Tag - Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson - MCC Podcast

What Nearly Dying Taught Me About Politics & Family – Erick Erickson

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Erick’s ICU doctor thought the chart he was looking at was for a corpse. Erick should have been dead. He’s been working in politics for more than a decade, but that experience taught him more about making an impact than any campaign study.

Whether you’re joining us for the first time or you’ve been around since the beginning, thank you so much for downloading the podcast. I’d really appreciate it if you’d consider giving us a rating on iTunes and subscribing so you never miss an episode!

One of my favorite things about being involved in politics is the incredible relationships you get to build. I’ve known this week’s guest for nearly 8 years now and he’s been an incredible supporter of the work we’re doing at My Campaign Coach.

Erick Erickson is a recovering lawyer and former editor of Redstate. He currently runs TheResurgent.com, is host of the Erick Erickson Show on the nation’s most listened to news/talk station, WSB Atlanta and a contributor at Fox News. Additionally, he’s one of the chosen few who get to fill in for Rush Limbaugh behind his golden microphone.

The Atlantic magazine named Erick the most powerful conservative in America and the Hollywood Reporter called him the most influential conservative blogger on the internet.

He’s also an author and we’ll spend some time talking about his latest book, ”Before You Wake: Life Lessons from a Father to His Children“.

Erick has been observing, supporting, advising and commenting on political campaigns for most of his adult life. It’s an arena within which he’s built an incredible reputation. But he was also a candidate himself and won a seat on the Macon, GA City Council. Georgia’s 4th largest city.

Erick is a good man, a great friend and somebody I’m always happy to hop in a political fox-hole with.

Links from the Podcast:

Connect with Erick Erickson on Twitter and Facebook. You can also listen to the Erick Erickson Show or visit TheResurgent.com.

Visit the post on My Campaign Coach for Important Topics and Time Stamps from the Podcast.

Millennials Should Learn from Us, Not Lead Us

Several months ago I read an article by a Christian-turned-atheist who actually bragged that they were “de-converted” because their small children posed unanswerable questions to them about their faith. I remember sitting there for some time after reading that, trying to figure out why a grown adult would ever publish such an admission, even if they were in fact incapable of matching the intellect of a 6-year-old.

We see similar peculiarity every election cycle when adults submit the sanctity of their vote to the wisdom of their children’s immature, if not cute, political observations. Even political science professors jump on this mindless phenomenon, not to condemn the ignorance of letting toddlers just out of diapers determine the direction of the free world, but to applaud it. Take University of Colorado (Denver) prof Michael Cummings who wrote in his book, “Children’s Voices in Politics”:

“There are some very young people, politically precocious, who have strong ideas about public policy.”

He suggests that kids as young as 5 have some really engaging thoughts on issues like homelessness, the environment, and education, and that perhaps it is time to consider letting kids vote as soon as they want to vote.

Enough.

Let me preface this by saying that you won’t find too many people that have a stronger appreciation for youth, or a desire to work with them, instruct them, guide them, laugh with them, connect with them, and try to be a positive role model for them. I’ve dedicated my life to those things and am consistently blessed by the experience. And one of the greatest joys in my work is to see how so many of those high school kids, flush with passion but lacking in wisdom, grow and mature as they age.

That maturing is increasingly a challenging prospect, however, in a society that seems to worship youth simply for being young. Products and merchandise are prolifically peddled to keep us looking younger, feeling younger, and acting younger. From a physical standpoint, that makes a modicum of sense. Most people would prefer the curves and chiseled physique of a 20-something to the lumps and wrinkles of a 75-year-old.

But from an intellectual, logical, or philosophical perspective, idolizing youth is about as dumb as it gets. From across the pond, Clare Foges exposes precisely why in a piece blasting the absurdity of regarding young people as “political sages”:

[W]hat is galling is the veneration of youthful opinion regardless of the sense it makes; this growing idea that being under 25 confers some special sagacity that the rest of us might benefit from. A generation reared to revere the words “empowerment” and “respect” is demanding that they are empowered and their views respected.

