I’m back in DC this week for the first annual BlogCon, sponsored by the outstanding FreedomWorks. I was grabbing a burger late last night with several fellow activists, including my good friend, Kevin Eder (the subject of week #2’s Twitter Personality of the Week) and decided on a whim to inform him who was being interviewed this week. His response: “I just knew Jenny would be featured sometime soon.”
Indeed! I love Jenny Erikson. But don’t we all??? For a host of reasons!!!
Jenny was one of my early Twitter follows. We all know that we choose the follows we do for a variety of reasons and that if we follow more than, say, a dozen people, it becomes impossible to check everyone’s Tweet timelines on a regular basis. But there are a handful I read daily and talk to just about as frequently. Jenny is on that list. She is a communicator; she writes and Tweets in a fashion that snaps and crackles, about a wide variety of subjects.
I met Jenny at Right Online in July. She observed later that most of the online friends she was finally encountering in person were pretty much what she anticipated that we would be. My take-away from that statement was that we conservatives are “real” people, not pretenders. And my response now is that it takes one to know one.
Jenny is simply one of the most genuine people I have ever met. She brims with zest for life and makes you feel better, just being around her. She is gracious, fun-loving and kind…beautiful inside and out. We had a long conversation over lunch about the things that matter most in life: God, family, friends and country. At 27, she is uncompromisingly committed to all four. I know it firsthand. I am proud to call Jenny Erikson my friend.
If you aren’t already one of the 5,253 who enthusiastically follow Jenny on Twitter, starting is a cinch! She keeps it simple; her handle is her name: @JennyErikson. And now, you can hear much more from the source herself:
10 Questions for Jenny Erikson
1. I learned about a good deal of the Jenny Erikson bio over a lunch we shared with friends at Right Online, including all that had transpired in your life by the time you were 21! Would you mind sharing with a broader audience the formative experiences that made you who you are?
Fun fact about me- I was married, had my BA, was a mom, and had a mortgage all before I was old enough to legally drink a glass of wine with dinner. I think the infantilization of my generation is ridiculous, and I refuse to take part in it.
I got married to my best friend at 19 because we didn’t want to live in sin while we spent countless years being engaged. I graduated high school at 17, and after 3 years of 20 unit semesters and summer school, I graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University. I graduated with my B.A. while 5 months pregnant with Thing 1 because birth control doesn’t always work; and we bought our first home when we got a good deal from a relative.
Sometimes things happen quickly, and you have to learn to catch the fastball when God throws it at you.
2. You blog at http://www.candidconservative.com. You air a podcast every week (the “Smart Girl Report”). And you’re a regular Twitter presence. In what order did all of these happen and how?
I heard about “blogs” when Thing 1 was a baby in early 2004. I thought it would be a great way to keep our families informed about our lives while indulging in my favorite thing – writing.
I was always loosely involved in politics, but when the mainstream media came out with gun pointed at Sarah Palin, I knew I had to make my voice heard. So I delved 150% into politics and haven’t surfaced since.
3. What does being a conservative mean to you and what do you see as your role in the conservative movement today and in the future?
Being a conservative means being for equal opportunity. The amazing thing about our country is that it doesn’t matter where you came from, it matters what you do with you life. Our current President proves it – you can come from anything to become anyone.
I view my role as a voice. Too many of us kept quiet for too long, and it will take generations to undo all the damage. Sometimes, all you need in order to move forward is to know that you’re not alone, and I try to provide that. I’m no one special; I wasn’t trained for this, I don’t have a prestigious pedigree, and I know what it’s like to work and raise a family. Trust me, if I can fight against government oppression, anyone can. And I’ll be right there alongside you.
4. Anyone who follows you on Twitter can expect to read regularly about Leif, Thing 1 and Thing 2. Tell us about your family (and how your daughters earned those monikers!).
Like I said above, I got married very young. I was 19, and I married my best friend in the whole world. Our wedding was perfect and beautiful and shortly thereafter, we (unexpectedly!) got pregnant with Thing 1. I finished my B.A., but decided to take some time out to be a mommy. Four years later, we decided to have another baby, and we were blessed with Thing 2.
I affectionately call my daughters Thing 1 and Thing 2 because I got some really nasty hate mail in my early days of punditry. I couldn’t stand people I didn’t know saying they wanted my daughters to die in my presence, while using their precious names. Ever since then, I’ve become ferociously protective of their names.
5. Name some of your favorites: Books, movies, musical artists, vacation spots, holidays and a couple miscellaneous items of your choice.
Hawaii is my happy place. I’ve been a handful of times, and it’s impossible not to smile on the isles.
As for books, I have to admit that I’m a romance novel reader. I so seldom get to read these days that I love knowing that the main characters are going to end up happy together. There’s enough bad stuff on the five o’clock news, and I consider reading my escape. In fact, I call most of my silly novels “mental margaritas.”
My favorite movie is “The Count of Monte Cristo”, my favorite band of the moment is Train, my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving and my favorite piece of jewelry is a sapphire and diamond cross that Leif got me a few years ago.
6. Who are 3 of your heroes/role models and why and who are 3 public figures who drive you nuts and why?
Name any three of the founding fathers and they’re my heroes. They stood against an oppressive government with their lives on the line. If that’s not courage, I don’t know what is.
Three public figures that drive me nuts are Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Joe Biden. Do I really need to say anything more?
7. You’re one of the most recognized members of Smart Girl Politics. Tell us how you got involved in this organization.
I’ve been involved with SGP from the beginning. I’ve always admired the organization and the camaraderie they offer to so many women like myself. So many conservative women have wanted to come forward and let their voices be heard and SGP provides an amazing platform for them. There are more of us than most people think and SGP provides an outlet for us.
8. Piggybacking on the last question: You’re a busy stay-at-home Mom with 2 young children who still finds time to stay informed and involved in conservative activism. How do you do it?
Oh goodness! First of all, the laundry doesn’t always get done. But mainly, I make my kids a part of what I’m doing. If there’s an evening that I can’t get them to settle down for 20 seconds, I let them record the intro to my show. They also know when Mommy has an important interview and are usually pretty good about sitting in front of the TV when I need them to. J
My parents help me out a lot too, and I am so blessed to have them nearby. Thankfully, it seems they’ve been waiting their whole lives to become grandparents, and I openly admit that I take advantage of their adoration of my children as much as possible.
Of course, I couldn’t do anything without my amazing husband, Leif. He is constantly working his schedule around mine, telling me how much he loves me along the way. He’s my brainstorming team, my shoulder to cry on, and my hand to hold. He’s fantastic and amazing. The end.
9. You are a committed Christian. How does your understanding of faith impact your political involvement and outlook?
Well, this is a pretty deep question, huh? I look at conservatism as a way to protect Christianity. There has never been a liberal/socialist/communist society that has not tried to stamp out religion. One of the reasons I’m so committed to restoring the founding principles of America is to protect religious freedom. God gave me the gift of being able to string words together, and I do what I do to protect those human rights that He gave us. It would be an insult to God to do otherwise.
10. Name three goals that would be on your “Bucket List.”
1- Watch my children grow up to be happy with whatever they decide to do with their lives.
2- Be close to my eventual grandchildren and spoil them rotten.
3- Dance with my husband on our 75th wedding anniversary – July 13, 2077.