Book Review of Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!

righteous indignationA few weeks ago, I went to my local public library and checked out Andrew Breitbart’s book Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!. Actually, my wife checked it out first, but she said she couldn’t get into it. I returned it for her, then put a hold on it so I could have first crack at checking it out again on my own library card.

I can see why she had a tough time with the beginning of the book. It’s a bit of an autobiography of Breitbart’s youth growing up in the Los Angeles suburb of Brentwood. In his early life, he’s shallow and self-absorbed and the first chapters tend to drag.

But as I pressed on, I realized he wanted the reader to know about how he was as a teen and young adult so we could witness and understand his evolution into a “Tea Party Protector.”

I learned quite a lot, especially about the century-long growth of the liberal news media and university system and why they, along with the liberal entertainment industry, are so hard to refute. They seem to be the voice of our nation, defining good vs. evil, and stating that if we don’t let them program our thoughts, our words, and our actions, then we are evil, racist, sexist, homophobic, throwback neanderthals.

Based on the book, I got the impression that in public, Breitbart was an in-your-face, no holds barred communicator, but he revealed his behind the scenes insecurities as well, though I’m sure he didn’t overly disclose personal details.

Although I could agree with him on the majority of his content, the depiction of the 2009 ACORN videos and James O’Keefe was disappointing.

The book was published in 2011, but by June 14, 2010, ” the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) published its report finding no evidence that ACORN, or any of its related organizations, had mishandled any of the $40 million in federal money which they had received in recent years.” (of course the source of that information is the Huffington Post and CNN, which I’m sure Breitbart wouldn’t consider objective reporters).

There’s enough evidence to suggest that James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles heavily edited the contents of their numerous ACORN videos to mislead viewers into believing ACORN staffers were complicit in criminal activity. I was hoping that at the end of the chapter in which Breitbart chronicled these events, he’d admit that he’d been duped by O’Keefe and Giles, but he didn’t. In fact, he seemed to be saying that the “Leftist Media Complex” was responsible for pushing that “lie”.

One thing I come away with after reading the book is the strong desire to sit down over coffee or a beer with Andrew Breitbart and get his views on the recent election and how the media has and still is crucifying Trump voters.

I never will. Breitbart died of heart failure on February 29, 2012 at the age of 43. He was obviously intelligent, passionate, well-read, and informed (not as a result of his university education, however, since he blew off that part of his life).

If anything, I’d say he was a little too self-assured about his viewpoints because, after all, liberals can be honest and sincere, and conservatives can be up to no good as well as vice versa.

He did illustrate for me a systemic, organized bias in liberal entertainment, media, and education to shove a highly specific agenda down America’s throat, and to malign, discredit, and if necessary, destroy any individual or group that doesn’t fall in line with “liberalthought.”

I know that sounds paranoid and it’s possible that having just put down the book, my thoughts and language is somewhat influenced by Breitbart’s.

I don’t think he was evil incarnate as probably many or most progressives believe. I don’t think (the ACORN videos aside) he was out to create a false image of the liberal “Complex”. I believe he was generally honest and sincere, if a bit myopic, and he really did see himself as the protector of Tea Party conservatives who were, and still are, under attack.

I preserved some quotes from his book on my Facebook page, but I want to share one in this review that I think is particularly telling. From page 194:

“I told everyone I could (at a large Tea Party event held in Santa Ana, CA in 2009) that they had started an uprising, and that the Obama administration and the media wouldn’t stand for it. I said that they’d be labeled racists and hatemongers and violent criminals, that they’d be depicted as the dregs of society, people to be excluded from dinner parties because of their made-up closet KKK status. They were about to be targeted, and I knew it. I had to warn them.”

Breitbart probably finished the authoring and most of the editing of his book in 2010 and it was published in April of 2011. Yet, the text above is a perfect description of how Trump voters and anyone who did not want Hillary Clinton to be President (even if they didn’t vote for or support Trump) are being treated in the news media as well as on university campuses and among the progressive elites right this very second.

He only missed “deplorables” in the list of adjectives and only because he died four years before Hillary Clinton attached the term to conservatives.

I’ll return the book to the library in a few days, but it’s one of those few books that I may purchase and add to my permanent personal library. The lessons he taught, which sadly ended with his death, are still far too relevant to what we are all having to live through today.

I’m sorry I missed meeting you, Andrew. I’d love to know what you’d say and do today.

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6 thoughts on “Book Review of Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!

    • I read how Clinton coined the term, but it does resonate with what Breitbart wrote in his book about how the media would label Tea Party conservatives and attempt to tarnish their reputations. The exact same thing is being continued with Trump supporters and anyone perceived to be a social or fiscal conservative (they are assumed to have voted for Trump, even if they didn’t).

