Come see Erick the Red(Stater)
I love stories of entrepreneurship and of hard work paying off. The Beatles, for example, emerged as the best rock band ever in the 1960s, but few people know that their success came after more than 1,200 concerts and 10,000 hours of playing together in Hamburg, Germany in the early 1960s. Many people think Bill Gates got lucky, but his story is a similar one in that he worked long hours for many years to achieve a level of skill in his work that allowed him to found Microsoft.
This Friday we have the chance here at Troy University to listen and learn from one of the more entrepreneurial young stars in the field of journalism, Erick Erickson of Fox News and Redstate.com. In addition to being a blogger and cable news commentator, Erickson is host of a WSB Radio show, which had previously been filled by 2012 presidential candidate Herman Cain.
Erickson has had a meteoric rise from blogging and local Macon, Georgia radio to CNN and Fox News. Like most entrepreneurs, Erick’s story is one of hard work and staying the course in pursuit of one’s long-term passion. It’s also a story of sticking to his principles and speaking truth, even when people don’t necessarily want to hear the truth.
Erick’s blog, Redstate.com, is arguably the most popular right-wing blog in the country. The content of Redstate.com is filled with cutting edge analysis of politics, hard hitting stories, and discussions of how to keep America free. In recent weeks, for example, his bloggers have called for President Obama to “simmer down” the sequester talk, to stop politicizing the Newtown, Connecticut assault, and to get serious about entitlement reform in America. His commitment to conservative values and free enterprise themes is evident in his posts, and it’s reinforced through Redstate.com policies, which include a requirement that all bloggers be pro-lifer on the issue of abortion.
He drives liberals crazy because he’s smarter than them and able to make clear how government policies harm the people they are intended to help. But, he’s also drawn the ire of more than one establishment Republican for speaking truth about the direction conservatism is headed. Here, for example, is what he had to say on Inauguration Day 2013 about conservatives: “We have become humorless, angry opponents of the President instead of happy warriors selling better ideas. We are not even selling ideas. Conservatives, frankly have become purveryors of outrage instead of preachers for a cause.” His perspective is one that is needed as Americans continue to debate the appropriate role of government in their lives, and his success as a blogger and cable news commentator indicates it’s a point of view millions of people want to hear.
On Friday, April 5th, at 10 am in Trojan Center Theater, the greater Troy community will have the chance to hear one of conservatism’s star political pundits talk about his career, the future of conservatism, and free enterprise. The event is being co-sponsored by the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy and Hall School of Journalism and Communication. It is free and open to the public, and it will conclude around 11:30 am.
Scott Beaulier is Executive Director of the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University.