William F. Buckley Jr. Is Dead at 82

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. Principessa

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    William F. Buckley Jr. Is Dead at 82
    By DOUGLAS MARTIN

    William F. Buckley Jr., who marshaled polysyllabic exuberance, famously arched eyebrows and a refined, perspicacious mind to elevate conservatism to the center of American political discourse, died Wednesday at his home in Stamford, Conn.

    Mr Buckley, 82, suffered from diabetes and emphysema, his son Christopher said, although the exact cause of death was not immediately known. He was found at his desk in the study of his home, his son said. “He might have been working on a column,” Mr. Buckley said.

    Mr. Buckley’s winningly capricious personality, replete with ten-dollar words and a darting tongue writers loved to compare with an anteater’s, hosted one of television’s longest-running programs, “Firing Line,” and founded and shepherded the influential conservative magazine, “National Review.”
    He also found time to write at least 55 books, ranging from sailing odysseys to spy novels to celebrations of his own dashing daily life, and to edit five more. His political novel “The Rake” was published last August, and a book looking back at the National Review’s history in November; a personal memoir of Barry Goldwater is due to be publication in April, and Mr. Buckley was working on a similar book about Ronald Reagan for release in the fall.

    The more than 4.5 million words of his 5,600 biweekly newspaper columns, “On the Right,” would fill 45 more medium-sized books.

    Mr. Buckley’s greatest achievement was making conservatism — not just electoral Republicanism, but conservatism as a system of ideas — respectable in liberal post-World War II America. He mobilized the young enthusiasts who helped nominate Barry Goldwater in 1964, and saw his dreams fulfilled when Reagan and the Bushes captured the Oval Office.

    To Mr. Buckley’s enormous delight, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., the historian, termed him “the scourge of liberalism.”
    In remarks at National Review’s 30th anniversary in 1985, President Reagan joked that he picked up his first issue of the magazine in a plain brown wrapper and still anxiously awaited his biweekly edition — “without the wrapper.”

    “You didn’t just part the Red Sea — you rolled it back, dried it up and left exposed, for all the world to see, the naked desert that is statism,” Mr. Reagan said.

    “And then, as if that weren’t enough,” the president continued, “you gave the world something different, something in its weariness it desperately needed, the sound of laughter and the sight of the rich, green uplands of freedom.”

    The liberal advance had begun with the New Deal, and so accelerated in the next generation that Lionel Trilling, one of America’s leading intellectuals, wrote in 1950: “In the United States at this time liberalism is not only the dominant but even the sole intellectual tradition. For it is the plain fact that there are no conservative or reactionary ideas in general circulation.”

    Mr. Buckley declared war on this liberal order, beginning with his blistering assault on Yale as a traitorous den of atheistic collectivism immediately after his graduation (with honors) from the university.

    “All great biblical stories begin with Genesis,” George Will wrote in the National Review in 1980. “And before there was Ronald Reagan, there was Barry Goldwater, and before there was Barry Goldwater there was National Review, and before there was National Review there was Bill Buckley with a spark in his mind, and the spark in 1980 has become a conflagration.”

    SNIP
     
  2. Bbucko

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    He was a polemicist and a tool for reactionary forces in the US. His demonization of the Left during the Cold War helped to cement the divide we still live with.

    I don't think our national strength comes from bitter division, nor from questioning the patriotism and intellectual honesty of the "loyal opposition".

    This obit fails to mention Joseph McCarthy, which is odd. He owed him so much, after all.

    And let's not forget his views on Feminism, Civil Rights and the homosexual's proper place in American society.
     
  3. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    This saddens me a bit.
    My politics were entirely unlike Buckley's, but I always enjoyed reading him. His command of the language was nonpareil, he was witty, he always gave a sense of having great fun.
    He was also not nearly as blinkered as a lot of conservatives are ... opposing the Iraq war, for example, and stating that Dubya's legacy will be a risible one.
    He was also ready to go, as he said on many occasions. (Of course, emphysema is a miserable condition that makes life pretty unpleasant.)
    With Kenneth Galbraith now nearly two years gone, American political discourse has lost two of its best, um, discoursers.
     
