Andrew Breitbart's passing has left many of us stunned and stricken with grief.
As a contributor at both RedState and BigGovernment, I knew Andrew only through discussions at conferences, texts, and an occasional telephone call. However, this morning, like so many, the news of his untimely death struck like a blow to the gut.
Andrew Breitbart was one of a kind. He was an ordinary man who, in his short 43 years on earth, did extraordinary things.
He was, first and foremost, a husband and a father. Andrew was also a warrior and, as many know, a general in a cultural and philosophical war for America's future. His leadership in that war, his ability to get into the trenches (and under the skin of the Left), is how so many of us came to know and admire him.
Like those of us who have spent time on the dark side, Andrew understood the Left more than most and, more importantly, he was not afraid to confront the Left head on—and he did it with joyous zeal.
As a contributor at BigGovernment, Andrew knew who I was before we ever personally met. However, it wasn't until the second time we saw each other at a conference last year before he recognized me in person. This was when he was doing book signings for Righteous Indignation: Excuse me while I save the world.
That day, I waited until his line of fans had gotten smaller when I approached the table he was seated at. He looked up, expecting to sign a book (which I didn't have with me) and I said to him: "You know, the best part of your book starts on page 147."
He looked at me in confusion for a moment before I explained that on page 147 is where he tells activists how to fight the Left.
A couple of months later, Andrew and I spent nearly two hours on the phone one day talking about the left and its tactics—which he knew all too well. During that conversation, Andrew stated he had never realized how deeply entrenched the Left is in today's union movement until just a few years ago.
It was then that I briefly explained how the Left has always viewed unions as the tool through which to conduct their revolution; that Samuel Gompers fought for decades to keep the socialists out of the union movement; and how the push for the Orwellian-named Employee Free Choice Act (aka card-check) was the means to achieve one-party rule (something the Left admitted in 2009 at Netroots Nation).
When we spoke, I mentioned to him that the reason page 147 in his book is important is because there are so many activists out there who know what the problem is (a $15.4 trillion debt and $117 trillion in unfunded liabilities, for starters), but few know what to do about it.
Though I later included a summary of his main points in the Become a Force Multipler: 5 Tasks for American Activists PowerPoint, it was the beginning of a longer conversation that, unfortunately, was cut too short due to his passing.
Right now, the Left is reveling in Andrew's passing.
On the phone earlier, a mutual friend of ours said she wasn't sure whether to cry or get the knives over how the Left is behaving.
Mourn today, get the knives out tomorrow, I responded.
It is what Andrew would want. We all know that.
While America has lost a warrior in the last 24 hours—a general, if you will—the fight must go on.
In one of the most personal and beautifully eloquent tributes, conservative activist Katie O'Malley concluded:
All morning I have wondered, how do you fill the hole he has left? What leader can step up to take his place? And I know. No one can. He is irreplaceable. One person alone can never fill the gaping hole he leaves behind. We don’t need one Andrew Breitbart to carry on. We need thousands of Andrew Breitbarts. We need you to be Andrew Breitbart.
My heart is broken. But today, and going forward until my last breath, I am Andrew Breitbart.
Or, as Josh Trevino simply tweeted this morning: You wish to honor the man? Very well then: take up his sword and fight as he did.
As Americans, whose government has betrayed its own people and saddled it with debts and liabilities that far exceed our assets, the fight must continue.
Do not let Andrew's life or his passing be in vain.
Let his example and our combined loss lead your righteous indignation and carry us forward.
“Socialism has no place in the hearts of those who would secure the fight for freedom and preserve democracy.” Samuel Gompers, American Federation of Labor, 1918