William F. Buckley Jr. Goes Home

A Man in Full

By Ben Domenech Posted in | | | 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.

« Ain't gonna work on Maggie's Farm no more.Comments (11) | Ideas Don't Run For President; People DoComments (54) »
William F. Buckley Jr. Goes Home 47 Comments (0 topical, 47 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

Wow. I'm stunned. One of his last books was Nearer My God - An Autobiography of Faith lets us know he was preparing for this moment.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

Amen, Ben. You captured WFB's greatness perfectly.

He will be dearly missed.

Steve Dillard

"I believe we must adjourn this meeting to some other place." - The last recorded words of Adam Smith.

Freedom of Religion not Freedom from Religion

He's irreplacable. The years of tireless work to grow conservatism in America, are a debt we owed him that never could have been repeaid.

What a man. I never did get around to finishing Miles Gone By but I plan to very soon now.

HTML Help for Red Staters
"If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let’s get to work." – Barry Goldwater

and Heaven is richer. We were lucky to have his talents on loan.

I used to watch the Crossfire debates when I was 12 or 13. I loved watching him and he was definitely a primary reason that I am interested in government and politics.

We certainly lost a great man.


He follows his dear wife, who passed away quite recently.

By coincidence, I was doing some reorg in my office yesterday and came across a book of his essays.

While we will sorely miss this Colossus, his stunning intellectual output will guide us for decades to come, and the DNA he bequeathed to the conservative movement even longer.

Thank you for your hard work and brilliance in recovering and developing an alternative intellectual tradition to liberal progressivism.

Had the opportunity to meet Mr. Buckley twice... could not have been more gentile and friendly. A patriot, a prolific contributor to the conservative cause, an intellectual giant, and a man who walked closely with God. We mourn his loss from our midst, but rejoice that he has earned his eternal reward.

Kenilworth, IL

I can only imagine the conversation that he and Chambers are having now.

My favorite was his observation that being called the smartest man in Washington was like saying "that's the tallest building in Topeka."

RIP; God's Blessing on you, sir, and God's Spirit to comfort your mourners.

Was an event in the household of my youth. From the couch near my father's chair I was taught examples of grace, wit, logic, and class.

God broke the mold with that one. Rest well Mr. Buckley.

...for your viewing pleasure:


“.....women and minorities hardest hit”

HTML Help for Red Staters
"If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let’s get to work." – Barry Goldwater

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be. --Voltaire

HTML Help for Red Staters
"If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let’s get to work." – Barry Goldwater

and that line, IN fact it was what got me interested in WFB, so that a few years later I began reading NR at the local library.

When I got to college I subscribed, and have ever since.

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"

He was all of that and more. Every conservative owes an unpayable debt of gratitude to William F. Buckley, Jr. He was the man. Period.

Thank you, good sir, for all that you did for us. God will most certainly bless your soul.

I am a second generation Buckley beneficiary and as a child expanded my vocabulary by reading National Review with a dictionary at my side. My parents were FDR Democrats whose lives and politics were transformed by WFB.

My prayers today are for his large family (the right-thinking Kennedys, as my mother called them), his NR family, and for the new media movement he led so brilliantly, for which we all owe him more than we can quantify.

May God bless you and keep you close, Mr. Fbuckley.

.. backed by a formidable intellect.
I was a little surprised to see that he was a staunch and
consistent proponent of marijuana legalization.
I'm going to have to rethink my position on it.

He was probably the greatest single influence in my political thinking and I haven't missed an issue of NR in 20+ years. I had the pleasure of meeting him and conversing with him a bit when NR did a cruise to Alaska. During the stop in Juneau we put on a reception for the NR cruisers. What a room full of giants!

In Vino Veritas

A great man is gone.

And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.

Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.

Thank you for including it.

Bill had said that life would be unbearable without the hope of being reunited with her. May God bless and reunite them, together and in love.

We owe this unforgettable man so much.

