I, like much of America, was shocked and saddened this morning to hear about the passing of Andrew Breitbart at the young age of 43.
Meteoric is perhaps the only way to describe Andrew Breitbart's ascension into conservative prevalence, and the magnitude of his reporting has rocked the very foundation of progressivism. But perhaps what I will remember most of him is his courage in the face of an enemy bent on destroying him.
As a conservative, I have found his fearlessness immeasurably refreshing. He pulled no punches and minced no words in describing the political tactics of the American left. In a world where it had become normal for conservatives everywhere to bite their tongues in reverence to political correctness- in Hollywood, politics, media, schools, and workplaces across America- Andrew Breitbart spoke harshly and openly about the sinister agenda to inject progressive ideological planks into American culture through the media's slanted manipulation of facts.
This, as anyone can imagine, made him a reviled figure to the American left. But when the left spewed venom at him for his efforts, he did not cower- he reveled in it. As Jonah Goldberg notes, and as I know well as a follower of his on Twitter, it was normal for him to retweet the most incendiary attacks he would receive. Of this, Goldberg says, "it was his Wheaties. It's what he had for breakfast."
And his death has not stopped the flow of venom. Just this morning, I read a tweet from a woman,** self-described as a proud "wine-sipping liberal," directed at the deceased Breitbart, that reads: "I hope Satan fucks you in the ass with his flaming cock. Rot in hell!"
Where we all might wince at the unmitigated hate in this comment, there is a part of me that wants to smile. This woman, who would likely claim her ideology is predicated upon intellectualism and tolerance, has, with this crass and insensitive comment, proven to the world that she, like so many "wine-sipping liberals," possesses neither intellect nor tolerance. Social media has given her a length of rope, and she thoroughly hung herself. This was Breitbart's passion- to enjoy the spectacle of progressive self-destruction- and I have no doubt that had Breitbart been able to read the tweet, he would have smiled and happily retweeted it, knowing that it only reinforces his opinion of the left, and further exposes them for what they are.
But there is no escaping what an incredible loss the world, and conservatism in particular, has suffered. In efforts to explain what we are to make of that, I would offer these insightful words from Thomas Lifson of American Thinker, found here:
Breitbart had a zest for political combat. He reveled in being a polarizing figure. He had a genius for getting the goat of the opposition and never apologized for his swashbuckling style of journalism.
In the ancient world, opposing kings preparing for war would send out their champions to engage in single combat, sometimes to decide the outcome of the conflict, more often to indicate which side God was on. Andrew Breitbart was a conservative champion. But instead of riding out to meet a single warrior, he gladly sallied forth - sometimes alone - to combat the entire left. Along the way, he picked up many allies - and made many enemies. Win or lose, it seemed that most of the time, God was indeed on his side.
But if "A man's greatness can be measured by his enemies," so, too can it be judged by his friends. Don't listen to the prattling left today. Simply remember a man, made for his time, unique in his abilities, who left us for a far, far better place.
Rest in peace, Andrew, my friend whom I never met. I wish your family comfort, and offer my undying thanks for what you have given the world.
** The author of this tweet may be found here, should you wish to offer her a thought.