Last week’s election revealed the judgment of many young voters to be as we might expect of those with relatively limited experience: hopelessly naive. They turned out in their droves for a man who became a kind of millennials’ prophet; promising to lead them out of the badlands of austerity and towards a future where everything is nicer, cheaper, or indeed free. They voted for a man who would have endangered our economy, the whisper of whose name can send the pound on a swan-dive.

.

There is no wisdom here, no great lesson to be learnt; just the insight that many young people rather like being offered free stuff and ask few questions about how, ultimately, that stuff is funded.

Sound familiar? In addition to other demographic exploitation, America suffered for the last eight years under this same hopelessly naïve political approach. While some lamented the voters who chose Barack Obama because he was (half) black, I was far more concerned with the voters who picked him because he was “cool.”

  • For these youthful voters, his “dabbing” on Ellen overshadowed the galling reality that he racked up more debt than all previous presidents combined.
  • They overlooked the tragic realities that his backwards foreign policy led to the rise of ISIS and endangered the free world as never before, because he “slow-jammed the news” with Jimmy Fallon.
  • The fact that he shot baskets with Clark Kellogg and filled out an NCAA bracket every year was of more importance to them than the failure of his signature healthcare policy that stripped coverage from millions and raised premiums on nearly everyone in the country.

This is the problem inherent in a youthful mind, it overemphasizes idealism and undervalues consequence; its grasp on reality can be obscured by impassioned rhetoric and emotion. If the Obama phenomenon wasn’t proof of that, consider who millennials turned to in droves during the most recent campaign: a socialist once marginalized in Congress for his hair-brained adherence to failed pie-in-the-sky economic fantasies.

Which brings us back to Foges’ analysis:

Yet the passionate sense of grievance among many young people — that theirs is a generation uniquely betrayed by the generations above — should not simply be “listened to” as though it were true; it must be robustly challenged…What should be challenged too is the youthful expectation of a free lunch. For instance, many 18 to 24-year-olds — reared on the language of rights — believe it their right to receive a free university education, as Corbyn [read Bernie or Barack in America] exploited so successfully. What must be communicated to young people is not congratulations for backing wish-list politics but the reality that public resources are finite.

Wishing for a better world is nothing to be derided, and there is always something appealing about youthful enthusiasm…But when it comes to the way we run our country, we have a duty not to kowtow to youthful dreaming but to confront some of the myths that underpin it. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Socialism is a proven disaster. These might not make for inspiring Facebook posts but they have the virtue of being the truth.

I wholeheartedly concur. And as one who loves and works with young people every day, I would hasten to add that the greatest service we can render to them is not lionizing their idealism, but rather disciplining them to remember it is never an adequate substitute for wisdom and truth.

Ariana Grande concert attack: Terror must never become ‘the new normal’

It is not a normal thing for a suicide bomber to attend an Ariana Grande concert and detonate, killing nineteen people. But increasingly, in Europe, politicians discuss these sorts of things as if they are a new normal requiring a new way of life. These things are abnormal, not normal.

They do not require a new way of life, but a fight against a defined enemy.

The British never treated the series of Irish Republican Army bombings as normal. They were abnormal events by an enemy who had to be stamped out. Ultimately, in that case, the IRA came to the peace table. Here, there will be no peace. There will only be victory or death.

When the Manchester attack first happened, I was still live on the radio. It became obvious that something had happened.  I discussed it on air, but the initial reports made it sound like the deaths could have been from a stampeding crowd spooked by a speaker malfunction. That, though, was a best case scenario and it did not happen. What happened was a terrorist attended a pop concert, waiting for the singer to leave the stage, and then detonated explosives.

There will be the usual calls for calm. There will be the usual calls for religious toleration and diversity.  There will be the usual shows of concern from Britain’s Islamic community. But what there will not be is a really determined effort to stamp out increasingly radicalized strains of Islam growing in Britain.

In his “Letter About Toleration,” the philosopher John Locke explored the limits on toleration. He wrote, in part, “No-one should be tolerated who denies the existence of God. Promises, covenants, and oaths, which are the bonds of human society, can have no hold on an atheist: this all dissolves in the presence of the thought that there is no God. And atheists can’t claim on religious grounds that they should be tolerated! As for other practical opinions, including ones that have some error in them, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be tolerated as long as they don’t tend to establish domination over others or claim civil impunity for the church in which they are taught.”

