The following is a piece I wrote yesterday for my personal blog. I feel so strongly about it that I wanted to share it with the readers of Wizbang as well.
Andrew Breitbart was an exceptional American. He will not easily be replaced; as a matter of fact, I don’t think there’s anyone who honestly believes that the happy warrior will be replaced. That’s not to say that thousands, perhaps millions have been inspired by him to act, to fight, to stand up for the first time even, for the country that they love. We will, make no mistake, but actually replacingBreitbart? Not going to happen.
Which brings me to an interesting question. How does an exceptional American like Andrew Breitbart come to be?
I believe in Divine Providence. What takes place in this crazy world, takes place for a reason. It takes place because He wants it to take place. It serves His purpose, it takes place because it accomplishes His will. Yes, even the untimely, deeply saddening, and void creating death of Andrew Breitbart is part of God’s Divine Providence. Don’t ask me to explain how, I just know that it is.
Breitbart often spoke about growing up in Los Angeles with a liberal mindset; mainly from being in the belly of the beast, so to speak. He had influences in his life that for lack of a better term, easily influenced someone who was “easily influenceable.” That was Breitbart.
I was reading through Breitbart’s book Righteous Indignation the other night, perhaps by Divine Providence, but for whatever reason I was focusing on his early years. His years growing up in a somewhat conservative home, but succumbing to the liberal influences around him not only in California but also at Tulane University in New Orleans. It was filled with the usual, parties, women, drinking, nothing really out of the ordinary for someone in his late teens and early twenties. He skated by and graduated, but he was ill prepared for the real world when he came home to California.
He left college completely lost and bewildered. He knew that the way he was living wasn’t right, he just didn’t know how to get back on the right track. He still considered himself a liberal, lost and wandering.
Then came Clarence Thomas. Breitbart explains that he watched the hearings seeing for the first time the viscousness of the Democratic Party that he considered himself a part of. He couldn’t help but see the double standard apparent to everyone except for the Democratic Senators and the media covering the hearings. He exclaims in his book that if Clarence Thomas had been a Democrat, the NAACP would have wasted no time in their condemnation of Biden, Kennedy, Leahy, and others.
That was the beginning, but it wasn’t the beginning.
Breitbart took a job as a runner at a low budget production company, delivering scripts all over town. He spent a lot of time in his dull gray Honda, as he described it, listening to 80′s rock. Then came a change in the culture out of his control (Divine Providence).
My habit came about accidentally. My devotion to KROQ FM and San Diego’s 91X, trailblazing alternative rock stations, began to fade with the invasion of the grunge rock movement. Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Mudhoney, Blind Melon, Screaming Trees were replacing The Cure, New Order, The English Beat, Echo and the Bunnymen. It was like watching your youth get cancelled. And my hatred of grunge was visceral. The forced thrift-shop flannel look belied Los Angeles’s temperate weather. Who were these whiny, suicidal freaks? I didn’t want to know, I just wanted them off my car radio.
Breitbart, Andrew (2011-04-15). Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World (p. 31). Hachette Book Group. Kindle Edition.
I happen to like grunge rock, but thankfully for the rest of us, Andrew Breitbart despised it. He began listening to AM talk radio and liked the idea of being part of the conversation. He also happened at this time to be getting close with his future wife Susie. Breitbart not only loved her, but he was quite fond of her father Orson Bean.
I was attracted to Orson’s wit and depth of knowledge of everything. This guy had appeared on the Tonight Show couch seventhmost of any guest. His Opinion mattered to me.
One day I asked him why he had Rush Limbaugh’s book The Way Things Ought to Be on his shelf. I asked him, “Why would you have a book by this guy?” And Orson said, “Have you everlistened to him?” I said yes, of course, even though I never had. I was convinced to the core of my being that Rush Limbaugh was a Nazi, anti-black, anti-Jewish, and anti–all things decent. Without berating me for disagreeing with him, Orson simply suggested that I listen to him again.
Breitbart, Andrew (2011-04-15). Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World (p. 33). Hachette Book Group. Kindle Edition.
What followed, as you can imagine was a metamorphosis of sorts. Breitbart started listening to Rush Limbaugh to prove that Orson was wrong. To prove that his [Breitbart’s] world view was right. But one hour, turned into three. One listening session turned into weeks and then months. Breitbart was astounded.
Most important, though, Limbaugh, like the professor I always wanted but never had the privilege to study under, created a vivid mental picture of the architecture of a world that I resided in but couldn’t see completely: the Democrat-Media Complex. Embedded in Limbaugh’s analysis of politics was always a tandem discussion on the media. Each segment relentlessly pointed to collusion between the media and the Democratic Party.
Breitbart, Andrew (2011-04-15). Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World (p. 34). Hachette Book Group. Kindle Edition.
Andrew Breitbart then writes, “And so it began.” And so it began, indeed.
The day after Andrew Breitbart left this world, Rush Limbaugh eulogized him on his radio show. He spoke highly of Breitbart and touted all of the the things that all of us loved about, and will miss about him. But what struck me the most (after the fact as it turns out) about Rush’s kind words for Breitbart, was what he didn’t say. He didn’t take credit for turning a floundering, lost, liberal young man into the conservative powerhouse that he turned out to be.
When Rush spoke about Breitbart’s “conversion”, he simply said, “something happened.” Incredibly humble. Rush has inspired, and continues to inspire greatness in countless millions. That’s why he’s under such a relentless assault right now. That’s why we need him now more than ever.
We lost someone irreplaceable in the conservative movement five days ago, we can’t afford to lose another.
Andrew Breitbart was an exceptional American. It takes exceptional Americans to breed exceptional Americans. Rush Limbaugh is an exceptional American. Andrew Breitbart was proof of that.