William F. Buckley Jr. Goes Home
A Man in Full
By Ben Domenech Posted in conservatism | National Review | Republicans | WFB — Comments (47) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
More than any writer, more than any thinker, more than any intellectual, William F. Buckley Jr. made the modern conservative movement what it is today.
There will never be another like him. We mourn losing him with the entire National Review family. Yet we can take comfort in knowing that in this world, he lived a life without equal - and thus could be called home to the next with no regrets.
What I would give to hear whatever witty line he kept in his back pocket for greeting Saint Peter.
More below the fold.
My personal catalogue of favorite WFB quotes:
Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views
Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive.
I would like to take you seriously, but to do so would affront your intelligence.
We are so concerned to flatter the majority that we lose sight of how very often it is necessary, in order to preserve freedom for the minority, let alone for the individual, to face that majority down.
I would like to electrocute everyone who uses the word "fair" in connection with income tax policies.
All that is good is not embodied in the law; and all that is evil is not proscribed by the law. A well-disciplined society needs few laws; but it needs strong mores.
I won't insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said.
Back in the thirties we were told we must collectivize the nation because the people were so poor. Now we are told we must collectivize the nation because the people are so rich.
You cultivate the essential virtues: high purpose, intelligence, decency, humility, fear of the Lord, and the passion for freedom.
I profoundly believe it takes a lot of practice to become a moral slob.
We love your adherence to democratic principles.
I mean to live my life an obedient man, but obedient to God, subservient to the wisdom of my ancestors; never to the authority of political truths arrived at yesterday at the voting booth.
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.
The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry.
I propose, simply, to expose what I regard as an extraordinarily irresponsible educational attitude that, under the protective label 'academic freedom,' has produced one of the most extraordinary incongruities of our time: the institution that derives its moral and financial support from Christian individualists and then addresses itself to the task of persuading the sons of these supporters to be atheistic socialists.
I myself believe that the duel between Christianity and atheism is the most important in the world. I further believe that the struggle between individualism and collectivism is the same struggle reproduced on another level. I believe that if and when the menace of Communism is gone, other vital battles, at present subordinated, will emerge to the foreground. And the winner must have help from the classroom.