I Have Big Shoes to Fill

Sir Isaac Newton once quipped, “If I have seen farther than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants who came before me.” I am (obviously) no Sir Isaac Newton, but as I prepare to take over the reigns of RedState, I have to acknowledge that this website wouldn’t exist as anything resembling the entity it currently is without the gigantic efforts of Erick Erickson. I will be eternally grateful for everything he has done for me and for this site.

I was privileged to be elevated to the front page of RedState during the summer of 2005, when I was just a snot-nosed kid about to enter my first year of law school. Like all law students under the age of 30, I thought I knew everything and in fact knew very little. But the site’s administrators, including Erick, were patient with me while I grew the small measure of wisdom and even smaller measure of patience that I have today.

When Erick talked earlier today about feeling like this site is part of his family, I know exactly what he means. The ten years I have been here have introduced me to some of my closest and best friends in the world. When I got married last year, my wedding party consisted entirely of folks I’d met through this website (with the exception of my teenage son), and there were numerous others in the audience who had traveled a long way to share in the joyous occasion. When I have a major life event, or am facing a difficult time in life, my RedState brothers and sisters are the first people (outside of my immediate family) I turn to.

It is with this perspective that I intend to approach the herculean task of carrying on the work begun by Mike, Josh, Ben and Clayton and magnified by Erick. I come to this website not as an outsider, but as someone who has been present for almost the entire time that it has grown from its relatively modest beginnings to the major website that it is now.

During that ten years, I have seen countless blogs start up, gain some level of momentum, and eventually lose steam and collapse. I’m painfully aware that it’s extraordinarily difficult to maintain a blog readership, much less grow it. I’ve taken no small measure of pride at the sustained run of success RedState has had in this regard – but I am full well aware that Erick’s vision, diligence, and energy were the main factors in that success.

My hope is to carry on his legacy by building on what he has largely been responsible for creating, and honoring his vision for a site that holds Republicans accountable for their sins as much as Democrats. I will continue to live and work here from my home in Nashville – far away from the corruption of the Beltway, so that I can continue to hurl flaming stones at it, when necessary. Here at RedState, we will strive to grow the site while maintaining the honest candor towards both parties that we have always had.

I have some big shoes to fill as Managing Editor, and all of us who write here at RedState will have to step up our game – a challenge for which we are prepared. We hope you will join us as we strive to take RedState to the next level together.