I didn’t tell Erick I was going to post this. One reason is that he would probably discourage me from doing so because he really is a humble man. The other reason is that I feared he may finally ban me for calling him old. But then, I don’t really mean it, I mean yeah, he is turning 40 years old today, but Methuselah was 969 when he finally kicked the bucket, so really, Erick is but a pup when put in perspective.
But I digress…
For the last 10 years of his life Erick has given all he has to RedState. Not only has he been a leader on the front page of RedState, giving voice to principled conservatives in many of our states, he has inspired a cadre of informed and talented writers to pick up the shield and sword to do battle for the cause of conservatism.
I haven’t asked this question to all of the past and present front page contributors to RedState, but speaking for myself I can say that Erick has not only been a political leader for those of us privileged enough to be contributing editors, he has also been a moral leader.
Most of the readers at RedState have probably noticed the Christian philosophy presented by Erick on these pages. As Erick has attended Seminary many of us have been following along with his studies and his assignments, finding not only pride in a friend’s achievement, but also a challenge from a brother in Christ to do more ourselves.
When I first came to RedState, as a disenfranchised Fred Thompson supporter, I was a lost conservative, coming back to the United States after years overseas working to support our War Fighters. I came back to a country that had changed, one that blamed Bush for the lives lost in the fight against radical Islam. I was discouraged by what I saw, but found hope in a band of principled conservatives writing fearlessly on a rather small website called RedState.
For me, it was as if I had found a family I didn’t even know existed.
After a few feeble attempts at writing something intelligent as a diarist, I wrote a small post rehashing Russell Kirk’s Principle’s of Conservatism, which Erick saw and promoted to the front page. The rest, as they say, is history.
Had Erick not plucked my musings from obscurity I’d more than likely still be working at a job I didn’t like, doing work that never made a difference.
Erick, along with the contributors to RedState, past and present, helped form me into the person I am today. Now, many of you may be cursing at Erick for this, but as for me, I have nothing but praise. No matter the difficulty of the fight we face, or the comfort I know I could achieve if I chose to walk away, I can’t. Not because I owe it to Erick for what he did for me, but rather because Erick helped me realize that my voice could make a difference.
So today, on Erick’s 40th birthday, I hope you are all inspired to engage in the fight, and wish a Happy Birthday to a man who laid it all on the line, not to make himself famous, but rather to elevate a cause in which we all believe.
Happy Birthday, Erick … Thank you for all you have done for RedState, the front page contributors, and all of the daily readers of our site. The tireless work you have done for the cause of conservatism has not gone unnoticed.