  4. Principessa

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    I don't agree with his opinions or political views. However, it is newsworthy.

     
  5. swordfishME

    swordfishME Member

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    I am deeply saddened to hear of this great loss.

    The political world has lost one of its greatest intellectual thinkers and philosophers. His loss is immeasurable for political thinkers whether they be conservative or liberal.

    His writings provided the backbone for an entire political movement. I admired this man for most of my life. Although, I did not agree with some on his views, his witty nature and the deep sense of responsibility that he brought to his political discourse with America was greatly appreciated and will be greatly missed.

    Rest in Peace.
     
  6. tripod

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    I am just pleased to hear that Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn and Chalmers Johnson outlived Buckley. Wow... Milton Freeman and Buckley... now if Kissinger would die we'd be 3 for 3!
     
  7. B_becominghorse

    B_becominghorse New Member

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    Oh well, tripod, there you are at it again. Buckley was imperfect, but nevertheless extraordinary. Frankly, I am looking forward to Chomsky's demise, as I by now consider him full of shit. Even alcoholic Christopher Hitchens is preferable. Buckley was very outspoken about the failure of the Iraq War, much to the chagrin of the more ugly hardliners like Podhoretz and certainly Cheney and Rumsfeld. He was a very elegant New Yorker as well and a real patron of the classical arts. Has died perhaps less than a year after his wonderful wife Pat.

    Some of us will miss him even if we were on the other side ot the aisle. He ran for mayor of New York once in the 60s, wrote a book about it, and some of the ideas were very good--especially in pointing the disastrous state of the subways at the time, and which probably led Koch to finally fix the delapidated system and improve it enormously by the early 80s.
     
  8. tripod

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    I changed your quote just a bit, but kept your meaning intact, I hope yoiu don't mind... I have a lot of respect for Buckley and Hitchens, they are true conservative intellectuals and they're REALLY classy guys. You are right about him, I didn't mean to be a punk... it just came out that way! lol!

    Don't be hatin' on Noam... he is the world's foremost expert on linguistics and MIT thought that he was plenty good enough to be a tenured and distinguished professor there.
     
  9. Mr. Snakey

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    What a great man he was. This is said news. He will be missed
     
  10. midlifebear

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    I can't say I'll miss him much. Unlike Noam Chomsky, whose intellect has contributed to and advanced our understanding of linguistic theory and thereby benefited us all, Buckley has left only a legacy of intellectual Brahmin whining and the polarization of ideas. Not much of a hero in my humble opinion.
     
  11. B_becominghorse

    B_becominghorse New Member

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    That's okay for one time, but changing quotes is definitely NOT the thing to ever do. You must never do it, no matter even if it's someone of an egregious stupidity. Why would you think it was any more permissible than plagiarism (which it vaguely resembles)?

    I read the 2004 'Hegemony or Survival'. The trouble with Chomsky is that he can easily take you in as a scholar who has done all his research perfectly, and unless you read many secondary sources it is difficult to see that his rather obvious anti-American bias is bolstered by leaving out many facts he finds inconvenient for his rhetorical purposes. I bought it hook, line and sinker for awhile, but have since been able to see that he is considerably less than meets the eye. He is a darling of the hard left, the Naderites and worst of all, the 9/11 truthies, the conspiracy theory idiots, although he does not himself buy those absurd theories. The conspiracy theory people are the most negative idiots in the entire world, and have fantasies of bombs sneaked into the Towers and somehow magically exploded at the same time 'drone planes' without passengers were timed to 'make it look like' the planes caused the buildings to collapse (which of course the planes did do, and the passengers died there. The truthies say the victims of the 'real flights' were flown to undisclosed locations and killed by the U.S. Govt. This is the kind of foolish leftism you have to watch out for, and there are better places to find out about the legitimate aspects of CIA and FBI than Chomsky, who appeals a bit too much to the sentimentalist in one.)
     
