Dear Redstate Old-Timers

I’m putting this on the front page. You RedState old-timers — those of you who’ve been around for a few years — need to read this. In fact, make this the one absolutely obligatory reading of your day if you are a long time RedState community member. — Erick

If you’ve been here less than 2 years – please – consider reading this diary and reserving comment. There are times in our lives when closing our mouths and opening our eyes and ears can benefit us a great deal…this might just be one of those times for some of you. Thanks much.

If you’ve been here more than 2 years, please-lend me your ears and your thoughts and commentary.

I just celebrated my 5th birthday at Redstate, and in thinking back over all that has happened here at the Mother ship, it occurs to me that the one thing that has separated us from the others is our class and our style and our polish…and the high standards we set for any who would participate in the RS community. Boy howdy but have we had our moments along the way though. I won’t list any usernames here, but you all know who they are. The one hit wonders, the 3 day savants, the name callers and the spammers and the bots…the calls to clean up toxic waste spills on aisle 5…

Just thinking about some of the characters that have dropped in on us for a short spell and peed on our carpet over the years makes me feel a little nostalgic in a masochistic sorta way. And I miss some of the funnier and more creative ways us old folks have gone about mocking them, or ridiculing them…or even just swatting them around for a little while reminiscent of a good ole fashioned redneck game of squirrel baseball.

But what makes me PROUD of Redstate is how we have evolved. Where we were once an up and coming community of like-minded Conservatives, we have become a nationally known website. Erick is a tv personality (and an elected politician), some of the other oldies have their own separate and successful websites…some do radio shows or podcasts…others, still, have moved up and moved on and are now actually getting paid real MONEY to do what the rest of us do just because we’re addicted to this blood sport called “political news, analysis, and commentary.”

As we move into 2010, we’re going to be relied upon, scrutinized, and watched closely…by a LOT of people. And, more singly focusing ourselves on activism…on the fight to push Conservatism BACK into our Party and hold our leaders and members accountable for their part in that fight…we need to remember-this isn’t a frat party anymore. We need our old folks to step up to the plate and do their part to keep this the go-to place, and that includes “how” we handle those short-timers that come and go around here for their own personal entertainment (however short their careers here will be when they do).

I think (and this is where I’m looking for input from you folks) that we need to focus our fight on the enemy that would see us pushed further into the wilderness, and ignore the amateurs and wannabes looking to chip away at our resolve. We need to invoke the Hinz rule (God rest him) rather than negatively engage these people. We all KNOW they’re going to show up in droves once the primarys heat up…and I suggest that the class and polish we want to continue to portray with this little side-project-that-made-the-big-time is more important than scoring a few comical retorts…or the inevitable degradation into name-calling.

Given how 2009 went down, 2010 promises to be our next moment to shine. How we act, how we handle ourselves in the fight ahead, will be a reflection on all of us…and will serve as the next opportunity for us to make this place the bedrock of the movement.