"....When Buckley started National Review — in 1955, at the age of 29 — it was not at all obvious that anti-Communists, traditionalists, constitutionalists, and enthusiasts for free markets would all be able to take shelter under the same tent. Nor was it obvious that all of these groups, even gathered together, would be able to prevail over what seemed at the time to be an inexorable collectivist tide. When Buckley wrote that the magazine would “stand athwart history yelling, ‘Stop!’” his point was to challenge the idea that history, with a capital H, pointed left. Mounting that challenge was the first step toward changing history’s direction. Which would come in due course."Has anyone other than William F. Buckley ever been so consistently right?
He was in his early 80's. I can't help but think he was holding on long enough to see Castro resign, and to have some assurance of The Clintons' defeat.
His son, Christopher, wrote two of my all-time favorite comic novels, "Thank You For Smoking" and "Boomsday".
Here's an obit from the Adfreak blog:
William F. Buckley Jr., the acid-tongued, staunchly conservative author (40+ books), columnist (since 1979), publishing exec (National Review) and TV host (Firing Line), helped shape the modern media landscape. His reaction to a society increasingly obsessed by celebrity and trivia was rigorously intellectual, intense and probing.
Buckley never stopped at the surface, equivocated about his positions, or suffered fools gladly (“I won’t insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said,” he once quipped when presented with a viewpoint in opposition to his own).
Buckley was no friend to the left (“Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views”), but he also knew when to stick it to The Man (“It had all the earmarks of a CIA operation; the bomb killed everybody in the room except the intended target!”).
He was feared, beloved, ridiculed, admired and despised.
Though it all, he had an unfailingly playful sense of humor about himself (“Some of my instincts are reprehensible”) and the best diction of any English speaker on the planet. William F. Buckley Jr. died today at his home in Connecticut at age 82.
This seems a fitting end-quote: “I get satisfaction of three kinds. One is creating something, one is being paid for it, and one is the feeling that I haven’t just been sitting on my ass all afternoon.”
—Posted by David Gianatasio
And here's another post on Buckley from Just A Girl In Short Shorts, Talking About Whatever. She has a wonderful closing line....