Angry Americans and What the Future Holds

Curated Story
Paul Rieckhoff
This article originally appeared on Forbes

In 2004, just back from a combat tour in Iraq, Paul Rieckhoff started Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). After growing the group to over 500,000 members and spearheading significant federal policy to protect veterans, Paul transitioned IAVA to new leadership this year and started Righteous Media. We caught up with him—author, entrepreneur, frequent TV commentator, and now podcast host—to hear about his entrepreneurial journey and what’s ahead for media, veterans’ voices, and American democracy.

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Ashoka insight

Advocacy isn’t a big bang, it's a drum beat. I sound like a military planner here, but the truth is: you need to have a real goal, a real plan. Many groups don’t. Since IAVA’s beginning, our long term goal was to change the country, the world. Once you set that goal and do the analysis, the only way to get there is public policy.

Getting more into media and narrative change felt like the most powerful choice for me, and for what the country needs right now. I want to reinvent what a media company looks like in the same way I reinvented what a veterans' service organization looks like.

There’s a huge underrepresented constituency in America that doesn't align with existing media enterprises. These people are politically unaffiliated. They don't want Fox and they don't want MSNBC. They don't want Trump and they don't want AOC, so where do they go? Right now they're homeless. We're building a media home for that community. We’ll create impact through podcasts, TV shows, films, events, and anything else that makes sense to move our country, our world, forward.