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Monday, November 12, 2012

What Would Breitbart Do?

  Now that the election is over, and we can all come back to some sort of reality, we can also discuss some other important issues.
  There is a lot of back and forth about what Conservatives must do in order to, well, win elections. Do we broaden our appeal? Do we water down the message? Do we change the message entirely? I believe I have one more issue that is an in-house one that also must be addressed. It is the 800lb gorilla in the room.
  I cannot take credit for this phrase, but I think it accurately describes this condition. It's called "Conservative elitism".
   Allow me to explain. Since the beginning of the Fox News Channel, Conservatives have seen their media become bigger and better. At first, all we had to cling to was Rush Limbaugh. He all but single handedly invented Conservative talk radio. Many more of us have followed. We not only have radio, but the internet, the blogosphere, and on the rise is internet radio. Sure, Liberals have the Daily Kos, Huffington Post, and a few successful talk radio shows. But for the most part, Conservatives own new media. I heard someone say that the goal of new media should not just be to be better than the mainstream media, it should be to replace it.
  I agree, and it seems as though we are on our way. Many of us are lucky, we have become rock stars. People clammer for photos, handshakes and autographs at conventions and book signings. And we are not done yet. Many more are coming behind the ones who are at the top. It is in this climb to the top where the problem seems to come in.
  There is a clique-iness developing. A "you are not good enough to be in my group" mentality, a sense of being unwilling to give a leg up to the author, blogger, or internet radio host on the rung below you.
  I was fortunate enough to meet Andrew Breitbart only once briefly. But I don't think you had to be Andrew's best friend to know what his vision was. It was very clear. he wanted to create an army of "citizen journalists". People from all walks of life, with no formal journalistic training, but knew when they saw or heard something that just wasn't right, were not afraid to record it, take a picture of it, or videotape it, and make sure it got out to as many people as possible, by any means possible. I think he would have wanted all of his citizen journalist army to be a solid wall. Unified. Working together. Not caring about groups or titles, or levels of success. I like to think that Andrew would have been very anti-clique, and would not have hesitated to call out his own for participating in Conservative elitism.
  So maybe before we tackle any of our bigger problems, we need to take a look at ourselves. Take a look within. Maybe we need to ask ourselves, how are we helping someone who would like to jump into the political arena of ideas? Do they need help with a blog? A website? Do they need a good interview for their online radio show? Aren't we all on the same team? Is our own success so important that we must leave someone else behind in order to achieve it?
  C'mon Conservatives. What would Andrew do?     

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