“Barack Obama is a radical; we should not be afraid to say that! Okay?”
Andrew Breitbart made that declaration at CPAC, 2012, and he did so in his customary intense style of speaking. If ever there was a word warrior, that would be Breitbart.
When I learned he passed away this morning, I was astonished. I was also disheartened because Breitbart was a driving force in new conservatism, unafraid to speak what he believed and deliberately irreverent when it came to the Left.
I’d come to realize the personal price he paid. Most days and nights I’d see him Re-Tweeting virulent messages he received from Leftwingers. Some expressed a wish for his death. Breitbart apparently reveled in sharing the vicious persona that characterizes some on the extreme Left.
The Internet media guru had already made a sizable imprint on history, by being part of the Drudge Report. Shortly after news of Breitbart’s death was announced, a message was posted above the fold on the iconic site:
“DEAR READER: In the first decade of the DRUDGEREPORT Andrew Breitbart was a constant source of energy, passion and commitment. We shared a love of headlines, a love of the news, an excitement about what's happening. I don't think there was a single day during that time when we did not flash each other or laugh with each other, or challenge each other. I still see him in my mind's eye in Venice Beach, the sunny day I met him. He was in his mid 20's. It was all there. He had a wonderful, loving family and we all feel great sadness for them today... MDRUDGE”
I didn’t know Breitbart personally. I knew him through his writing, his speeches and his activism. I do know he fought for what he truly believed in and he truly believed in America. He didn’t back down and he didn’t adopt the politically correct demeanor that neutered the conservative movement for longer than I can remember.
Breitbart knew how to fight fire with fire—he was a scrapper. Because he made history, his work will outlive him. Above all, Breitbart recognized the fact we are in a war for freedom, a fact that eludes many on the right and many voters in the general population.
At the CPAC gathering, Breitbart told the crowd he had videos of Obama from his college days. Breitbart said:
“I have videos, this election we’re going to vet him,’ Breitbart disclosed to raucous applause. ‘We are going to vet him from his college days to show you why racial division and class warfare are central to what hope and change was sold in 2008.’”
To his family and inner circle, all I can say is I am sorry for your loss, and thank you for sharing him with the rest of us. I know that had to be a sacrifice.
He will be remembered and rest assured, his work will go forward.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/March 1, 2012)