It is no surprise that the sudden passing of conservative activist icon Andrew Breitbart left a gaping hole in the conservative movement. Many have been moved to pen tribute pieces to him, honoring his legacy and informing those around them of his impact upon their lives and the conservative ideals they hold so dear. Below is a compilation of Breitbart tribute pieces we received over the past few days.
A Tribute to Andrew Breitbart
By Brian J. Heavey
Andrew Breitbart will be remembered in as many ways as there are people who remember him; such was the man’s larger-than-life personality and outsize impact. His enemies see him mainly as a dirty right-wing trickster, a partisan hack with no regard for truth. But politics was only incidentally part of the Breitbart phenomenon. Andrew understood the world in a way precious few people do, and as evidence for that one need only look at his work with Drudge and, later, founding the “Big” series of websites. The man could push buttons.
Those of us who consider ourselves his allies, his disciples, his fellow freedom fighters, would do well to study his example. As those who knew him personally will attest, he didn’t consider himself a political figure. Tucker Carlson writes that “electoral politics… bored him.” Kathryn Lopez remembers that he was not “a schooled conservative.” But Andrew Breitbart clearly saw something rotten about politics in America, specifically the big wet blanket of political correctness the Left has been using to stifle dissent for years. As he himself put it, in Tweet-speak, “I’m far less political than any1 can imagine I am just hyper-vigilant abt left’s instinct 2shut down debate.”
Andrew absolutely refused to accept the Left’s terms of debate, which, for me, was the greatest thing about him. He understood that if we were going to win the game, we couldn’t play by two sets of rules, the way the Left wants. We can’t accept the shackles that our political opponents place on us. We cannot accept that certain subjects are taboo, that only certified Sensitive Liberals whose hearts are in the right place can hold forth on any issue remotely touching race or gender politics. We can’t be afraid.
I never knew Andrew Breitbart, but I knew he wasn’t afraid. He took delight in the ridiculous epithets, the over-the-top hysterics of the Left-wing PC police. His Twitter stream was a constant reminder of the venom and the intellectual dishonesty of many on the political Left. The people who want to run this country, the people who want government to run health care and everything else, aren’t operating under any set of principles. They’re not willing to lose honorably. These people are deeply, morally convinced that they are right. Civility isn’t a principle; it’s a convenient weapon. They know that we still place value on words like “tolerance” and “respect,” and so they seek to use them to shut us up. Breitbart knew this, and he turned it around on his critics. And we loved him for it.
So while you’re saying a prayer, lifting a glass, or mourning in your own way for Andrew Breitbart, remember what the man stood for. Don’t be afraid. Don’t accept their rules. Do speak out. And do remember to laugh.
March 1, 2012 – The Day I Got to Know Andrew Breitbart
By Independent Girlism
“You think you KNOW someone!” How many times have I uttered that phrase? Today, I finally know what it means. My morning started at 6:30 am… okay, 6:45 once the snooze button had been hit. I stretched and reached for my phone to check Twitter/texts/email. First thing I see is a text from a good friend saying “Andrew Breitbart is dead!!!!!! WTF?!?!?”
My first thought upon reading that was, “Well this should be an interesting Twitter hoax!”, but then I started checking into it. Tweet after tweet, text after text said the same thing… Andrew Breitbart was, indeed, deceased. Shock, horror, pain, prayer, and tears ensued, but not necessarily in that order or isolated.
I had gone to bed the night before after reading some tweets from him, or rather from his haters. That was always entertaining and put me in a peaceful state of mind. I felt I KNEW him through his tweets and web empire. Not to mention his interviews, speeches and impromptu press conferences! He took control of the situation, but never seemed to make anyone around him feel inferior.
Having never met him myself, I could only infer what he was like in person. I imagined this tornado of energy and enthusiasm for his next project. His voice booming over everything, but making people feel at home no matter where he was.
This summer I was hoping to meet him at a conference I am attending in D.C. for Smart Girl Politics. When asked during a conference call, who I would like to see speak there, I IMMEDIATELY answered “Andrew Breitbart!” However, I was too late as most of the women on the State Coordinator conference call were saying the same thing! Apparently, the man had made quite an impression the year before.