As Islamic radicalism increasingly seeks to establish dominion over all others, it falls outside the need for tolerance by the West and falls by the wayside of the Enlightenment. Western leaders trying to avoid words like “Islamic radicalism” are left to conjure more creative synonyms in their quest to define the enemy.

The enemy, however, is increasingly part of the citizenry that are self-radicalizing. We do not know here whether that is the case, but the odds are ever growing that suicide bombers will be citizens in the country of detonation and will be self-radicalized at home, instead of abroad.

The West’s current tendencies to reject the need for assimilation will only compound the problem. Increasingly, throughout Europe, Middle Eastern immigrants are left in poor areas together without assimilation. Their children, trying to find something to cling to, cling to radicalized versions of their parents’ religion. In Britain, its establishment politicians more often than not apologize for the Englishness of their ways and decline to force assimilation. It will be interesting to see Theresa May’s reaction to this as she heads to a June election.

The one political ramification here is that Jeremy Corbyn, the British Labor Leader despised by the British people and often an apologist for terrorists, will probably be driven even further down in the polling.

The further away from power he is, the better off the British will be. But in the long run, they will only be able to fend off this global menace by embracing their British heritage and insisting that newcomers embrace it as well.

Repugnant Rhetoric Has No Place in Virginia Republican Politics

This is a new low for Republican politics in Virginia.

Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart (R-VA) apparently is referring to his Republican rival Ed Gillespie on Reddit as “cuckservative” now. He recently held an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) chat on Reddit filled with some rather questionable language. Below is a screenshot from his Reddit account:

https://twitter.com/RickCanton/status/845087682883719173

This isn’t Stewart’s first dabbling into name calling. He has repeatedly resorted to calling Gillespie “Establishment Ed,” accusing him of being pro-abortion, and anti-gun. Stewart himself has several inconsistencies about his record–particularly taxes. But I digress…

Stewart has attempted to run like Trump here in Virginia but has failed to garner much traction. Most notably, he was working for President Trump’s campaign in Virginia but was fired last October for organizing a protest at the RNC.

“Former Virginia State Chairman Corey Stewart is no longer affiliated with the Donald J. Trump for President campaign,” said Trump’s deputy campaign manager, David Bossie, last fall. “He is being replaced, effective immediately. Corey made this decision when he staged a stunt in front of the RNC without the knowledge or the approval of the Trump campaign.”

Most Virginians saw Stewart’s involvement in Trump’s campaign as a stepping stone for his own gubernatorial bid-which has been tumultuous from the start. He previously ran an unsuccessful bid for Lieutenant Governor in 2013 and has caused the ire of many conservatives here in Virginia since then.

Travis Fain of The Daily Press–a major publication here in Virginia–cited our Editor-in-Chief Erick Erickson in a piece detailing the ridiculous nature of Stewart’s penchant for using the term “cuckservative”:

This is a combination of “cuckhold,” a derisive term for a man whose wife cheats on him, and “conservative.” Think of it as the newer and more oddly sexually tinged version of RINO – “Republican in Name Only.” Or, as conservative commentator Erick Erickson has put it in the past, “a slur against Christian voters coined by white supremacists.”

Many prominent conservatives in Stewart’s county have called for him to resign, while Republican Party of Virginia leaders have condemned his remarks.

Republican Party of Virginia John Witbeck condemned Stewart’s remarks and issued the following statement:

“The term “cuckservative” is racist and its use is not acceptable in political discourse under any circumstance. I condemn the use of the term unequivocally and without exception.  No Republican should ever use this type of language in a campaign. ”

Prince William County School Board Member Willie Deutsch called for Stewart to resign from his post on the county Board of Supervisors and echoed it in The Bull Elephant:

The Prince William County Young Republicans echoed Deutsch’s call for Stewart to resign.

Name-calling is unacceptable, no matter your political affiliation. (Let’s run on principles and ideas in a positive manner, please?) If Stewart continues to resort to this, he will lose the primary and deservedly so. These repeated attacks are uncalled for and unbecoming of a Republican candidate for statewide office.

