Posted by: Christine Johnson | February 27, 2008

Thoughts on the Passing of WFB

The Corner, of course, is dicsussing it in between political posts (Buckley did die at his desk, writing, it is thought), and this bit was posted. It’s the president’s statement on his passing:

“His Legacy Lives On”
By Kathryn Jean Lopez

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT America has lost one of its finest writers and thinkers. Bill Buckley was one of the great founders of the modern conservative movement. He brought conservative thought into the political mainstream, and helped lay the intellectual foundation for America’s victory in the Cold War and for the conservative movement that continues to this day. He will be remembered for his principled thought and beautiful writing — as well as his personal warmth, wit, and generous spirit. His legacy lives on in the ideas he championed and in the magazine he founded — National Review. Laura and I send our prayers to Chris Buckley, the Buckley family, and all who loved this good man.

Others who have said something on his passing:

I actually have nothing really big to say about Mr. Buckley. I had the usual liberal brainwashing in college, but slowly started to turn conservative by way of a few business conventions I went to. Really, the nail in the coffin of my liberalism was Jack Kemp, who gave a wonderful speech about ownership, freedom, and quality of life for society in general. (We are talking about quality of life in a classic way, which means that people have necessities for life and are not oppressed, etc.)

Once I heard that, I was definitely a conservative. It was the speech that made me switch from Independent to Republican. (We’ll leave aside that I’m finding myself more and more an outsider with the GOP and have been pondering a reversal of that.) Really, what it made me was a conservative.

And that was when I noticed how annoying so much of the media was. I’m not Pro-Life, I’m Anti-Abortion (or, even worse, anti-choice!). I’m not in favor of people learning to help themselves, I’m in favor of starving children by cutting off welfare! I’m not in favor of parents choosing the best education for their children, I’m in favor of keeping poor kids out of good schools because I want to cut off all money from public schools. Hmph. Who needs abuse like that?

So I started looking around for conservative opinion articles, and news outlets that didn’t make me feel like banging my head against the wall. I stumbled onto a site called National Review Online. I’d never even heard of the magazine, and I was rather excited to find something I could get in the MAIL! Whoo hoo! I hated getting Time and Newsweek. Someone gave me a gift subscription, and after that I kept paying for it until I just couldn’t swing it any more.

I discovered that there are other people out there like me! Not that my immediate family are liberal, but when I worked in the public school system, I was surrounded by people who professed ideals like being Pro-Life, Pro-Family, and wanting lower taxes, but then would turn around and vote party line with the teachers’ unions. It was really strange. Oh, and if looks could kill, I wouldn’t be here due to the day I announced loudly that I support school vouchers. Yeah, announcing that in a teacher’s lunchroom isn’t very bright.

But Buckley’s magazine seemed to buck the caricature of conservatives. You know, the one where we’re a bunch of knuckle-dragging, inbred, moronic neanderthals? WFB’s writing was funny and smart (I started looking up words in the dictionary again), and it was nice.

I never met Mr. Buckley, but I am sure glad I had a chance to experience a bit of his world through National Review.

May his soul rest in peace.


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