Via K.J. Lopez at the Corner, news comes today that the great William F. Buckley, Jr., has passed away.
While very few writers and speakers have ever had a greater facility with the English language than Buckley did, there was much more to him than the elegance of his prose. He was an intellectual champion for conservatism long before there was any popularity to be gained by it. From his seminal book God and Man at Yale to his great legacy in the founding of National Review, he did as much as any American in the 20th century to advance the conservative cause through logical, forceful, and passionate argument, as well as through refined wit and good humor.
To get a glimpse of the man – his ideas and his rhetoric – you can search a comprehensive online database of Buckley’s writings and speeches – created by my alma mater Hillsdale College.
In November 2006 we lost the great Milton Friedman, and now Buckley. Together they represent perhaps the two greatest minds in the broader conservative movement and the two most influential voices for free markets, limited government, and personal freedom – not to mention the strong roots and high ideals of Western Civilization – America had in the 20th century.
It’s a sad day for the conservative moment and for anyone in this nation who respects a good, vigorous, civil, and intellectual policy debate. But condolences especially to his family and dear friends. I’m sure far more eloquent elegies will be written in the coming days, but wanted to add my two cents while the news is fresh on my mind.
R.I.P., William F. Buckley, Jr. (1925-2008)