I am not, nor was I ever, a Breitbart groupie. However, I highly recommend you head over to iTunes and download "Hating Breitbart." The film - released this week - had the only public showing in Illinois at Northwestern University Wednesday night.
And that's a shame, because it is definitely worth the watch. But it would be even better for conservatives in Illinois to have a copy on hand to view often - especially when things get discouraging as they often do with Illinois' political system, so often corrupt on both sides of the aisle.
Andrew Breitbart emerged on the new media scene along with the Tea Party reaction to the "Liberals Unleashed" era immediately after Barack Obama was sworn into office, and began enacting a big government, anti-liberty agenda.
We first heard of Breitbart when Tea Party rallies began springing up in February 2009. He drew attention during a Quincy, Illinois 2009 Tea Party gathering, and rose to prominence when he offered $10,000 to anyone with a video proving the "N" word was spewed by angry Tea Partiers outside the Capitol immediately after Obamacare was passed. Breitbart never paid out that offer because no one could prove it happened - except in the minds of threatened Liberals.
The new film, "Hating Breitbart," directed by Andrew Marcus, reveals Breitbart's behind-the-scenes comments and his persistant sense of humor during his liberal-antagonizing antics. He was, as his followers call him, the "Happy Warrior." His sudden death in 2012 left a growing anti-big government movement without a charismatic leader.
Indeed, Breitbart was the Tea Party's Ronald Reagan.
I became a "right wing, Tea Party" activist way back in 1985, when Ronald Reagan was in the White House. Coming from a union, blue-collared heritage, I watched with frustration when Reagan broke the air controllers union and deregulated the country's transportation system. Reagan's name was "Mudd" at our extended family dinner table, and I was focused on three preschoolers.
That was until our little family was transferred to the Chicago area, and I began digging into issues I had never taken time before to contemplate. It was Ronald Reagan's pamphlet, "Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation" that rang true with my religious convictions and helped me realize I was pro-life. It was Reagan's witty lines and humor about big government and the Democrats' infatuation with high taxes that lined up with my resentment in paying increasing property taxes when we bought our first home. It was Reagan's common sense appreciation for the family being the bedrock of a free nation that bolstered our decision to home school our kids back in the mid-1980s, when few were doing it.
Reagan's conservative views were hated and ridiculed by liberals and the media. Those reactions led to the election of Bill Clinton in 1992 and an eight year national drama. All the while, conservatives struggled to find their identity, courage and stamina to fight back. There was some hope renewed during the Bush years, but George W. wasn't Ronald Reagan. During the Bush years, a national talk show host by the name of Rush Limbaugh took the stage and fed America's starving conservatives.
It wasn't long before Andrew Breitbart came on the national scene with the exploding Internet media, challenging the Leftists' status quo. His smirk, irreverant quips and his rebellious anti-establishmentarianism drew out a new boldness and energy from young professionals and entrepeneurs.
That freshness put many of us Reagan followers on the defense. We were skeptical, hesitant and nervous about Breitbart's brashness. One never knew what he would say next, or how he would approach the next opportunity to embarrass liberals. He appeared to be a loose cannon.
The few times I spoke with Andrew Breitbart, he confirmed my hesitancy. He provoked ACORN protestors outside the huge Right Nation 2010 gathering in Schaumburg and he rejected my suggestion to use his power and resources to set up a legal defense fund for the citizen journalists he encouraged to get into the game. His followers seemed especially rude and impatient with those of us that didn't join his Pied Piper's conga line.
But very quickly, I began to see what Breitbart was wisely doing. He was mentoring, encouraging and living an example of provocation, setting up an movement attitude he could have never imagined. Indeed, although he was boisterous, what he was doing wasn't about him - it was about liberty, freedom and love of country. It was all about America's future.
I didn't "hate" Brietbart, but I can understand why Liberals did. He was effective. And in that way, he inadvertently put me - an old Reagan convert - to shame. Perhaps that's really why manyh of us had such a hard time tolerating Breitbart. He was effective, when it seemed - especially in the Midwestern liberal paradise of Illinois - that conservatives from the Reagan era weren't, in comparison. And why, after reviewing the film "Hating Breitbart" this past week, I came away energized to keep at the task committed to preserving freedom, limiting government and encouraging capitalism.
Imagine that. Living joyfully, and then leaving behind an emboldened, historical movement committed to freedom. Indeed, Breitbart was the Tea Party's Reagan, and many more are sure to follow.
Check this out -
@illinoisreview Thanks for the write-up! Plz help us defeat critic efforts to suppress the audience. Rate it on iTunes/amazon/RottenTomatoes— Hating Breitbart (@HatingBreitbart) May 19, 2013