Skip to comments.A Profoundly Consequential Life (William Buckley)
Posted on 02/28/2008 1:45:53 AM PST by MartinaMisc
Woody Allen is reputed to have said that it was better not to meet people you revere -- the disappointment was always so crushing. But no one fortunate enough to meet or know William F. Buckley Jr., who passed away yesterday at the age of 82, could say that. A man of coruscating wit (he'd approve of that word), he was also, by universal acclamation, the most gracious man on the planet. Legend he was, but in a small group, it was always Bill who rushed to get a chair for the person left standing. It was always Bill who reached to fill your glass. It was always Bill who volunteered to give you a lift wherever you were going, insisting it was on his way.
The word "journalist" does not begin to encompass Bill Buckley's profoundly consequential life. In 1949, six years before the founding of National Review, critic Lionel Trilling spoke for the establishment when he wrote in "The Liberal Imagination": "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 nowadays there are no conservative or reactionary ideas in general circulation." Conservatives, Trilling continued, didn't so much have ideas as "irritable mental gestures."
And then came Bill Buckley, an intellectual starburst. Gathering a few refugees from the left to the masthead of National Review, Buckley famously announced in the 1955 maiden issue that his mandate was to stand "athwart history, yelling Stop." That's not precisely what happened -- not even the talents of Bill Buckley and his thousands of acolytes could hold back the tide of liberalism that swept the nation during the 1960s and 1970s. But the magazine did plant a flag -- and it did it with such style!
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
The passing of this truly great man leaves us far better for having known his thought and character. Bless his family and friends, who like us, are far richer for having come in contact with him.
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Truly we mourn the passing of a great man and a great mind. Few today are his equal, and I fear even fewer tomorrow.
Thank you, good sir, for your time, your grace, and your wisdom. We will soldier on, a sadder corps.
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