Wednesday, May 22, 2013
I don’t remember the moment that Andrew Breitbart came into my consciousness. It must have been something of a slow leakage… drip- drip- drip- his name popping up in connection with exposing “truth”. Eventually, I realized this man was someone I knew.
No. I hadn’t met him, but I knew him personally. He was me. He was the free-spirited, New Wave-loving, Conservative load-mouth that I had been for most of my life.
In high school, I was a Free-market Reagan Conservative, happily sharing my zeal for American freedom and opportunity and often got into heated discussions with other kids who believed that Reagan was somehow the bad guy who was going to blow up the planet. These were joyful days when I would let these misguided kids make their over-reaching statements, then come back with facts. More then one high schooler came away from our chats as newly born Conservatives. And always, it was a respectful exchange amongst our different ethnicities.
College afforded me more opportunities “to change hearts and minds” though it was on campus that I first encountered “the racist” argument. I remember one conversation with a very attractive black man. What started out as flirting became a conversation about the “old, white men who have always controlled the Government and the People”. Thomas Jefferson’s slaves were even invoked to which I started talking about liberty and freedom; about the need of each of us, as individuals, to be able to live without the government in our lives or bedrooms. He agreed whole-heartedly, and when I told him that I was paraphrasing Thomas Jefferson, a light came on in his eyes. “This” was the America he longed for, but had been convinced that Republicans were the party of BIG Government.
I marched into adulthood with pride in my principles and God on my side. I was unafraid.
Moving on to University, I had my first taste of institutional racism. During a literature class, we were asked to share our nationality and our “core” beliefs. I stated that I was Costa Rican and white, and that I was a Conservative Catholic. The professor paused for a long time. Then she spoke. “You don’t count as a Latina, because you look Italian or something.” With that, I was dismissed from serious conversation. Of course, that wasn’t my style at all and I quickly became the most out-spoken student in class… which led to being the most out-spoken student on campus… and that led to being the most hated student to the Progressive Faculty. They dealt me a heavy hand and by graduation, my spirit was wounded.
Limping along, squashed by the hipness of California Liberalism, I lost my voice. Every turn felt like another dead-end. And then… like a leaky faucet, Andrew Breitbart seeped into my broken moral fiber. Here was a man who embraced controversy. He accepted the challenge, not because he had nothing better to do, but because it was the right thing to do. My voice has been coming back to me because it is the right thing to do.
When Andrew Breitbart died, I had a moment of clarity. “There, but for the Grace of God, go I." rang long and loud in my grieving mind. Doctors had told me just months earlier that I would survive Breast Cancer. Without Breitbart, I thought , the world is going to need a new force for freedom. That must be why I survived. Because I’m needed to gear up for that fight.
On reflection, Andrew Breitbart was right about everything, or at least everything that matters, and his influence has changed our society forever. The New Media Movement has become nearly the only source of actual journalistic investigation and one must turn to Twitter and the Blogosphere for news that is unspoiled by Media Matters and the Progressive Agenda. That’s the legacy that Andrew Breitbart left us. In life, he whetted our thirst for truth; and in death, he continues to inspire us to drink of it.
And so it is.
Thank you, Andrew Breitbart! He is me!
Go see "Hating Breitbart" in the Theater!
It's worth it!
My review of "Hating Breitbart" on Rotten Tomatoes: