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A Great Man, Andrew Breitbart

Andrew Breitbart literally changed the world.  If it weren’t for him I believe: (i) Anthony Weiner’s lies about his twitter photos would not have been exposed, (ii) the New York 9th congressional district would still be held by a Democrat, (iii) ACORN would not have been demolished as thoroughly as it was, (iv) the Drudge Report would not be as prominent as it is, and (v) the “Big” sites would not exist.   Further, I suspect I’m leaving out a few other major accomplishments.  All this by a man of only 43 years.

By a quirk of fate, I got to spend an afternoon with Breitbart the day after one of his world-changing moments.  The day was Wednesday, Sept. 14, the day after the special election for the New York 9th congressional seat.  Breitbart wanted to meet me because he wanted to meet some conservative academics, possibly to help with the BigEducation site that he planned to introduce.  I asked, and he agreed, to let me interview him and post it on Ricochet.

Here is my full write-up of the interview.

One of my favorite moments of the day was when he pointed to a gift that I had given him.  The gift was small poster of Coach John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success.  “Is that some sort of astrology thing?” Breitbart asked.

“No,” I replied.  And then we began discussing some of the building blocks of the pyramid, including “Enthusiasm” and “Confidence.”  Breibart then replied:

I can tell you where I get my enthusiasm and confidence.  I talk to lots of tea-party groups.  And after I talk, I stick around and hang out with folks.  Sometimes military people come up to me and say things like, “We’ll take care of the enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan.  You take care of the enemy at home.” 

I live by a veterans’ cemetery.  I can see it from my window.  In fact, I live on the side where the new graves are.  Sometimes I see parents who are my age burying their sons.  At times I get these Woodenesque clear moments.  I’m from L.A.  I’m from Hollywood.  There’s a tendency for us to be shallow, and I know I have my shallow side.  But when these folks come up to me, I basically get slapped out of my A.D.D., and it makes me focus.  They tell me, “These are serious times.  You have a duty.  Keep doing what you do.”  And I heed their call.

These people—the military people, the tea-party people, the frickin’ fly-over-country people who the media institutionally berate and malign—come up to me and say “Thank you.”  And when they do, [Breitbart paused] … IT … IS … EVERYTHING.

  1. HoosierDaddy

    This is really sad news.  Andrew Breitbart was so important to the ——

    I can’t finish my thought now.  This is devastating.  We really, really needed him.  What an overachiever.  

  2. Keith Preston

    My most recent hope and dream, as an educator, was to be a contributor to Big Education.  He was my hero.

    So sad.

  3. paulebe

    A wonderful remembrance, Prof. Groseclose.  Thank you for sharing that very “Andrew” quote. I can see him saying it.

  4. Heshmon

    Wow, great quote indeed. Thank you for sharing that!

  5. Tom Kirkwold

    I remember seeing him on t.v. the night before he died. My father and I both commented on how angry he always seemed. Insanely angry. And a debate with him always seemed like a zero sum game. No discussion of issues, just a winner and a loser. A great man? Not in my opinion. Being conservative certainly is a valid and defendable viewpoint. But one side being “right” and the other being “wrong” doesn’t work when governing. Compromise is called for. Which seems is now a dirty word in politics and government.