Wednesday, February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley: American Original

If you want to see my photo essay about Barack Obama, including one of him in improbable Somali dress, you'll have to scroll down. Today, however, belongs to a man who almost single-handedly created modern American conservatism, William F. Buckley. (See more in the previous column.)
William F. Buckley, Jr. was never guilty of false modesty. He said, "'I am, I fully grant, a phenomenon, but not because of any speed in composition,' he wrote in The New York Times Book Review in 1986. 'I asked myself the other day, Who else, on so many issues, has been so right so much of the time? I couldn't think of anyone.'" The funny thing is that he was correct.
"For people of my generation, Bill Buckley was pretty much the first intelligent, witty, well-educated conservative one saw on television," fellow conservative William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, said at the time the show ["Firing Line"] ended. "He legitimized conservatism as an intellectual movement and therefore as a political movement."
Here's how the CBS News Blog described this man of so many talents: "Editor, columnist, novelist, debater, TV talk show star of Firing Line,' arpsichordist, trans-oceanic sailor and even a good-natured loser in a New York mayor's race, Buckley worked at a daunting pace, taking as little as 20 minutes to write a column for his magazine, the National Review."
If you want to see a fine photo album of WFB, Jr., please click on the following:
More to follow about William F. Buckley, Jr., whom I knew and revered. If you have thoughts on the man and his passing, I hope you'll leave them in the comments. He had a lover's quarrel with the political system, but the key word was love. Now, he is with his beloved wife (and Epispcopalian! Patricia). God bless them both and condolences to their talented son Christopher and the other members of the Buckley clan.

Tomorrow, my column will be about "Obama's Chicago Problem," with emphasis on his links to some very unsavory characters, including his racialist Pastor Jeremiah Wright and "Minister" Louis Farrakhan, the head of the so-called "Nation of Islam," who has enthusiastically endorsed Obama. Please visit.

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