With the recent withdrawal of distiller Denver Riggleman from the gubernatorial race, I’ll be assuredly casting my vote for Ed Gillespie in our June 13th primary. I hope other Virginians join me in doing so. Tarnishing conservatism with repugnant rhetoric has no place in our party or our movement here in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

 

The Resurgent Giving Tuesday

#GivingTuesday for #Conservatives

News coverage by conservatives is hard to find – I would argue even more so after this election cycle. Liberal bias in the media has been a problem for as long as I can remember, but there has been another noticeable split – one within conservative media. Some of the places we went for conservative news don’t seem to mesh with our Christian, conservative values anymore. And that’s not even taking into consideration all of the conservative clickbait. Trustworthy, conservative news websites are truly becoming a rare breed.

Part of the reason it’s hard to find is that the grassroots conservative movement isn’t made of money. In fact, many of us in this fight are passionate volunteers. The reality is, it takes money to keep things running. You might even say it takes a village.

That’s why #GivingTuesday and The Resurgent are such a great pair. #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that’s powered by social media and collaboration. After we stuffed ourselves full of food on Thanksgiving and shopped ‘til we dropped on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s time to shift the focus off of ourselves and on to others. How cool is it that we all come together, from around the world, to share a common value – the value of giving back.

This spirit of collaboration isn’t new to conservatives – we’ve been working together through grassroots efforts across the country to fight for our Christian, conservative values since the days of our Founding Fathers. In some ways, our fight seems to be increasingly more difficult, especially over the past year, when many of us have started to feel alienated by our own political party.

While we’re all fighting for the same values, we don’t all know each other; but we do have the comfort of knowing there are others just like us out there, thanks to people like Erick Erickson and conservative news websites like The Resurgent. Erick Erickson has created a home for resurgent conservatives – a home with values of faith, freedom and family. You can’t put a price on that.

So, for conservative news sites, like The Resurgent, today is not only a celebration of giving back, but also another chapter in our fight – a fight to keep conservative media alive.

You have the power to make a difference – every little bit counts – if every person who read this article donated just $10 or $20 – our impact would be YUGE. (I couldn’t resist.)

So what are you waiting for, fellow Patriots? Consider including a sponsorship or donation to The Resurgent in your celebration of #GivingTuesday.

Trump Supporters Can Own The Unity

I remember so many times during the campaign when Donald Trump supporters attacked Never Trumpers as irrelevant and unable to stop their inevitable victory, and as traitors who will cost their Dear Leader his election. The fact that these two things were mutually exclusive didn’t deter the attacks.

When President-elect Trump won, many of them were ready to do an Irish jig on our graves, after each and every one of us suffered catastrophic career failure and humiliation. Of course, we were all wrong. Never Trumpers didn’t cost Trump the election, and we have not lost relevancy. And now, there’s a real possibility we are to be quickly accepted back into Trump’s big GOP tent.

Note this Twitter thread:

https://twitter.com/EWErickson/status/801807835881410560

Sure, the Democrats are imploding and coping with deep psychological wounds as their idealized bubble world melts away.

Upon this foundation, liberals bit a shaky edifice of assumed political superiority. The election of Donald Trump—not merely an earthquake but an extinction-level asteroid event—brought it all crashing down. And you can see that in the behavior of Paul Krugman, a man who has been confronted with, and is struggling mightily to accept, the way the world is. Really, this wake-up call has kind of been a long time coming: there are few columnists on the scene today more intellectually closed and pompous than Krugman, a fellow who once wrote about a particular policy debate, “I…have been right about everything.” Even when you’re right about everything, you don’t write, “I have been right about everything.” Unless you’re Paul Krugman, that is.

In fact, liberals have been wrong about practically everything. And now, Trump’s hard-core supporters are eventually going to have to live with their own bubble world implosion, as Trump has to actually govern in the Real World™. This means that Trump may appoint people like Mitt Romney into key administration positions. It means that Trump has nominated one-time critic Gov. Nikki Haley as U.N. Ambassador.

