March 1st 2012. On that day The conservative movement lost the most vibrant, vital, and vocal leader we’ve had in decades, the inimitable Andrew Breitbart.
Of course, when I say “inimitable”, it’s not for a lack of people who, surely with good intentions, declared that they “are” Andrew Breitbart.
That’s writing a pretty big check, and sadly, it’s a check that’s bounced. Badly.
The vast majority of those folks claiming to “be” Andrew Breitbart latched onto his fierce, we’re-not-gonna-take-it attitude, and desire to crush the Neo-Progressive monstrosity the Left has become. However, they’ve largely lacked the insight, the curiosity, and the good humor to ACTUALLY follow down the path of the Happy Warrior. In fact, from my own experience dealing with these folks, they are anything BUT happy in their declarations of #WAR. Rather than utilizing “snark” as a means to an end, such as baiting the Left into making mistakes that our movement can capitalize on (ala one of AB’s signature moves- the Hate Retweet) our movement has largely devolved into using social media as group therapy- dumping on people and things (including fellow conservatives) they don’t like, instead of harnessing the true potential of the “sea of new media” as the equalizer Andrew Breitbart saw.
Of course, that’s not to say that there are NO heirs to the Breitbart ethos. Certainly folks like James O’Keefe and the Center For Medical Progress have kept the flame alive. However, those guys work from within organizations, taking a long time to embed themselves into situations and reveal well hidden information. What we lack, and what we are in serious need of, are people who will dive headlong into situations and cover them fairly, honestly, and with smiles on their faces.
If you search Andrew Breitbart on YouTube, you will see a nigh-endless list of clips of him in front of protesters, ably confronting them and confusing them, often simultaneously. One of my favorite examples of this was when Andrew took some of the anti-capitalist protesters he was covering (whilst rollerblading!) to Applebees for lunch. What do you even THINK as a protester after something like that?
That wasn’t the only trick up Andrew’s sleeve. In fact, when looking at the video, it seems that his most potent act was that of merely showing up to these protests, camera in tow, and talking to the protesters.
His curiosity was rewarded with video evidence of protesters calling him every name in the book, including homophobic slurs. It was amazing. His presence alone was enough to cause Leftists to implode, reducing their image from “valiant fighters for equality” to crass thugs full of sound and fury.
The good news is, as remarkable as Andrew was, that ability to get Leftists to overstep is not something unique to Breitbart alone. It is a tactic, one that Breitbart was a master at, and one we need to reincorporate into conservative toolboxes.
This tactic alone could be a game changer in the burgeoning movement against free speech on college campuses. What would happen to their “Safe Space” narrative if their leaders were caught spewing vile comments? *Poof!* Their narrative is up in smoke. The best part is, the Left has NO regard for people they disagree with, which makes it INCREDIBLY easy to catch them saying exactly that kind of crap.
Thing is, we need people to actually go out there and DO it. We need boots on the ground at places like Yale and MIZZOU. We need folks to raise a mirror to these Leftists and show everyone their TRUE nature.
We need people to pick up Andrew Breitbart’s mantle and run with it.
We live in a sea of new media; let’s make some waves and wash away the Left’s narratives.
After all, they’re built on sand.