  12. jason_els

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    I will miss something of the public Bill Buckley. He towed no line without rigorous forethought and, for that, conservatives should be thankful because it made him among the most formidable debaters (and apologists) for conservatism. Whether you like his politics or no, his lack of support for the Bushies, who claim to be the standard bearers of conservatism, was a glaring strike against them. I truly think Buckley was suspicious of neoconservatism, if not as condemnatory as he should have been.

    I will definitely miss the private Bill Buckley. He's an old boy of mine; he'd speak at our school on occasion, visit on weekends, and he was a fixture at the annual alumni cocktail party. He possessed a scathing wit amply fueled by his catholic vocabulary and love of martinis. He knew how to turn-off being Bill Buckley and could simply enjoy interesting discussion. No matter the subject, even if he disagreed with you, he would remain a gentleman. His greatest shortcoming was a lack of empathy for anyone who shared opposing views in matters he thought himself expert and he suffered fools not at all.

    Over the years he's given generously to Millbrook and was the first publisher of the yearbook there. He was also a Keeper of the Keeb :wink:. I know The Box (as we call it) had a great deal of influence on him not only because he would readily say so, but because the core curriculum focuses on public service, global studies, public speaking, and debate (since his time they've added environmental sciences).

    Bye Bill!
     
  13. Qua

    Qua
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    He spoke at a college I was considering. The guy who was his escort (not that kind of escort) said he left in the middle of a speech someone else was giving. The kid asked what was the matter, afraid the 80 year-old conservative icon might have some medical episode on his watch, and he said "I need some fresh air and a walk," and declared his "ungodly need to have a piss" shortly afterwards. The kid suggested that the next statue the school should commission should be a bronze of Bill Buckley pissing on the tree he chose.

    Rest in Peace
     
  14. BigPug

    BigPug New Member

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    ding, dong the witch is dead...
     
  15. rexcasual

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    Conservative writer William Buckley dead at 82 - Yahoo! News


    Daniel Trotta (Reuters) mentioned this shocker (to me at least) in the obit I saw on Yahoo News.



    Although Buckley, a Roman Catholic, denounced anti-Semitism, he also believed in white superiority over blacks as late as 1961, said the author of the upcoming book "White Protestant Nation: The Rise of the American Conservative Movement."

    Allan Lichtman, who reviewed Buckley's papers at Yale University, said Buckley defended apartheid in South Africa and that National Review editorials referred to white superiority.

    "I pray every Negro will not be given the vote in South Carolina tomorrow," Buckley wrote in a private letter to Douglas Stewart dated October 10, 1961, according to Lichtman.

    "This was the heyday of the civil rights movement," Lichtman said. "All of these racist views were being challenged. He may have changed that view. But as late as 1961 he was against measures of equality for blacks."



    I was surprised. I didn't know that he had held that view.
     
  16. transformer_99

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    You view Buckley's ultimate demise much in the same way I did/do Strom Thurmond ? Some thought I was too harsh when he died ? But for Strom Thurmond, he was a bigoted, rapist at the very least, that got away with far too much.

    "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strom_Thurmond"

    And yes, Buckley stood for very similar stances. I leave the ultimate judgement for these types to their maker, but if I'm a juror, my vote/opinion, guilty as charged.
     
  17. Bbucko

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    None of this is news to me.

    Here's an interesting obit I found trying to locate a decent link to his Neanderthal views on Women's and Gay Rights. It's actually more balanced than many might fear.
     
  18. SpeedoGuy

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    That goes right along with the laughable myth spread by Buckley's apologists that he helped to modernize and mainstream the conservative movement by chasing out all the racists and bigots from the Republican party.
     
  19. transformer_99

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    That was a good read.

    "I pray every Negro will not be given the vote in South Carolina tomorrow," Buckley wrote in a private letter to Douglas Stewart dated October 10, 1961, according to Lichtman.

    Wonder how he felt about SC in 2008, regarding Obama ? Funny, all this hinges on a commonality of location, South Carolina USA, which also happens to be where the Civil War 1861 started, first state to secede from the USA ?
     
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