Hearing about the death of Andrew Breitbart was a punch in the gut, and only now have I caught my breath and gathered my thoughts enough to write about it.
As one of the leading lights of the New Media, he had a confrontational, no-holds-barred approach to journalism that I could only admire. He used the institutional left’s own tactics against it, and as a result earned significant hatred and enmity. From making public James O’Keefe’s ACORN sting, to exposing Van Jones’s odious 9/11 trutherism, to showing that Congressman Lewis was lying about being spat upon and called n—er by tea partiers, his work was absolutely invaluable.
The institutional left in the news media, higher education, the entertainment industry, and government have spent decades shaping the narrative to portray anyone to the right of Woodrow Wilson as mean, racist, greedy, uncaring, and stupid, if not outright evil. Breitbart made it his business to expose the left’s moral posturing for what it is: a facade. A relative minority of left-wing individuals who do not respect individual sovereignty, who value confiscation over charity, who hold the rest of us in flyover country in seething contempt and seek to replace all of the mores and values that made this country great with a utopian fantasy of “social justice” should not control the entire country’s media the way it does. Breitbart understood that, and he had the foresight to realize that the great equalizer, the internet, was the only way to get this message across.
He fought them, and he fought hard. He relished the fight: the sort of man who retweeted the horrible things said to him and about him to show the world who he was fighting shows you how much he must have loved confrontation. That’s a kind of bravery few of us possess.
One of the reasons why I left off political blogging, for the most part, was because of the reaction to the Gabby Giffords shooting. Before anything was known about the shooter, before anyone understood the circumstances or reasons for it, the bright bulbs in the media blamed the murders on tea partiers and conservative rhetoric. They painted an appalling picture of their ideological adversaries with the blood of a dead nine-year-old girl. And even after it was shown that the killer, Jared Lee Loughner, was essentially apolitical and likely insane, they refused to walk back any of these truly disgusting claims. I honestly couldn’t believe it: a child was dead, other adults were dead, and a member of Congress was fighting for her life in the hospital, and the left did its best to make political hay out of it. That went beyond indecent. Have you ever gotten into an altercation with someone you start to think you shouldn’t have messed with? That’s how I felt. There was really no depth to which the left would not plunge. So I got out of it. Too dirty. I have a code of ethics, and part of that is to not deny the essential humanity of whomever I disagree with (as long as they aren’t trying to kill me).
It was a mistake. The left did the same thing to Rush Limbaugh in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing as they did to the conservative media after the Giffords shooting. They’ve had a stranglehold on the media narrative for so long that they’ll do anything to keep it. Breitbart was starting to break that hold. Talk radio is breaking that hold. The blogosphere and the New Media are breaking that hold. The left recognizes this now, and it frightens them. So they’ll try to silence us, whatever it takes.
I’m pretty sure that Breitbart would enjoy the left’s sickening orgy of dancing on his grave, and if there was any way to do so, he’d retweet their gleeful posts from the Great Beyond to prove how false their moral superiority really is. I’m personally disgusted by it (after all, he has a wife and four children), but not surprised: the left in this country has shown its hand. I can no longer pretend that my ideological opponents will play by the rules that come naturally to decent men.
So what do we do now? We have to fight, just like he did. We’re up against an entrenched, powerful enemy that will stop at nothing to maintain its hold on the media and higher education, and fights with tactics straight out of the Alinsky handbook. Don’t lose heart like I did once, and won’t do again. Pick up Andrew Breitbart’s standard, gird your loins, and wade back into the battle. We have a country to regain.