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  1. Firstly, I’m not a Breitbart devotee. I can think for myself and am sure I was a conservative before he was (almost before he was even born) — and I know the roots of the movement that clearly gained momentum in my day (the general paranoia on the part of tea party folks “on behalf of” conservatives is ridiculous in this light). Secondly, it is quite a curiosity that the tea baggers were angry at Barak Obama over the spending of money, angry like it was his fault directly at the end of an outrageous Republican administration. Irrational. Yes, there are racist elements. Nobody had to tell me this; I could see it. Breitbart, then more so Bannon and Trump, played up the race elements to their benefit. Oh, and “the Christmas” issues (what a bunch of bologna). Lewindowski says people can say “Merry Christmas” again because Trump was elected. Trump has taken credit for Christmas shopping.

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    • Trump likes to showboat and he’s an attention junkie. I’m not particularly concerned about Trump’s feelings, but I do believe Breitbart had a point about the severe bias of the news media, entertainment industry, and university system for progressives and against anything else. Just because someone doesn’t like Obama’s policies doesn’t make them a racist.

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  2. I see what you did there. Sure. Why shouldn’t you ignore what is being said and what’s really happening? That is the game, after all.

    I don’t care much about Trump’s feelings either; don’t find that relevant. His playing with a divisive (and trumped up) trope to whip up triumphalism, though…

    Actually, it’s something you should understand.
    [You may recall another blog where we’ve conversed.]

    “… description of how Trump voters and anyone who did not want Hillary Clinton to be President (even if they didn’t vote for or support Trump) are being treated …”

    “… Trump supporters and anyone perceived to be a social or fiscal conservative (they are assumed to have voted for Trump, even if they didn’t).”

    Oh, the irony.

    But feelings against not thinking Trump is better, good, or okee-dokee,
    unlike whatever arbitrarily isn’t to be addressed… those feelings, now we’re talking?

    When did “conservatives” become a bunch of whiners and screamers ? Back in the seventies, we were taught (that is we who were actually conservative and not simply in the Republican Party) that we should go ahead and not be intimidated about speaking our mind and values in school. [I don’t know what people in the party were told to do, I wasn’t in the party. But I worked in a Republican campaign for a state senator when I was a freshman in high school. I was appreciated, both in the campaign and in my reporting on it at school. And he won.]

    I went ahead and did that, shared my point of view. I have never had a problem, in high school or three university campuses or, most recently, at a community college. I have never been docked or for stating my take on matters (even for assignments, or being given an alternative task). I’ve seen more weirdness lately from “conservatives” who clearly never caught on to what the values supposedly were (as opposed to all they really were; paranoia, money and power for the powerful, or as much as you can get). As I’ve said, I now feel culpable because I know that I didn’t know all the debating for fairness is pointless — when the fairness isn’t truly there (the favored argue that it is there, so efforts to overcome its lack are undermined). The arguments these days forward status quo and more for the richest of rich especially. (While Trump has added in some, say, sixteenth-inch-deep sloganeering about American workers, that’s to snooker not-so-rich people in as if he cares about them.)

    Being racist because of disagreeing with Obama on something is my point? You’ve been well indoctrinated on not seeing apples for apples. It’s more like a black man saying “Merry Christmas” doesn’t look like anything. (See “Westworld.”) Therefore, since a so-called conservative didn’t see or hear it, it wasn’t there.

    And both McCain and Obama were (before either was elected in 2008) planning on the same kinds of measures to deal with the immediate aftermath of a disaster that was the George W. Bush presidency. Bush would have had to do the same as well. Passes for Bush and Trump abound. Greenspan, by the way, was also part of the financial meltdown (trusting/expecting rich people to do good, no need for safety rules).

    Anyway, I appreciate that you have allowed yourself to be informed that the propaganda against ACORN was edited tape, intended to fool (bearing false witness) — manufactured storyline that succeeded in putting an inner city organization (with images of black people) out of the running. It wasn’t the only time he got carried away with lies. It’s good you noticed Breitbart ended up seeming to blame the left. The tactic happens a lot.

    “… how the media has and still is crucifying Trump voters.”
    Again with the irony. I am still seeing conservatives “crucified” on FOX (etc.) for not
    being a fan of his (as if lefties). Of course, they “crucify” liberals and moderates all the time, always have.

    Today’s Trumpites are like Soviets. They are ready to shoot those who have been rowing the boat. (Bannon wouldn’t see, ostensibly, that terminolgy as offensive; he’s called himself Leninist.)

    Finally, a segment of text from Wikipedia on McCain:
    An anonymous smear campaign began against McCain, delivered by push polls, faxes, e-mails, flyers, and audience plants.[126][142] The smears claimed that McCain had fathered a black child out of wedlock (the McCains’ dark-skinned daughter was adopted from Bangladesh), that his wife Cindy was a drug addict, that he was a homosexual, and that he was a “Manchurian Candidate” who was either a traitor or mentally unstable from his North Vietnam POW days.[126][136] The Bush campaign strongly denied any involvement with the attacks.[136][143]

    McCain lost South Carolina on February 19, with 42 percent of the vote to Bush’s 53 percent,[144] in part because Bush mobilized the state’s evangelical voters[126][145] and outspent McCain.[146]

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