Rick Harrison is the star of the long-running reality TV show “Pawn Stars,” which focuses on the daily hagglings of a Las Vegas pawn shop.
But Harrison is more than a TV star and business owner. He’s also a political conservative who is not afraid to publicly express his views.
He was just speaking at American Conservative Union’s CPAC 2019 conference, which runs from Feb. 27 through March 3 in National Harbor, Maryland. Harrison used a story from his own life to explain why he’s conservative and why he knows he didn’t experience white privilege while growing up.
“I was born with no privilege whatsoever,” he began.
After telling the crowd he was born in Lexington, North Carolina, Harrison explained that he “was brought home from the hospital to a mobile home my parents had parked in my grandfather’s backyard. Both my parents, my brother, and my sister with Down's syndrome all lived in a mobile home.”
“My mom and dad made a total of less than $200 a month,” he continued, adding that things didn’t get better for the family until they got transferred by the Navy to San Diego and his mom got into real estate.
Due to a long bout with severe epileptic seizures, Harrison didn’t finish high school. He only completed the 9th grade.
“For the next ten years, I was sick a lot,” he explained. “I did ten years of government health care. My dad was in the Navy, [so] it was all basically Navy doctors and things like that.”
“This is why I absolutely hate the idea of government health care.”
“I’m a product of it,” he said. “Literally, when I was a kid and went to the doctor, it was seven- or eight-hour experience by the time we got our records and everything else like that. I never had the same doctor for more than six months my entire life.”
“That’s one of many reasons why I’m a conservative, but the other one is that — even though I was a sick kid, I was not able to graduate high school, all these things that were all against me — I was in a country where it doesn’t matter.”
“You try hard enough, you can basically achieve anything in this country.”
Harrison now has an estimated net worth of $8 million, according to Cheat Sheet.