Andrew Breitbart for the Offense
Among the many things that made Andrew Breitbart a great man was that he played offense. Most of the time warriors for freedom find themselves playing defense. Instead, we should follow Breitbart's example.
So many, many times I have been speaking at anti-jihad events and heard other speakers saying, "We are not racists, we are not bigots, we are not Islamophobes..." This is an understandable impulse: to counter the leftist/Islamic supremacist charges that smear and defame decent people who are trying to defend their freedoms and way of life. But at the same, it is playing on their field, allowing the foes of freedom to set the terms of the debate. Breitbart never did that.
We have allowed the jihadists and Islamic supremacists, and their leftist allies, to put us on the defensive. We're always apologizing, tacitly accepting their narrative and responding to them in the parameters they set up. Even worse, many even among the anti-jihadists eagerly throw their colleagues under the bus -- those colleagues whom the left and the Islamic supremacists have started to zero in on. They're the ones we should be standing up for the most resolutely, for they are drawing fire because they are effective.
Instead of bowing and scraping to the Islamic supremacists and feebly protesting that we're not really racists and hatemongers and all the other calumnies and canards they throw at us, we should be taking the fight to them, and standing up and saying, "You are fronting for the most oppressive ideology on the face of the earth. You are fronting for evil. You are carrying water and running interference for the denial of free speech, the denial of the freedom of conscience, the institutionalized oppression of women, the subjugation of non-Muslims, and worse. You're fronting for stonings, amputations, the murder of apostates, the treatment of women as possessions of men, the madness and senseless violence that we see in this furor over the Quran-burnings, and more. You shout us down on campuses and do everything you can to make sure we are not heard in the public square. And you call us fascists? You are the quintessence of fascism."
And we should note that even their charges against us are a mere diversionary tactic, designed to frighten people of goodwill away from our message and to divert attention away from the reality of jihad and Islamic supremacism. And that they demonstrate the bankruptcy of their position by heaping abuse on us instead of answering our arguments, which in fact they cannot answer.
Andrew Breitbart was never defensive. He called the left out for its hypocrisy, its thuggery, its totalitarian impulses, its self-contradictions and inconsistency, its naked hatred. That's why they hated and feared him so.
We should be hated and feared by the enemies of freedom. We should never bow to them, never apologize to them, never play the game they want us to play. Their hate is a badge of honor. Their fury and abuse are signs of our effectiveness. The people on the right whom the left love most are those who gore their oxen the least. These soft conservatives don't dare upset politically correct pieties. They wouldn't dream of challenging our government and law enforcement officials to stop peddling soothing falsehoods about the global jihad and Islamic supremacism, or of calling the Muslim community in the U.S. to account for the 80% of mosques that teach jihad and hatred of infidels, and for the Muslim Brotherhood ties of major Islamic groups in this country. Instead, they peddle the same false narrative, spending their time retailing crowd-pleasing fictions about the vast majority of moderate Muslims who are proudly American and accept constitutional freedoms, and whose vocal and vociferous and active support for anti-terror measures is no doubt right around the corner.
This is a false hope. Ten years after 9/11, and we are still waiting for this large cadre of moderate Muslims to begin fighting against their violent and supremacist coreligionists. And twenty years after 9/11, we will still be waiting.
It is time to give up false hopes and stop playing defense against the Islamic supremacists and the left. That is Andrew Breitbart's lesson, and his legacy. May we all emulate him, and may his memory be eternal.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad.