Monday, February 15, 2010

Missing William Buckley

I used to be a Republican.  I guess at heart I'm still a conservative, but somewhere along the way they moved my party.  I got to vote for Dole, at least, and McCain in that primary, back before the "Straight Talk Express" morphed itself into some sort of shambling, bitter death-march.

Seriously, what happened to you guys?  Republicans used to be smart.  Look at William Buckley.

Novelist, editor, columnist, publisher, sailor, and snappy dresser.  I could talk to this guy all day, given the opportunity.  Would I agree with everything he said?  Of course not!  But we could have a wonderful conversation and look good doing it.  I certainly wouldn't be embarrassed to be seen with him in public.

R.I.P., alas, so it goes.

Who do we have to explain the finer points of conservative politics and world affairs from the right side of the spectrum today?
A doughboy and a clown, who shouts over anyone who disagrees with him (when he can't just hang up) and who uses snark, insult, and derision to build ideological walls around his party while appealing to the base prejudice and smug ignorance of his audience.  

I dunno, maybe you like the guy?  If so, how about sharing something in the comments that he's said that you find particularly truthful, virtuous, or inspiring.  

Here's something Buckley said about the neoconservatives: "I think those I know, which is most of them, are bright, informed and idealistic, but that they simply overrate the reach of U.S. power and influence." 
That seems charitable and fair to me.  I wonder what he'd think if he turned on Fox News today?  Or picked up a new copy of his once-intellectual National Review


  1. I'm a conservative but can no longer call myself a Republican. They've let me down and abandoned the very things that made the party the Grand Ole Party. I voted Constitution last year and will continue to do so as long as the GOP stays on its current track.

    I miss William Buckley too, though I do get National Review. The biting satire is just too much to resist, especially the current features of email conversations between Obama and various other people.

  2. I would say that I am now either a constitutionalist or a libertarion. I used to say republican...but since Reagan left office, it has gone DOWN hill. I don't want big government. I want RESPONSIBLE government. I want people to be accountable for what they do and how they spend money. And I agree about missing Mr. Buckley. Fascintating man. I also don't care for Glenn Beck. He is one track for the most part with his ideas, it is just his manner that annoys me.

  3. Rachel - I'll still page through the National Review once in a while (or hit up their website). You're right, while it's not what it used to be, it hasn't gone quite as far downhill as the rest of the conservative commentary available to us.

    Lorie - I think the rudeness is what most gets to me. I have to fight past the obnoxious demeanor even to consider the ideas - and that's why I think he's more about creating an "us versus them" atmosphere (and building his own ratings) than looking out for the best interests of the country. At least when Buckley got passionate and pissy - like with Noam Chomsky - you got the sense it was because he actually gave a damn.