When I meet someone I admire, I like to introduce myself in a way that is unique. After a few days of wracking my brain about what to say to Andrew, I came up with the perfect intro… ”Oh my GOODNESS!!!! You are the guy who was in ‘Atlas Shrugged’! Your extra work was PHENOMENAL! I am so pleased to meet you!” I choose to believe that would have made him laugh.
Truth is, I didn’t know him, not even a little bit. After reading articles, listening to the radio and watching the TV, it turns out he was even more grand than my little imagination could have made him! To hear those that knew him best tell it, he was gregarious, loud, funny, wicked smart, addicted to electronics, a HUGE fan of 80’s music, a devoted father and husband, larger than life and a force of nature. In fact, the more I hear about him, the more I know he and I would have gotten along well.
Whether he knows it or not, he has influenced me. His brand of justice is EXACTLY what I had been looking for. I only wish God had let us keep him a little longer.
Andrew’s work here wasn’t done. We will take up where he left off. Fear of him living will be nothing compared to what is coming now that he is no longer here. You have been warned, Lefties. I mean really… ”You think you KNOW someone!”
I’ve never done anything important or meaningful for or with Andrew Breitbart. I only hung out with him, purely socially, a few times. He was a good friend of good friends. And I miss him terribly.
He started following me on Twitter long before we met in person. It was the day after he did a radio show with several friends and acquaintances, but I’ve been told it’s because we love the same music. The first thing he said to me in person was “Who are you?” while looking at some news on his iPad during the introductions and the second was “Oh yes! Yes! Of course! Good music. Great music.” The third was “Oh, come on! You know what fisting is,” which would sound more sordid if you didn’t know about the “Safe School Czar” story. After that night, he always knew who I was, even though he knew everybody, and I’m nobody special.
Andrew was constantly at war with those who wanted to twist the cultural narrative to fit their aims, but he was cheerful and warm. His propensity to erupt into laughter at himself was endearing and infectious. I never was in his presence where he didn’t make me laugh. If we were talking about music, his encounters with the Left, or how awesome mutual friends were, he was engaged and passionate. And he was happy.
It’s no small wonder that so many of us view him a standard-bearer. Even if he wasn’t present, he brought so many people together for the common goal of personal freedom… and fighting the more poisonous elements of the ideological Left. I met him through friends, but those friends all knew each other through him. They wrote for the Bigs, or ran radio shows, or composed music for those shows. I made friends just reading and listening to that material. They introduced me to other people, as I did for them. He created, without trying, his own Dumbledore’s Army.
I spent time celebrating his life with a lot of those folks a few nights ago. We all had gorgeous, effervescent stories about the first thing he said to each of us, or the last thing, or the funniest/most embarrassing thing. I can’t repeat most of it. He once introduced me to a prominent public person thusly: “This is Kellie Jane. She has a saucy, naughty Twitter.”
He was excited about truth and exuberant when reality was unearthed from rhetoric. He championed friends’ work boldly. He paid attention to a thousand things at once. He wasn’t always 100% aware of the details of what was being said or written, which is why he had editors. But he was like an indecisive kid at Baskin Robbins. He tasted all the flavors.
He was good people. He was a force. How is that force gone? It’s unimaginable. I still can’t conceive of it. Many folks said that night, in person or through other means, that it is now all our jobs to pick up his torch. We need to slough off misleading rhetoric to expose the facts of any political move. We need to challenge the Left’s seductive narrative to young people. We need to stop acting apart from culture and start contributing to it. And we need to do it happily.
Well, I’m not happy today, but I’m eager to help. Expelliarmus, Alinskyites!
Some Thoughts on Andrew Breitbart’s Passing
By Greg B
Though I never met him, I owe Andrew Breitbart a lot. In many ways, Andrew inspired me to be the person I am online today. It was Andrew’s tweets that inspired me to start tweeting, and I modeled my first argument with a liberal after him. It was Andrew’s “Big” websites that inspired me to start blogging.
