Plenty of things happened at the RightOnline conference in Las Vegas last weekend but not one of them occurred without the understanding that there was something we all had to do. Something more important than anything we had done previously. Wherever we were as bloggers or new media journalists we had to step up our game.
Andrew Breitbart was no longer there to give us a rhetorical kick in the backside or more importantly to simply lead by doing. Breitbart would no longer be strolling amidst union protesters or walking into NetRoots to challenge the left or their ideas to their faces. Andrew Breitbart was no longer there to challenge us to do those things. Or was he?
In reality, Breitbart was everywhere at RightOline, telling us to get off our asses and expose the left for what they are, not just yesterday, or today, but tomorrow and every day after that. Imploring us to get out of our comfort zones and challenge everything. Reminding us that all we had to do was show up and they would expose themselves.
It reminded me of the moment when I decided that I was done with my years of lurking on blogs and posting or commenting anonymously.
I had been writing for a few weeks on my first full-time blog, Live Free or Die (behind a blog handle at the time), when I was encouraged to send a guest post to NH Insider. At that time NHI’s stable of contributors included people on the right and left, though mostly on the center right and left, and it enjoyed respectable traffic from both sides of the aisle. Far more traffic that I had or would have expected to receive where I was writing at the time. So I was excited about what might follow.
I took the opportunity to post a few hundred words–sparse compared to most of my fare–on New Hampshire Governor John Lynch, and how his support for the Democrat Majority Legislatures passage of the Regional Greenhouse Gas initiate (RGGI) violated his pledge to veto any broad based tax. RGGI is the carbon trading scheme that requires electricity producers in ten Northeast states to buy carbon credits whose costs are then passed down to utility customers. The Democrats were simply laundering a tax on everything and everyone to create another slush fund in the state capitol. But not just any tax. This was a tax whose rate could increase without any action by a legislature who would be powerless to prevent the cost of credits from rising short of repeal–repeal being difficult and unlikely, which unfortunately it still is. It was a taxing power the majority left at the time gave away willfully, even gleefully, with the understanding that more expensive credits–which were expected–simply meant more and more (and more) tax revenue in Concord, to grow more and more government, without any of them having to publicly vote for the increases. It was by all definition as broad of a tax as you could pass, it gave away a portion of our state sovereignty and the peoples ability to use elections to affect the taxing authority to an out of state commission, and it was a liberal dream come true, which John Lynch simply signed off on.
So I wrote my short little blog post. The evil creepy monsters couldn’t crawl out of the progressives tiny little heads fast enough to attack me.
A progressive mob assembled in the comments section to lynch me, and to lynch Bob–the site owner–for daring to let me post this. I could almost feel the spittle hitting their displays as they tried to type through their rage. It was beautiful. The truth of what I wrote was burning into their pale thin skin and it was at that moment that I knew what I had to do. I had to be a blogger.
In the four years since that day in late August of 2008 I have penned thousands of articles, spent hundreds of hours on the radio, and been to more than a few events. But nothing compares to the sensation of forcing Democrats to look at their own hypocrisy, to question their motives, to expose the numerous contradictions in their rhetoric, to unravel their narratives, to make them live by their own rules, and to postulate the side effects of left wing policy. Oh, and to watch the blubbering hate and misdirection in the wake of it all. And I have no intention of stopping.
The leadership of the Democrat party lies to themselves, to each other, and to America. The lefty media and entertainment industry repeat those lies aiding and abetting their deception. They doctor audio and video, lie outright and by omission, leverage their perception of authority to perpetrate fraud, commit perjury, actively or by their silence advocate voter fraud, crony capitalism, tyranny and treason, and all to legalize plunder and legislate intimidation so as to silence anyone and everyone who dare challenge them or their stupid ideas.
Many of the rank and file Democrats, union members, candidates, elected officials, and far too many so-called moderates and independents have been anesthetized by this immoral and unethical newsertainment. They have been programmed by the media super-culture and state controlled ed-duh-cation monopoly to view the process as so incredibly complex that the safest thing for you to do is to sit quietly and let the experts handle the politics. They don’t want you involved unless you are offering a full throated support of their agenda. Just sit down and shut up. They don’t trust you to eat right, or learn properly, or vote for the right person, how could you possibly be trusted with deciding how to run your own government. They love it when people say “I don’t know enough about that” or “I don’t do politics” –that is exactly what the left wants from you. Just bend over and take it. You are too stupid to know what’s good for you anyway. In fact, if you can’t vote for us, don’t vote at all (or let us vote for you).
Well, I used to be that person a few years back, but not anymore. Not for a while now.
Andrew had his moment too, at which point he not only saw it all for what it was he got out from behind the keyboard and got in their faces. He challenged them in broad daylight. He wandered gleefully into the lions den time and again, giving them just enough rope to hang themsleves, which they did. But that wasn’t enough. He encouraged an entire generation of new media happy warriors to not just laugh at the absurdity that is the left but to go out and record them in their natural habitats and let the hypocrisy expose itself. To ask them direct questions. To demand that they explain themsleves. To poke the beehive with a stick. And to then report on it and share it. To be fearless in the knowledge that the truth was on your side and all you had to do was point a camera, or ask a question, and the rest would take care of itself. To go out and take back the culture. And that he always had your back.
And he was right. It did take care of itself. And he did have our back. And he still does. But the fight has just begun and it is a fight that will never end. And in honor of that, this years RightOnline invested a huge chunk of itself to the memory and mission of Andrew Breitbart. To energize the happy warriors on the right who blog and pod-cast, flip cameras and digital recorders in hand. Regular New Media Americans who wake up every day with wives, kids, families, homes, pets, friends, careers, day jobs, or second jobs, (in this economy , no job) prepared to do battle with a bankrupt culture and a Democrat machine whose tentacles have been digging at the foundations of our exceptional nation for decades. Smiling as they are cursed, threatened, lied to, and endlessly intimidated by the professional left and their legions of useful idiots. Fighting for every hill, on every issue, and every policy, in every corner of America, always ready, ever vigilant and prepared to take it all back.
Breitbart is here. And this is a war. It is a war of ideas. It is a war for unalienable rights and the heart of the culture. And everyday we go out there and fight for free speech for everyone not just people who can afford a lawyer to navigate the pre-speech bureaucracy. We fight for freedom of religion, not from it. We battle for free markets, not becasue we are soulless-capitalists obsessed with wealth but becasue without free markets there are no choices; without free markets you can never be the next great success story unless you are one of the few who are politically connected; without free markets someone else–somewhere far away–is deciding what works best for you and your family, in your particular circumstances, wherever it is you happen to live. We are uncovering corruption near and far that the traditional media has ignored, or is ignoring, simply becasue they are biased. And most importantly, we are doing it out in the open. We are not pretending we do not have an agenda. We do. Our agenda is to defend the Constitution. To unshackle you from the chains that the progressives on both sides and the professional political class have been wrapping around you for decades. Our agenda is to free you to find your own way, to succeed or fail, with not just the smallest amount of government necessary to maintain order but the amount of government that you and your communities decide is right for you.
To accomplish that goal we must unmask the culture and the political institutions that have deceived you, and expose the people who aid and abet them, at every opportunity. RightOnline brought us together. It brought us together to learn new skills, to connect, encourage, and to grow our knowledge and our support group. To remind us that while we are individuals, and we often disagree, that we are not alone. But most importantly RightOnline reminded us that we all have to be Breitbart.
And so we shall.
Thanks to the Gateway Grassroots initiative for the image.