I meant to do this award long ago, back when I first read Andrew Breitbart’s book Righteous Indignation last year. But something else seemed to have higher priority at the time. Then new stories popped up, new headlines stole the show, and slowly time buried the best intentions under it all, just like a once-urgent memo sinks to the bottom of the heap on a cluttered desk. Out of sight, out of mind.
Except for Andrew. He was rarely out of sight. And that was reassuring. I knew there was plenty of time to give him an award. I’d research it a little more to make it a bigger and better post to make up for its lack of timeliness. So I ordered his book Hollywood, Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon–The Case Against Celebrity to get a bigger picture of his transformation into a conservative standard bearer.
This morning, upon hearing the awful news of his untimely death, I went to look for that book—and found it at the very bottom of a tall stack of books I’ve been meaning to get to as well. How sad, for me.
It’s sad, because it runs contrary to the exhortations in Breitbart’s book, whose subtitle is “Excuse Me While I Save the World!” That should be the motto for all of us. (Or at least “save the town” or “save my neighborhood,” if we can’t match his energy, drive and ability.) My subtitle has been “Excuse Me While I Put This Off to the Side Until I Have More Time.” And my to-do list and to-read stack grew in proportion.
Breitbart didn’t seem like much of a procrastinator, didn’t squander opportunities by putting things off. While the book chronicles his meandering route to embracing and promoting conservativism, it also serves as the operations manual and tactical guide for what is now being called his Army of Breitbarts.
Breitbart got it. To bring down corrupt big government, we have to bring down and expose the big media that protects and promotes it. In Righteous Indignation, he summarizes the key points of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and Sun-Tzu’s The Art of War. Then in his chapter “Pragmatic Primer,” he lays out what I’ll call Andrew Breitbart’s Rules for the Righteous. Among the 13 lessons for combating the Democrat-Media Complex are essential instructions for all conservative bloggers:
- Don’t be afraid to go into enemy territory.
- Expose the left for who they are—in their own words.
- Don’t let the Complex use its PC lexicon to characterize you and shape the narrative.
- Control your own story—don’t let the Complex do it.
- The truth isn’t mean. It’s the truth.
Breitbart lived these rules every day…and proved they can work. Though he is now gone and can no longer lead the troops, he left behind the map to victory and page after page of rally cries in his book.
For this, I give Andrew Breitbart the long-overdue Prudence Prize for Best Book.
Thank you for all you did, for truly making a difference on a national scale, not once, not twice, but over and over. You have left footprints of a giant behind that seem impossible to fill. At this dark hour, it seems incomprehensible that we can succeed without you. But with your inspiration and the words you left behind, we can pick up your banner and forge ahead—even if it takes 100 of us united to fill just one of your shoes.
Rest in peace. Deepest sympathies to your wife and children, friends, family and all your associates at the Big sites.
Update: Thanks for the link, Memeorandum.