Breitbart in the World
In all of today's tributes and remembrances to the late Andrew Breitbart, there is a common core, a central touch point. Andrew Breitbart was passionately doing something. Andrew Breitbart was accomplishing something. Andrew Breitbart was fighting for something, relentlessly and often in the face of incredible opposition. Andrew Breitbart was empowering somebody. Andrew Breitbart was the quintessential happy warrior. Andrew Breitbart was a man of action.
In the vernacular of entrepreneurs, Andrew Breitbart simply "got sh*t done." Tons. Every day. All day. And had a helluva time doing it.
And here is what made it more special: he didn't get "sh*t done" for the powerful or the connected. It was, by and large, for those "out of the loop" and marginalized—from the Tea Party and GOProud, to True the Vote, Veterans and Bloggers, and just about everyone in between.
His fighting spirit, searing intelligence, and fire-breathing rhetoric separated him from mere “mortals.” To watch Andrew work was to watch a master.
He was the definition of motion, but his constant actions never lacked purpose. He was the antithesis of establishment Washington, where activity is often mistaken for achievement; and the status quo, the powerful, and the well-connected win by default.
Andrew devoted his life to hammering away at these powerful institutions, most notably the Democrat-Media Complex. He wanted to tear it down. And because of him, the old order is beginning to crumble. The foundation is shaking. The denizens are trembling.
The Texting. Calling. E-mailing. Typing. Surfing the web. Editing. Speeches. The Rallies. Constant tweeting. And retweeting. He was nonstop. It seemed like he sometimes did all these things at once. He was a blur. From sunrise to sunset, Andrew Breitbart was a force of nature.
And everything he did was in the name of connecting people, uniting groups, ensuring there were always more voices, not less.
Everything he did was aimed at hammering away at the Democrat-Media Complex and giving a voice to a counter-narrative. In particular, Andrew wanted to give a voice to those "The Complex" had shut out.
And in many ways, he is still succeeding and achieving even after his passing. His website continues to gain more influence. Scholarships and fellowships have been named in his honor. New citizen journalists ready to take on the institutional Goliaths have joined his army of Davids.
And in the end, that was Andrew's genius.
It was in not serving the powerful and the connected but those on the margins and then empowering them to lead. After 15 years of being behind the scenes with Matt Drudge and Arianna Huffington (Breitbart, in a genius way, helped Huffington create her website so all the liberals could gather in one and their radical views could be seen by all), came forth at exactly the moment when the common man put down the remote control and took to the street and the Internet. He arrived when new technologies made everyone a journalist, allowing any citizen to hold the powerful to account, to root out corruption, and shine a bright light on the corrupt mainstream media and establishment.
"Put your cameras up in the air," Andrew famously said at a Tea Party rally in Washington, telling citizens new technologies were leveling the playing field and empowering them in ways unimaginable even a decade ago.
And Andrew Breitbart became their leader through action—direct action.
People will remember Andrew as someone who couldn't sit there and take the bias, lies, and intimidation anymore and decided to take action—and fight. Ferociously and relentlessly fight. And they will be motivated to do the same, to join him in his #War.
That, I believe, will be his lasting legacy and great influence.
Andrew’s lifelong friend and our Breitbart News CEO Larry Solov began today’s tribute with a quote from Lao-Tze. I would like to end with one: “When the best leader’s work is done the people say: 'we did it ourselves.'”
Photo credit: For the Good of Illinois/Flickr