Wednesday, February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley Jr. (1925-2008)

William F. Buckley died this morning.

What can I say about the man. To say he was a giant is cliche-even if it is the truth. Buckley single handily redefined what it meant to be both a Conservative and a Republican. He shaped not only the electoral politics of the right but also drove an Renaissance in American political thought. At a time when it seemed that socialism was about to overwhelm the west-it was WFB standing very much alone in its path yelling "stop!"-sometimes with more success than others.

In the coming days Buckley will no doubt receive justified praise for laying the groundwork for the likes of Goldwater, Reagan, and Bush. That however is the tip of the iceberg. Buckley shifted the cultural debate in this country. Forty years ago Democrats were demanding a guaranteed income (regardless of whether you worked or not). By the nineties we had a Democrat president seeking to end welfare. More than anyone else (even Ronald Reagan), Buckley is responsible for this change.
Sic transit gloria mundi.

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