On Mar 01, 2012, conservative internet publisher Andrew Breitbart, whose reputation as a fighter against politicians and the media earned him the reputation as one of the nation’s most influential commentators, died suddenly from heart failure as a result of coronary artery disease and an enlarged heart.
While remembering him today makes me a little sad, on this ninth anniversary of his untimely death, his life reminds me that it’s important to stand up for what I believe in and to have fun doing it, even if people hate me for it. Or to be more accurate, especially when people hate me for it.
Andrew Breitbart was a prolific commentator and a giant in the conservative movement. Early in his career, he worked for the Drudge Report before breaking off to start the online Breitbart News Network that was ultimately hijacked and turned into an arm of Trump Pravda by Steve Bannon
Known for his no-nonsense, zero-tolerance approach to fighting for the things he believed in, Andrew Breitbart waged war against the progressives on the left AND on the right, making enemies of people from every political persuasion along the way. Many criticized him for this, but he considered his propensity for creating enemies a badge of honor and something to be proud of.
Less than a year before his passing, Andrew was interviewed by MRC Newsbusters to discuss his book Righteous Indignation, and he was asked about how it felt to have so many people hating him to which he unashamedly responded, “It’s fun to be liked, but when standing up for what you believe in, it’s also very fun not to be liked.”
After years of fighting my own no-nonsense, zero-tolerance war against leftist in both parties and faux conservatives, I’ve been the recipient of some of what Breitbart must have experienced. Some of these vitriolic attacks come from those on the left, but the overwhelming majority come from those who claim to be conservative.
This has been particularly true in the Age of Trump, where Trumpism is the new platform of the Republican Party, and where conservatism has been replaced by Nationalism (socialism with an “R” attached). This comes as no surprise, but it’s a clear indication of where the battle lines have been drawn.
Here’s a sample of what I’m talking about taken from comments I’ve received from listeners of my daily radio commentaries (language warning):
“Your [sic] a typical whinney [sic] never trumper! We (the base) are tired of hearing your shitty radio commercials.”
“You piece of garbage Democrat/never trumper. All you do is post shitty radio commercials that are pointless. Bush lost get over it bitch! You sound like a whinney [sic] soy boy. Grow a pair and move on with your life, loser!”
“Expecting conservative politicians to be as conservative as you would like would be disastrous to the party … I think you might be a democratic [sic] plant because you sound as negative as they do toward Republicans.”
Ever since the decimating defeat suffered by Trump and the Republican Party in the 2020 election, voices like mine are hated more than ever before because we had the audacity to speak the truth and we refused to bow at the altar of the mango messiah. And while it’s fun to be liked, I find myself believing as Andrew Breitbart did; it’s also very fun not to be liked when standing up for what I believe in.
Did Andrew Breitbart really like being hated? Was he some sort of political masochist? Maybe he was a Trump-like narcissist?
I believe this concluding passage from Righteous Indignation answers these questions:
“I love my job. I love fighting for what I believe in. I love having fun while doing it. I love reporting stories that the Complex refuses to report. I love fighting back, I love finding allies, and — famously — I enjoy making enemies.
“Three years ago, I was mostly a behind-the-scenes guy who linked to stuff on a very popular website. I always wondered what it would be like to enter the public realm to fight for what I believe in. I’ve lost friends, perhaps dozens. But I’ve gained hundreds, thousands — who knows? — of allies. At the end of the day, I can look at myself in the mirror, and I sleep very well at night.”
I agree with Andrew Breitbart because his words are my words too, although my version would be paraphrased along these lines:
I love standing for truth and fighting for the conservative values I believe in. I love having fun while doing it. I love reporting stories that the faux conservative media refuses to report. I love fighting back against Democratic Socialists in the Democrat Party and Nationalist Socialist in the Republican Party. I love finding allies (although that’s getting harder these days), and I enjoy making enemies if that’s what it takes.
I used to sit on the sidelines. I used to wonder what it would be like to enter the public realm and fight for what I believe in. I’ve lost friends, perhaps hundreds. But I’ve gained hundreds of allies. At the end of the day, I can look at myself in the mirror, and I sleep very well at night.
Being hated is fun; ironic when you think about it because people lob their hate bombs at me, hoping that I will grow discouraged and quit. Unfortunately for them, the exact opposite is happening.
A lesson for us all from the great Andrew Breitbart.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.