right Side?"
Tom Sears is a local professor of accounting in Oneonta. His columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/tomsears.