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I’m proud to have been an Erickson cohort

TWSS.

Last November, I received an offer that I couldn’t refuse. Erick Erickson invited me to become one of what Newsweek called “his cohorts”:

“Erickson and his team of 25 core contributors—a regular-folks crew that includes a construction worker and a stay-at-home dad—also pick candidates to back in key state-level races and use the site to raise money for them.”

After I pinched my arm a couple of times to convince myself that I wasn’t dreaming, I accepted the offer. Well, to be perfectly honest, I jumped at the opportunity. For an unpublished writer with a conservative bent, the chance to have your diaries fronted on RedState is a pundit’s equivalent of winning the state lottery.

And what a bonanza it has been. It has been my privilege to have those core contributors as colleagues and friends. I have learned more about good writing from this gang of cohorts than 4 years of J-school and two decades in broadcast journalism were able to teach me. I have also learned some life lessons from these good people. I can’t begin to describe how much this unique band of brothers and one delightful sister genuinely care for each other. Any one of them who gets tripped up by one of life’s stumbling blocks sees a cricle of love and protection form around them as their colleages offer their good wishes, prayers and unqualified support. I’ve never felt such a sense of community in any similar situation I’ve encountered in my life. The camaraderie and good-natured lighter moments have also been a blessing to me. They have helped me keep my spirits up and have stiffened my resolve.  Anyway, “that’s what she said.”

I will miss being an Erickson cohort and a cohort of these other fine people. I will also miss the greater RedState community of members and commenters. For those of you who were moved to comment on something I wrote, whether it was in agreement or criticism, you have my thanks. Writers are like performers in that regard. We are quick to defend our words, but we would rather be on the receiving end of a barrage of rotten fruit than to be ignored. If I was able to make you think about something in a new way or caused you to review your thinking about a particular subject, then I did my job. You have certainly made me examine my own thinking in return, and I thank you for it. I will even miss crossing swords with my old nemisis Achance. We argued long and hard over Sarah Palin, but in our exchanges we found that we do share some interests, not the least of which are interesting automobiles and the joy one receives from driving the more interesting ones.

I’m moving on to new projects and alloting myself more much sorely needed personal time to deal with the challenges in my life. So it was with mixed feelings that I tendered my resignation as a regular FP contributor to Erick earlier this week. He wished me well, and that is what I wish for him and his cohorts — and that includes all of you.

God bless,

- JP

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