In order for liberals to be consigned to the ashes they so richly deserve, Trump will have to draw from many different factions of the GOP that don’t necessarily get along. All those ate-up Trumpkins who think Trump is their man need to learn that the man they wanted in the White House because nobody owns him, that they don’t own him either.

Far be it from me to believe that I can influence Trump: He should nominate Mitt Romney if only for the sake of unity, and the fact that Romney is worthy of respect, even by those who hold him in contempt. Trump promised unity while he was campaigning. It’s about time for his grave-dancing supporters to own the unity.

If they can’t do that, then they don’t really want to Make America Great Again. They just want what Democrats want–a perfect bubble world with them in charge.

Truth to Power

We are not here to lie to you, or spin, or hurl clickbait down the big memory hole into which the truth disappears never to be seen again. Erick and The Resurgent are here to tell you the truth–the truth as we see it, led by the best boss to ever run a blog, period.

I first met Erick Erickson at a burger joint in downtown McDonough, Georgia called Kirby G’s. It’s owned by the former president of Mercer University (Erick’s law alma mater), R. Kirby Godsey. I stepped on Godsey’s brown dress shoes as I spun to greet him. Godsey didn’t remember me, but I remembered him from the one time we had lunch together at the exclusive City Club in Macon. Erick was as easygoing and casual in person as he is on the radio–and gracious with his time as I was running to catch a flight and he was preparing for his radio show.

There are few courageous people left with both their courage and integrity intact after this threshing floor of election years. But Erick Erickson is one of those few. This weekend the New Yorker published a profile of Erick, one of the very small club of non-beltway, non-New York, uncelebrity power brokers of conservative thought. Where the steel meets the rails, Erick is re-learning conservatism from the ground up, the same ground our founders used, which began at the foot of Christ’s cross.

The seminary course is teaching Erickson, among others things, “how to always have a voice in the back of my head saying, ‘You probably want to pause before tweeting or writing that.’ ”

The Resurgent has one overriding purpose. Like Google’s corporate motto is “don’t be evil,” I believe The Resurgent’s motto should be “Truth to Power”–as in we are not afraid to tell the truth in all things, to represent a transcendently-based, absolute morality worked out through logic, compassion, love, and the facts in evidence about humanity, history, and competing world views.

Erick tells the truth without apology. That’s why I write here.

Were the stars aligned differently, I might have been one of Erick’s law classmates. Alas I was a few years late in getting to my LSAT, and never enrolled at Mercer Law despite having the test scores and stellar endorsements. It took another nine years for me to find him writing for a little-known blog called RedState and still pitching in at Peach Pundit (which he did, even until the end). We had a brief discussion about a local mayoral race for which I was the dark horse’s campaign manager. Erick’s instincts were dead right.

Even then, Erick told the truth. He got into radio, taking the morning gig at WMAC Macon when my friend Chris Krok took Kroktalk to the big market in Dallas. I listened to Erick’s first Good Friday show when he gave his testimony of God’s grace, of sitting in the mud, tears and rain on his face (you must listen if you’ve never heard one, this is from 2015).

Donald Trump was invited to the 2015 RedState gathering, to speak off-site at the after-party Saturday night. I attended the Atlanta event, but wanted to get home to my kids and and early wake-up Sunday morning for church, so I had planned on leaving before the party. I was very shocked when Erick disinvited Trump over the “blood coming out of her wherever” remark, but even more shocked at the disgusting and disturbing reaction to it.

This was a nothingburger–a single-speech two days after the first GOP debate. Nobody had to care, but Trump made this into a national issue, and made Erick into a target for his many cult followers. It would have been easy for Erick to just recant, or to patch things up a month later. Even Ted Cruz succumbed to pressure. But Erick never did, even when Trump tried to characterize Erick’s leaving RedState as a result of the disinvite. (It wasn’t, as his decision predated any of that. I have proof as do many others.)

In 2013, after a long run helping to build a business, the other owners and I sold to a multinational public company. I got a nice but small payday and a rather safe (and by most standards, cushy) job with the new owners. Writing had always been one of those back-of-my-mind gifts I’ve had, somewhat more useful than channeling Strunk & White by memory and having a preternatural ability to spell correctly, but not like Bob Dylan’s songwriting or Solzhenitsyn’s dead-eye perspective.

