It’s not particularly a secret that Rick Harrison of “Pawn Stars” is a conservative. In fact, as far as the entertainment industry goes, he’s one of the highest-profile people willing to admit that they’re denizens of the right.
It’s also not a secret that he’s one of the funniest conservatives out there and has a healthy dose of contempt for anyone who thinks socialism might work.
“I truly believe that if you’re older and you’re educated and you’re touting socialism, you’re either not that intelligent or you’re evil,” Harrison said in an August 2018 interview with Mark Levin. “It comes down to that.”
During his appearance at the 2019 Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, he had a better metaphor for it.
“The majority (of) people in this room know that socialism is just stupid,” the legendary owner of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop told attendees.
“It’s literally like heroin. The first shot is great. For a little bit it’s wonderful, but then the rest of your life is a living hell.”
“And that’s literally what the socialists are doing,” he added.
Free stuff, of course, can be addicting. However, polities can’t end up in rehab. They can only hit rock bottom.
“Once you give someone something it’s hard to take it away,” Harrison said. “Then you get Venezuela.”
Harrison also began his speech by talking about why he “came out of the closet as a conservative, because being a celebrity and being a conservative equals a big cut in pay.”
Harrison talked about being “brought home from the hospital to a mobile home my parents had parked in my grandfather’s backyard.” While his family moved up to the middle class, Harrison never moved past the 9th grade due to epileptic seizures. The problem, he said, was exacerbated by the fact that he went through government-run health care since his father was in the Navy, which is why he despises it, saying “I am a product of it.”
“When I was a kid and I went to the doctor, it was a seven- or eight-hour experience,” Harrison said. “I never had the same doctor for more than six months my entire life.”
He notes that “even though I was a sick kid, I was not able to graduate high school — all these things that were all against me, but I was in a country where it doesn’t matter. You try hard enough and you can basically achieve anything in this country.”
He “started a pawn shop at 23,” managed to teach himself business, then turned himself into a media icon, all thanks to a love of books and hard work. That, he said, is what turned him into a conservative.
In an interview with The Wrap before his CPAC speech last year, Harrison said, “Yeah, I’m a Trump guy.”
“There’s a million things wrong with government that need to get fixed but none of its ever going to get fixed unless we start educating our children better,” he added.
For Harrison, at least, it seems like the “heroin” of socialism never had its appeal. The same can’t be said for many Americans today, particularly among the younger generation. Once an addiction begins, however, it’s incredibly hard to stop. The easiest way is to never start at all. If you want an addiction, you may be better off — like Harrison — with books and hard work.
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