Yesterday was Andrew Breitbart’s birthday.

It’s amazing to me to see how that man’s legacy has lived on, even as the conservative movement has changed so much over the past few years. I listen to the stories and wild career paths of activists and bloggers who were inspired by him, and I can’t help but wonder where we would all be had Andrew not made the conscious decision to be brave in the face of what sometimes seems like insurmountable bias and recriminations from the media and the institutional left.

I wrote yesterday about Scott Walker’s ridiculous interview with Martha Raddatz, and while I was writing, I slid down the 2008/2012 rabbit hole remembering the disparate treatment of the conservative candidates who dared to challenge Barack Obama and paid for it with chunks of their reputations.

Obviously, we’re in for more of the same as the race to 2016 heats up, and it’s important to remember that the same sort of bias we saw in previous cycles has already begun. Walker’s Radditz-ing was just the start. Progressives are freaking out over his breakout performance—wasn’t he supposed to be the boring midwestern governor that would never break out of the middle of the pack? But strong candidates like Walker, and creative firebrands like Rand Paul, are already causing trouble for an increasingly desperate Democrat narrative.

I refuse to accept the tactics of a desperate and destructive party. We need to start paying attention right now to how they’re treating conservative candidates, because while 2016 is still a long way off, strategists are going to use this time to start planting the seeds for future media campaigns smearing not just candidates, but the Republican party at large.

I think we all know that simply pointing out “media bias” won’t be enough. We have the tools and the knowledge and the deep bench it takes to win a national election; it’s time to put them to use. When Andrew Breitbart exposed the corruption and coordination behind the Occupy movement, he didn’t stop at just pointing out the movement’s dangerous connections; he went on to relentlessly explain why what was happening was wrong, and harmful, and destructive.

We need to do the same thing. We can’t count on our already-strong conservative message not getting lost in translation as it fights its way through the media spin cycle; to do so would be akin to our own version of media malpractice.

Need a little rah-rah? Here’s some inspiration:

We miss you, Andrew.