Then one day, I had written a motivational talk for my employees and my boss told me if I wanted a second career, I should consider writing. He was probably half-joking. But I started blogging daily and building my anemic vocabulary and flaccid style. Then I started writing a diary at RedState. What a concept: the People could blog and read each other’s stuff. It was like a pickup basketball game for political nerds. I made it my goal to become a front page writer on RedState.

I sent Erick a handwritten note to his home (which is 18 miles from mine, front door to front door), asking if we could have lunch one day, thinking how intrusive and absolutely obnoxious that is. He emailed me how handwritten notes were a lost art, and it took about six months to finally get lunch. He paid and left early for a radio interview.

Most celebrities would think that someone who looked up to them the way I did with Erick was at best an annoying sycophant and at worst a nascent stalker. But Erick was always gracious. I was shocked in late 2015 when we had our second lunch (in 2 years), at a local pizza joint which the Acela citydwellers at The Atlantic would have written was “painfully quaint and trying hard to be city-hipster” if Erick hadn’t taken them to Wild Wings Cafe instead. (The pizza joint has been around for nearly 25 years–it’s quintessential artsy Macon and serves great food.) Erick told me he was starting The Resurgent and showed me the burnt orange and ash gray phoenix-eagle.

Erick told me I’d be welcome to write for The Resurgent.

We are not here to lie to you, or spin, or hurl clickbait down the big memory hole into which the truth disappears never to be seen again. Erick and The Resurgent are here to tell you the truth–the truth as we see it, led by the best boss to ever run a blog, period.

I told Erick that I had left my corporate job at the end of September (2015). When I spoke to my pastor about this, he had asked if I was planning to support my family as a writer. “Certainly not!” I lied. I actually didn’t lie, because I planned a new company, for which I had some investors lined up and projects waiting to deploy. I still have the company, but we haven’t made any money with our products. So I join the long line of successful entrepreneurs who change the world and lose their shirts (like Jack Dorsey). But we still have some projects up our sleeves, so I’m not technically lying.

For all those people who say Erick does this website for the money: I am not authorized to disclose the site’s finances. Mostly because I don’t know them. But I can tell you that when people claim there’s a million dollars floating around, bitter tears fill my eyes from ironic laughter. Nobody here is getting rich, or buying Maybachs. I drive a Subaru. Erick tools around in a Suburban. The writers here get paid less per thousand words than the hourly cost to feed 100 monkeys replicating War & Peace on manual typewriters.

In other words, if my small business doesn’t provide, I will be faced with the wonderful prospect of being a very well educated Wal-Mart greeter at 52 years old as the alternative to supporting my family with my writing. I learned career management from Hernán Cortés.

The Bible says that we shall know real believers by their fruit. Erick left RedState to start The Resurgent. He left the old site in the hands of Leon Wolf. Leon turbocharged RedState beyond anything Erick had seen, traffic-wise, and that propelled his career to his new position as managing editor of The Blaze. And Leon is about to do for The Blaze more than he did for RedState (the new design is functional and clean). Leon’s move opened up a slot at RedState for Caleb Howe, who now takes the reigns at a very well-established and powerful voice.

Do you see how people are not crushed in Erick’s wake, but instead they are lifted and elevated? The truth will do that for you.

I write at The Resurgent because I get to tell the truth here. Sometimes we writers don’t agree on the facts or the conclusions, but we always agree on telling the truth, and arriving to that truth through the same lens of wisdom, humility, and honor our founding fathers relied upon.

Hillary Clinton is a nonstarter as a presidential hopeful. Donald Trump is anathema to conservative thought and the cause of liberty. This is the truth.

Back to the New Yorker:

Erickson admits that his stoking of anger and distrust has helped enable Trump’s rise—and thus Hillary Clinton’s likely victory. He’s no fan of Clinton, of course. “If somebody put a gun to my head and said pick Clinton or Trump, I’d have to pick the bullet,” he told me.

None of us are going to eat a bullet. But we owe this to you and to ourselves: to keep telling you the truth, before and after November 8th.

Truth to power.