Last week, I published my first book. Within two days, I Am a Conservative: Uncensored, Undiluted and Absolutely Un-PC hit Number 1 on Amazon’s “Political Humor” Kindle bestseller list and Number 7 on the overall “Political” ebook list.
Who the hell am I to write a book? Andrew Breitbart had an answer. I’m an American with something to say, and I get to be a part of the debate whether the traditional media gatekeepers like it or not.
Over three years ago, Andrew Breitbart asked me to write a piece for Big Hollywood. Andrew’s vision was a world in which technology made traditional, reflexively liberal information gatekeepers obsolete. I soon found myself immersed in rebel media, writing for all of Andrew’s Big sites, doing radio and podcasts several times a week, and using my notorious Twitter account to get my views out there. The ebook – and future ebooks – are the next logical step.
What’s really interesting, and Breitbart-esque, is that I Am a Conservative was an entirely do-it-yourself project. I wrote it, had some pals proofread it; Hot Wife made the cover (with an assist from Jon Gabriel), and then I uploaded it for sale (at a very reasonable $2.99) on Amazon’s Kindle format (And you don’t even need a Kindle –you can download a Kindle for PC reader for free in under a minute, and smartphone users can get a free Kindle reader app). Amazon handles the rest; I just promote it on social media, on the web, and using rebel media radio and podcasts.
And people have bought it. I didn’t have to ask a publisher if my product was worthy. The readers make that decision. I just wrote it and used technology to make it available. I feel like a middle-aged, right-wing lawyer version of the punk rockers of the late '70s putting out 7–inch singles they pressed themselves of songs the labels wouldn’t touch.
Songs guys like Andrew and me dug.
Since starting on with the conservative rebel media, I’ve been asked to write for the great folks at NY Post and theWashington Examiner and to talk legal issues on Fox News – it’s like I’m one of those punk bands being scouted by the major labels. None of this would have been possible even five years ago. I would have just had to sit silently, stewing at the liberal insanity engulfing my country.
I Am a Conservative is not about sitting silently. It’s about being loud, proud, and out there as a conservative:
I am a Conservative, and I don’t apologize.
Too many “conservatives” do — they want to come across as happy-face nice guys who would never dream of challenging others with the hard reality that success requires hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.
Well, it does.
I don’t want to make people happy — I want to make people aware. Then I want to make them get away from me so I can go do what the hell I please.
What follows is a whole bunch of insights into what it means to be a conservative — a real conservative who just doesn’t care, not some wussy pseudo-con who yearns for the approval of the liberal establishment so he can keep getting invitations to cocktail parties with Paul Krugman.
Even the liberalish Mediaite admits it’s a “fun” read, calling it “a concise summary of what conservatives stand for in 2012, and have stood for since about 2009.”
But it’s more than just a manifesto. Marshall McLuhan was right; here, the media truly is the message. And the message, to the establishment, the elite, the mainstream media, the cultural gatekeepers who used to have a veto over our expressing ourselves, is simple:
New media means that we’re part of the discussion. You can’t keep us out. And we’re going to render you irrelevant.
Glenn Reynolds, the legendary Instapundit and another inspiration to me (not least of all for showing how one can be a lawyer and not also a dork), observed how many little guys, working together and leveraging technology, can defeat seemingly invulnerable giants. He called the phenomenon “An Army of Davids” and even wrote a book about it.
We are all soldiers in that army; we’re all Davids. Each in our own ways, using the media we choose, we all need to jump into the debate and take out the mainstream media Goliath.
At the end of a long list of people who made I Am a Conservative possible, including my Hot Wife, the many friends I’ve made on Twitter, and my pals here at the Breitbart News Network, there is one more dedication to the man who still challenges all of us to jump into the fight wielding the weapons we feel best suit our skills and talents.
I want to thank my late friend Andrew Breitbart. I know a bit about leaders – I’ve served with many – but I’ve only met a few visionaries. Andrew was one. He had a vision of a technology-empowered culture in which the gatekeepers who never would have let something like this book see the light of day ten years ago now have to suck up the fact that I can publish it and you can read it and they no longer get a vote. Andrew’s message was that the culture is ours – go take it! And, I hope, that’s what I’m doing in a small way.
So go write an ebook. Or a traditional one. Go on the radio, or do a podcast. Tweet, use Facebook, post on Pinterest – technology has freed you to express your views about freedom, about our culture, about Constitutional values, about whatever you think is important.
And what about yesterday’s traditional media gatekeepers? Well, they can’t stop you anymore.