In yet another example of how our time on earth is so fleeting, nine years ago, the conservative movement lost one of its happiest warriors when Andrew Breitbart lost his life on this day in 2012.
Breitbart was just 43 years old when he died of a heart attack.
It is hard to know where to begin when talking about Andrew Breitbart. He was a driving force, a hurricane of conservative thought and action.
He could be a deep philosophical Platonic-like thinker. And he could be raw and in your face, calling the left out for exactly what he knew they were in a profanity-laced rant.
To some up and coming conservatives who wanted a voice and maybe were not quite sure how to go about it – people like me – Andrew gave us a template and some hope.
We lost the GOAT on March 1st, 2012
Got to meet Andrew once at a fundraiser in Philadelphia. Asked him to sign my copy of Righteous Indignation.
He wrote “Keep Up The Fight” pic.twitter.com/G13L8toj31
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) March 1, 2021
Breitbart Didn’t Start Out As A Conservative
Andrew Breitbart was not always the conservative firebrand that his fellow conservatives grew to know and love. He credits a high school buddy to turning him on to liberalism.
He said that what started to sway his thinking was watching the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
There is an old saying that says something about how converts are sometimes the most ardent believers. Andrew Breitbart was a walking example.
He could be described as prophetic because he had an innate sense of where culture, media, and politics were all going, and he knew they were all draining into the same “swamp.”
One of Breitbart’s most famous quotes was, “politics is downstream from culture.” What he meant was what another activist, Matt Kibbe, would say: “Politics is a lagging indicator.”
The dominant culture drives politics, not the other way around.
Breitbart warned that conservatives were going to have to engage in the war for the culture. If they did not, they were not going to do well in the political war.
Talk about prophetic. Look around you today, and it is painfully clear that conservatives have never taken that advice seriously.
Andrew Breitbart also knew that media and information was going digital. He knew that websites like The Drudge Report and Huffington Post were going to be the places that young people would go, not just to get straight news, but in many cases, to be told what to think.
Even looking back just eight years to 2012, could he have ever known what the media landscape of today would be like? How far it’s gone?
“As long as it is supported by Democratic politicians and by liberal Hollywood players, censorship is a useful tool to stifle dissent.”
– Andrew Breitbart, 1969 – 2012 pic.twitter.com/QHlKOiJvv3
— Writer-Director RICK PAMPLIN (@RickPamplin) March 1, 2021
Conservative Citizen And Investigative Journalist
For Breitbart, it wasn’t just about knowing these things, though.
Like the left, he realized that the right must act.
ACORN was an organization that billed itself as a “community organizing” group, something that got your name on the map during the Obama years.
Breitbart and a few compatriots, including one you might have heard of, James O’Keefe, went undercover as a prostitute and a pimp as the group showed them how to get around tax authorities.
As a result, the venerable leftwing outfit ended up on the ash heap of history.
Andrew confronted racism in all its forms as well. Memorably, in 2010, then-Georgia Director of Rural Development Shirley Sherrod told an audience of NAACP members that she did not give the “full force” of her help to a white farmer who had come to her, a black woman, for assistance.
Andrew released the video of her comments. Many on the left defended Sherrod, saying her comments were of course, “taken out of context.” But the video spoke for itself – and Sherrod was forced to resign.
That’s real action.
“The real hate crime these days is the Orwellian intimidation wielded by the Left against those that don’t think the way they do. It’s worse than waterboarding.”
– Andrew Breitbart, 1969 – 2012 pic.twitter.com/3gMJcGYtL1
— Writer-Director RICK PAMPLIN (@RickPamplin) March 1, 2021
Meeting Andrew Breitbart
In 2011, this humble correspondent was beginning as a struggling writer. The website “Smart Girl Politics” had grown and become its own conservative force. The “Smart Girl Summit” was held in St. Louis in 2011.
One of the guest speakers was Andrew Breitbart.
After giving one of his motivating, tell-it-like-it-is speeches, the line to meet Andrew began to form quickly. I knew I would have to be pushy to get in line, so I was. I walked up, shook his hand and told him what I had begun to do.
Not being your average 25-year old writer, I am sure I stood out. Not to Andrew, he thought it was the coolest thing ever. I asked him, “What advice would you give to someone like me, a blogger just starting out?”
His answer has never left me.
“Get in their face.”
Given the state of affairs conservatives and the Republican Party finds themselves in, it is high time we all take Andrew’s advice. It’s better late than never.
The media is never going to like you, they will never be fair to you, and they will always twist what you say.
Many of us remember where we were when we heard the news about Andrew Breitbart. Kind of like how we remember where we were when we heard about Rush Limbaugh just a few weeks ago.
Both times, we probably asked ourselves, what do we do now? Where do we go from here?
It was at CPAC in 2012 when Andrew Breitbart declared “War” on the left.
Not long after his death, those who admired him adopted his moniker and declared, “I am Breitbart.”
That is what we do now. That is where we go from here. We are ALL Breitbart now.
Rest In Peace to our forever Happy Warrior. We will continue to carry on for you.
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