A short time ago, I announced the spiritual death of conservatism in America. Now, conservatism has died bodily…
William F. Buckly Jr. was found dead in his study on Wednesday. Possibly he was working on a column or yet another book.
I remember Buckly, back in the days of the Firing Line show. Then, I didn’t know who he was or what he stood for, but I knew the guy was damn smart. Actually, I thought he was an Englishman, so lofty was his language.
Buckly paved the way for so many in what we call the Conservative Movement. More and more though, I’m trying to avoid that terminology, for it’s too narrow, too cliche. What I believe this “movement” entails, are parameters for unlinear but right (correct) thinking. It’s not a cult, it’s not popularism; it’s what works best for the Republic.
He penned some 55 books, many of them spy novels. Buckly himself was a graduate of Yale University and a former CIA agent.
The best thing about William F. Buckly Jr. was that, despite his intellect, he was never rude or demeaning. He always took the time to listen to some one’s point of view and on only one occasion did he lose his public cool; during a television show airing a debate between he and Gore Vidal. I can forgive him for that to be sure…
What pains me is the thought of the gleeful dances and hand-wringing some on the left are doing. Buckly routinely had to fight through crowds of angry leftists at book signings, even though he surely would have been the first to stop and help any one of them were they injured or in need of assistance. The thought reminds me of a very liberal acquaintance of mine back in college, whom upon hearing of Ronald Reagan’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, uttered “Good” under his breath. Yes, this is the Left that has a monopoly on compassion.
Buckly combined everything, in my mind, that an American Conservative should strive for: Intellect, patience, humor, joy, education and strength.
I’m not sure we have anyone left to carry his mantle. He was Rush Limbaugh’s mentor. He was a titan in the fight against encroaching atheism, socialism, and cynicism.
William F. Buckly Jr, I wish that I would have been able to meet you before you passed from this world, and I hope that I can accomplish one iota of what you did.
Go now to God for your rest…