By Matt Rooney | Cross-posted at SaveJersey.com
Andrew Breitbart was more than a man, Save Jerseyans.
He was a walking, talking, snarking visionary. An elemental catalyst of reaction.
What kind of reactions? The jaw-hits-the-floor and you’re saying “wow, so THAT’s what that person/organization that he filmed is all about” kind of reactions. He knew how to get bad people to out themselves; in another life, he might’ve been a star district attorney or county prosecutor specializing in cross examination. Thankfully for the cause of conservatism, he preferred to prosecute liberalism in the grand courtroom of online public opinion.
He made plenty of enemies as a result. They’re saying vile and ugly things about him online, and this understandably upsets Andrew’s loyal fans in their hour of grief.
My two cents? Don’t complain about the ugliness of their comments! They’re trying to upset you and pave over this great man’s accomplishments in so doing. Go back at them with the truth! That’s what the Happy Warrior would’ve wanted; otherwise, we would’ve called him the “Happy Complainer,” right?
He was, after all, a public figure. I know we’ve all been raised to never “speak ill of the dead.” Agreed, and many of the things being said about Breitbart are well over the line of good taste and basic human decency (or even substantive value). But there’s an important caveat. I caught a little flack back in August 2009 for my less-than-glowing Kennedy obituary and accompanying explanation:
This man was deeply flawed — personally and ideologically. It’s important to remember that since the media will attempt to sanitize his legacy starting tomorrow morning. Respect for a life lost and his or her grieving loved ones is always called-for; proper analytical perspective and an honest historical recollection is also crucially important (yet all too often lacking) when the public comes together to memorialize a celebrity.”
Ironically, many of my critics back then are the same folks spewing infinitely more vile stuff on Twitter and Facebook over the past 24 hours about poor Breitbart. Shocker!
But knowing what I do about Breitbart, I seriously doubt he would’ve minded.
When you attain a high federal office like Ted Kennedy, or pioneer a media empire like Andrew Breitbart, you inevitably transform into semi-public property. You “belong to the ages,” if I can borrow a phrase coined at the foot of President Lincoln’s own death bed. We need to scrutinize these folks; they devoted their entire lives to a set of ideals regarding our American system. How well they explained themselves (and followed through by adhering to their principles) is a relevant history lesson for all involved.
I believe the late Andrew Breitbart will stand up to the scrutiny. He also did us one better! In death, Breitbart outed his last set of bad guys: the nasty, hate-filled, intolerant elements of the American Left who control the Democrat Party and are anything but the peace-loving, uber-tolerant, compassionate saints they’d very much like voters to see instead.
Matt Rooney is a New Jersey attorney, conservative commentator, and the founder & Blogger-in-Chief of New Jersey’s #1 conservative blog, Save Jersey. You can learn more about Matt and the Christie Revolution by visiting today!