Jason Pye: Local Boy Does Good

Stolen from Pye’s Facebook page

My political online writing experience began 10 years ago last month. It began with me making a late night comment on a political blog that I had been reading for months. Way back when, there was no Facebook for most of us. If you wanted to talk with people of common interests, you had to go where they were on the internet.

One of the contributors at the time was this strange kid named Jason Pye. He was a libertarian. At times, he was also a Libertarian. He was rigid and inflexible. He refused to ride MARTA because it was federally subsidized. He was emphatic that Government shouldn’t pick winners and losers, and opposed any policy or change in policy that he believed it did. He was difficult. He was unyielding. But he was also, and more importantly, consistent.

All of us have grown a lot since those wild west days of internet politics. Some had defined ideas of where they wanted to go and how they planned to get there. Others enjoyed the ride for a while as it lasted. Some of us became a dog that caught a car we didn’t even know we were chasing (i.e, me). And then there’s Pye.

If this is a tortoise and hare tale, Jason Pye was the tortoise. His participation was steady. His recognition and career trajectory began slowly. When we all left the last place, Jason was the last of the regular contributors that were there when I arrived still participating. He and I had already discussed his transition out.

Jason had begun a new job with FreedomWorks. He was handling their communications, and having a personal opinion on a blog didn’t mesh well with being the voice of an organization. He’s since received a promotion, and he’s now their Director of Public Policy and Legislative Affairs.

It was a long road, but for him, it was the direct one. He’s grown, but he’s done it his way. He’s still the principled person I met a decade ago. He’s also now in a position to influence those things he cares about.

Stolen from Pye’s Facebook page. Note V.P Pence & HHS Secretary Price seated to his right.

Over the weekend I saw a Facebook post that reminded me a public acknowledgment of his success is in order. It reads as follows:

I can’t think of a more humbling experience than the one I had today. I had the opportunity to join other conservatives and libertarians in a meeting with Vice President Pence to discuss our concerns with the American Health Care Act. After the meeting, the Vice President took us to the West Wing, where we went into the Oval Office and briefly saw the President.

My opinions on the current political climate and how I feel about AHCA aside, I look back on my life and continue to wonder how I got where I am. I’m pretty damn lucky.

If you know Pye, you’ll know that’s not a “humble brag” – the “hey, look how super I am” posts we’re all familiar with. He’s a genuine guy, and remains a humble one. Which is why you want him and people like him in the rooms of power. I’m glad he is. And I’m damn proud of him. Because whether he realizes it or not, he made a lot of his own luck.

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