Preachers sometimes begin their sermons by saying “this is for the home crowd.” That means the preacher is speaking directly to the church’s members, and visitors are certainly welcome to hear the message, but realize it’s not aimed at them.
This is one of those times, so if this is your first foray into the deep red world of our community, feel free to politely read, but this message is for the RedState community—the home crowd.
Leon Wolf eloquently stated RedState’s modus operandi in his shame, shame message to Bristol Palin, who well deserved the verbal spanking.
By and large, people don’t seem to understand how RedState works, and I guess that is more or less fine. One of the pitfalls of writing for a group blog – especially one on which there is fairly frequent disagreement on the front page – is that you run some non-trivial risk of being blamed for something someone else said, or having someone else take credit for your work.
If you’re part of the community, then you understand how RedState works. Front page contributors write whatever they darn well please (within reason), and I’ve never seen a front page post taken down. There’s no strict editorial guidelines, other than what’s on the site’s posting rules, and even these are breached from time to time (although rarely). The community is built on mutual core beliefs, mutual trust, and mutual respect. It’s not based on mutual opinions or approaches on every issue. In fact, there’s a variety of opinions which many times directly contradict each other.
That’s how friends discuss things, but always with respect. And everyone in the RedState community is among friends here.
All that being said, Erick is under severe attack. This site isn’t about Erick, but he’s our (cherubic) face, and he’s the community’s leader. If Erick’s being attacked, then our family, our community, is being attacked. Much of the attack is unfair, and guilt-by-association-based (like Bristol Palin’s slam). People outside the family don’t know how RedState works so they attribute every word written here to be Erick’s. If this was a site like Breitbart (when Andrew was alive) or The Blaze, people could easily make that assumption because those sites have strict content and editorial requirements.
But RedState isn’t a website, it’s a community. And our community gathered in Atlanta las weekend, not as a “conference” or a show put on by promoters, but as a family reunion, albeit with a lot of new relatives. The price of the gathering was a pass-through. There were no $50/plate chicken breast, sweet tea and a piece of cheesecake in a dining room keynote lunches. There were no keynotes at all. It was simply our community, which has become a very loud and heard voice in Republican party politics, listening to nine presidential candidates, covered by press all over the world.
The press were our guests, and they have no idea they were at a family reunion (or a camp-meeting, however you see it). When Erick disinvited Donald Trump from speaking at the after-party, it was his call to make. And for his decision, Erick has been verbally abused, had his personal (unpublished) email crashed, his Twitter feed and Facebook account rendered useless, his hotel room called at 3am, and his family forced to flee Atlanta in fear. And RedState has also been attacked and mercilessly trolled.
Somehow, Erick is now being trumpeted by the press as “Donald Trump’s new nemesis” (msnbc), skewered by normally even-keeled Neil Cavuto. with NBC’s Seth Meyers jumping on the pig-pile just because. Even Breitbart is touting Bristol Palin’s unwarranted attack as “masterful.” Counterintuitively, one of the few websites giving Erick a fair treatment is Huffington Post (!), which merely reported on Erick reading his hate mail out loud from the stage at the RedState gathering.
None of these attacks is justified, and if you’re part of the RedState community, you know it. Erick is no more Donald Trump’s nemesis than he is endorsing Jeb Bush (which he isn’t). Yet people want to see a fight. The only issue at hand is if Trump’s comments about Megyn Kelly, who has no skin in the game on RedState, being on her period during the GOP debate actually referred to—you know—her period, or something else. And any reasonable person not making excuses for Trump would have to conclude that’s exactly what he meant.
So whether you agree with that or not, RedState is under attack—that’s our community. And we (as in the community) need to defend our family. Agreeing with the pig-pile and mud-slinging against Erick is taking sides against your own community, and for that we all suffer.
Whether you are a Trump supporter or not, if you’re a RedStater I encourage you to not sit on the sidelines while others slam our community for being who we are. RedState was not founded to be the Erick Erickson opinion site, and it still isn’t. Let’s not allow the press and self-proclaimed agitators and pig-pilers on Erick to turn us against each other, or ruin our wonderful identity as the RedState community.
Let’s get out there and make RedState heard.