Andrew Breitbart first appeared on my radar when he exposed ACORN (in conjunction with James O’Keefe) for the fraud it was. I was newly fired up about the conservative cause after Barack Obama ran for and won the presidency in 2008. You see, I spent the majority of my adolescence and young adult years a Leftist. I was a staunch defender of every leftist cause du jour (except abortion). When Barack Obama began his presidential bid, I didn’t know much about him, but my gut reaction was “snake in the grass.” It was then that I really began paying attention and it was then that I finally came to peace with who I had always been – a conservative.
Still trying to find my footing in the Right, Andrew Breitbart immediately grabbed my attention. I loved his grit, his humor and his ability to disarm the Left simply by beating them at their own game. I followed the implosion of ACORN and witnessed the media frantically scramble to discredit Breitbart. And as I watched Breitbart stick it to interviewers, I found myself cheering out loud. Coming from a place where I was excoriated, bullied and chastised every time I dared to think for myself (also known as the Left), watching Breitbart in action made me realize it was perfectly OK to piss off the Left and probably pretty fun too. His unapologetic demeanor and unwavering support of the truth emboldened me to find my voice.
I had the privilege of meeting Breitbart a few months ago. After meeting him I liked him even more. I was pleasantly surprised that he was even more engaging in person than he was in everything I’d read and watched. We exchanged stories about our time in the Left, laughed about their hypocrisy and recounted our “awakenings.” Through the course of the conversation, he came up with two projects for me. Projects I would likely never have thought of on my own. I was struck by his ability to explain the Left and their agenda in a way that no one else could and his aptitude for finding ingenious ways to address their shallow hypocrisy.
When I read that he passed away I was absolutely devastated. Then I was confused. Why was I so upset by the passing of someone I’d met once? It was only then that I realized how deeply I appreciated and thrived on everything he did for us and for the sake of truth. He was our safety net, our guard dog baring his teeth at anyone who dared threaten us. I felt empty, lost and vulnerable.
Andrew Breitbart was and will forever be my hero. He taught me to be myself – unapologetically. He knew exactly how to get under the skin of every liberal in the media smear machine and make them writhe in discomfort while in turn, showing us their Achilles heels. Breitbart didn’t just blaze a trail or clear a path for us, he dropped a load of daisy cutters. He completely revolutionized the scope of media and equipped us with everything we need to win this war. And he didn’t just teach it, he lived it. While I’m deeply saddened that we lost our General and our guide, I’m hopeful. We are privileged to live in the world Breitbart changed. He is our battle cry “…war.”
My thoughts and prayers are with the Breitbart family in this trying time. May the Lord grant them immeasurable peace.