"a man's admiration for absolute government is proportinate to the contempt he feels for those around him". Tocqueville

"I will not cede more power to the state. I will not willingly cede more power to anyone, not to the state, not to General Motors, not to the CIO. I will hoard my power like a miser, resisting every effort to drain it away from me. I will then use my power, as I see fit. 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. That is a program of sorts, is it not? It is certainly program enough to keep conservatives busy, and Liberals at bay. And the nation free."

A paean to self-determination that is so rare in our current ocean of "what can your country do for you" as to be almost unheard in modern political discourse. Rest in peace, Mr. Buckley.

The father of the modern conservative movement and a man who taught several generations the meaning of the word class.

Unlike many, I was not a big fan of his writing style, he could be pedantic. It was his hard work in the years before I was born, it was his clear thinking, and it was his bravery in standing up to the Randians and yahoos. Those are what made him indispensable.

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"

Before Gingrich and the revolution, before Rush destroyed the leftist media monopoly, before Reagan who slew the communist dragon, and even before there were the Lee Atwaters, the Barry Goldwaters, the Paul Weyrichs, and even the Lady Thatchers etc... there was WFB JR.

Where would we be today without this great man's guiding light? I always read Mr. Buckley's work and wondered when this day would come. He was getting older, but never lost his youthful zest.

As a champion of faith I'm sure that Mr. Buckley has a great room and treasures stored in Heaven. And now, thanks to his arrival, the great saints in Heaven can worry a little less about some kind of progressive "Heavenly treasures" tax.

Rest in peace and thanks for the wonderful memories and service.

"Greater is an army of sheep led by a lion, than an army of lions led by a sheep" - Defoe

from our candidate. Very Good, John, Very Good! I really feel, (and I know this is a tribute to WFB), but John is starting to make me proud.

And who can forget this classic moment?

John S. McCain III
Eric Cantor for VEEP

I hope Buckley and Reagan are up in heaven somewhere drinking beer and trading clever quips.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas


"Austere, intolerant, well-armed, and blood-thirsty, in their own regions the Wahhabis are a distinct factor which must be taken into account" - Winston Churchill, 1921

May his soul rest in peace.

http://OsiSpeaks.com or http://RealConservativesSpeak.com

With malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see right.

I had so looked forward to seeing Bill on a talking heads panel discussing the issues and personalities of this upcoming Federal election for President.
Bill Buckley stands second only to Ronald Reagan among the great leaders and articulators of conservatism and its imperative for our times.
He was a gifted, witty, gentleman of the highest caliber. It seems that only recently he endured the anguish of Patricia's death.
Now the two will hold hands in the splendid presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
A Life Well Lived Mr Buckley!

For the legacy Buckley has left. Incredible intellect - whenever I found myself talking in slang, I'd read some "National Review" & get my groove back! All men die, however few truly live. I think Buckley is a man who truly lived.

"You didn't just part the Red Sea. You rolled it back, dried it up and left exposed, for all the world to see, the naked desert that is statism. And then, as if that were not enough, you gave the world something different, something, in its weariness, it desperately needed — the sound of laughter and the sight of the rich, green uplands of freedom." - Ronald Reagan

Most fitting indeed, Sen. Lieberman.


“Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so.” – Ronald Reagan

The 20th century had several key giants, and Buckley was among them. The flame of the west continues for another century.

of National Review and then the next day, I hear he passed on. I had just gotten my nephew a gift subscription to NR. His brilliant legacy lives on. Go With God~



I can see WFB now slouching in his chair saying, "The Reverend Jackson" I was always intimidated at how much this man knew and how little I did.

Reagan and Buckley were perfect for one another. Buckley could take conservatism to the masses by the written word. Reagan took conservatism to the masses by the spoken word. Together they changed America for the better.

Job well done!

"To believe in nothing is to believe in everything. To believe in everything is to believe in nothing"

And ours are better for it. RIP

"Honor is self-esteem made visible in action." - Ayn Rand, West Point, 1974

William F. Buckley was a real Conservative, and modern Republicans are big government Liberals.


HTML Help for Red Staters
"If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let’s get to work." – Barry Goldwater

Redstate Network Login:
(lost password?)

©2008 Eagle Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Legal, Copyright, and Terms of Service