Everyone who knew him struggles to define him.
Andrew Breitbart died this morning, and leaves behind a beautiful wife, and four young children. He died (as so many of the great ones do), way before his time. He could rightly be called a revolutionary, a radical, a giant among men, a warrior.
But to those of us he took the time to mentor, the word “teacher” (however un-sexy the word) might be the best description.
I have had a lot of teachers in my time. And while it is important to learn to read and write and dissect frogs, I think no one ever taught me the life lessons that Andrew taught.
We met at the birth of the Tea Party when we both spoke at one of the first Tea Party rallies. This thing we were calling a “Tea Party” had zero credibility, and none of us knew how much we would fight, how much we would sacrifice, or how much we would change the complexion of politics.
Andrew knew. There was the fierce determination in every fiber of his being. He was the general leading us to war, whether we were willing or not.
Many warriors fell. Many warriors were born that day. Many of us unwitting, but all of us watching his cues as to where the next battle would be fought.
He made a promo for my show that called me his “long time friend, and co-troublemaker.” He was the first to publish my work, and he was the first to text me for a battle well-fought. We shared a birthday week, and he made sure I knew he remembered and felt celebrated. But none of that means as much as the wages of war he taught me, and the courage he engendered in my soul. I think all who knew him feel that way.
He took time to mentor my daughter as she struggled to launch the first national “Tea Party Youth” movement. He always took her calls, he always moved away from reporters to greet her and discuss her ideas in concerns. Her text to me this morning (as I am out of town) read, “Mama, IDK what to say. Can’t even look at the news because I don’t wanna hear anyone talk about it…”. She feels without ballast. We all do.
Larry Solov, one of Andrew’s best friends and most trusted colleagues said it well, “Andrew lived boldly, so that we more timid souls would dare to live freely and fully, and fight for the fragile liberty he showed us how to love.”
Andrew would not want us to blink. He would demand our resolve. Our tributes should not be in the form of words, and tears, but rather in our resolve to fight on! Let’s resolve to live as boldly as he did: “I love fighting back, I love finding allies, and—famously—I enjoy making enemies.”
We should all endeavor to go so boldly and live so fearlessly. That will be the patriot’s tribute to this amazing leader, who will be so missed.