I remember the first time Andrew retweeted me. It was during Christmas break in 2010 and Andrew was doing an interview on the Larry O’Connor Show. I was tweeting along with the show (as I have a habit of doing from time to time) and tweeted something sarcastically (note: sarcasm does not carry well on Twitter) to Andrew. Andrew mistook it as Lefty hate, called me out on the show, and then retweeted me like he often did every night. Now this was kind of embarrassing and it got me a few conservatives attacking me thinking I was some liberal jerk. I quickly apologized to Andrew for that tweet and explained I was kidding, but I don’t know if he ever saw it. A few days later, I sarcastically responded to something Andrew tweeted (I should’ve learned my lesson) and he retweeted me as hate again (or he retweeted it because he thought it was funny, but I doubt that).
The only other time I can remember when Andrew retweeted me was when I recommended for people to buy his book (which you really should buy if you haven’t already). For a lowly conservative on Twitter like me, getting retweeted by the king of conservative new media, Andrew Breitbart, was, to quote Joe Biden, “a big effin deal.”
My thoughts and prayers go out to Andrew’s wife and four kids, his friends and everyone else who’ve had their lives touched by him.
Rest in Peace Andrew, you worked 24/7 fighting the ideological Left and the mainstream media, and we will take it from here. We will pick up your torch and finish your fight. We are all Andrew Breitbart now.
“Sit Your @$$ Down!”
By Eric Morris
The world over has memorialized Andrew Breitbart in many different ways. Commentators from the radical Right to the radical Left have spoken, written, and dedicated videos about his impact on the national media and political discourse in our daily lives. However, the true power of Breitbart’s voice, for me, was simple. Andrew would approach the vicious Marxist trolls (most of our media) of the righteous Left with all the indignation they deserved. He would all but tell them to “Sit your a#@ down!” I believe this approach to their calls of racism, sexism, etc. is the only approach worth pursuing. We as a movement should not dignify or lend an ounce of credit to the race- baiters of the political Left and the media complex.
The Tea Party was attacked viciously for being a white supremacy group that only held Obama in low esteem because he was a black man. The story was repeated in the news, popular culture, every left-leaning outfit over and over again. The big lie of the Tea Party was repeated loud enough, and often enough, that it started to cement into the minds of the American psyche. However, Andrew refused to play along with the American Left and the story they created. The man was fearless in pointing out the lies and blatant hypocrisy of the lies being told. He called for proof of racism, offered a one hundred thousand dollar reward, and spoke up where and when he could so that he might defend the Right against a narrative being created by the media, a narrative that for too long went unchallenged.
Now, many of the John Quincy Adams, Coolidge, and RINO-y types might sometimes sit high and mighty and have a disbelief that the media is attacking them too, but they very much are. Andrew also knew that an attack on one was an attack on all and he would go to great lengths to defend anyone within the conservative tent.
The Republican belief system is one that is totally repulsed by any form of collectivism, and rightly so. We have always been the party of the rugged-American-individual which makes it easy for us to become fractured and splintered on a variety of issues. Andrew rightfully saw said splintering as something of a stumbling block of the Right and was working to fix that problem. He wanted the right to just as easily coordinate and collectively promote messages so that we as a movement would become more effective than we had been in the past. He saw a need, and the power of the “one voice system” which has been, for so long, a staple of the political Left. If you have moderate, cultural, fiscal, neo, paleo, and social conservatives all branching off and creating infighting, it is hard for the movement as a whole to really buckle down and defeat the Marxists who are ruining the nation. I don’t believe that Andrew thought certain groups should shut up and sit down for the good of the country, but I believe he saw a need for us all to set aside varying issues for a period of time so that we might defeat the real enemy at hand.
I believe we should all follow the Breitbart’s way, by not lending credit or power to the race-baiters, but by collectively focusing on the 2012 election at hand, taking back the medium of pop-culture, and telling a few to simply “Sit your a$@ down!”