It is with heavy hearts that we here at gayconservative.org acknowledge the death of conservative leader Andrew Breitbart.
CNN called him merely a “conservative blogger.” MSNBC called him a firebrand. Comments from leftists the world over have been outrageously poor; judging from their words, you would have thought Adolf Hitler finally died after unfairly living a long life. Many called him controversial; I’ve even heard some call him a racist, sexist and a homophobe.
That last one actually gets under my skin in a huge way.
Last night, while I had drinks with one of my closest friends, Andrew was out for a walk in his Brentwood, CA neighborhood when he collapsed. Someone saw him fall and called 911. Paramedics were unable to revive him. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. He was 43 years old.
I get push notifications on my iPhone at all hours of the morning, noon and night. They don’t usually wake me up. This morning, one did, and I thought it was a hoax. Pulling up the news, I saw that it wasn’t, and I was stunned beyond words. Tammy Bruce was in fine form on her show as she spoke of the principles that Andrew stood for; my fellow TAMs were just as stunned as I was, some still in tears. We all knew Andrew to be the fearless type who never backed down from his beliefs.
Many don’t realize that Andrew was actually close friends at one point with Arianna Huffington and even helped her launch the Huffington Post. Surprisingly, with all of the vitriol being spewed, none of it is coming from HuffPo – the commenters have actually been very classy. It is on sites like CNN and MSNBC as well as Twitter where the hate has been most prevalent. The hate is there, however, and when he was with us Andrew took pride in leftist hate. I frequently saw him re-tweet hateful comments made by leftists that I wouldn’t even post here. He wore those hateful comments like medals. He saw it pretty simply: if the left hates you that much, you’re doing something right.
I had the opportunity to talk to Andrew about a year ago and he was very kind and graceful. In 2010, when a handful of hard-right fringe groups boycotted CPAC over GOProud’s inclusion and CPAC cracked and rescinded GOProud’s invitation to be a sponsor, Andrew stepped up and hosted us himself. I wish I could have been there. I remember seeing pictures of a brightly-smiling Andrew with GOProud leaders Jimmy LaSalvia and Chris Barron and believing that a new day had begun for gay conservatives. One of the heaviest-hitting voices in the conservative movement had not only accepted and approved of us, but was standing with us – and the conservative establishment absolutely took notice. This was just one year after an anti-gay nutjob named Ryan Sorba was booed off the stage at CPAC for decrying GOProud’s presence. In standing with us, Andrew was telling the establishment what they refused to accept on their own – conservatism isn’t about your religion, it is about limited government, fiscal wisdom and personal responsibility
My favorite author, Brad Thor, kick-started something I think we should all follow. He Tweeted, “Who is @AndrewBreitbart? I am #AndrewBreitbart.” Almost immediately, one of Thor’s followers started the #IAmAndrewBreitbart hashtag. I followed suit. We should all pick up his torch and run with it. We should all dare to fight for what we believe in until nobody can forget just what it is we’re fighting for. We should all be so fearless in the way we live our lives and treat other people that we stick out in people’s minds as the type who will never back down. We should all take a stand for what we know is the right thing even with the withering hatred of the hard left aimed fully at our collective heart, and we should never give up no matter what anyone says. From here on, I will re-post the hate just as Andrew would have if only to prove just how depraved hard-left liberalism can be.
Our hearts go out to his wife, Suzannah, and his four children, not to mention his extended family (his father-in-law, Orson Bean, wrote for BigHollywood.com) and his network of close friends. I leave you with Andrew’s final speech at CPAC 2012.