Monday, March 24, 2008

William F. Buckley, 1925-2008

Buckley's passing merits more than a mention I think.

While looking backward we can't defend some of the positions that he held early on (like being pro-segregation), we can be proud that he changed positions according to his conscience, despite severe criticism from his peers (like becoming ardently anti-segregation). This was a man not afraid to use his own (impressive) brain to apply reason and morality to the world of government and write passionately about his conclusions, even if they conflicted with orthodox conservatism of the day. In so doing he again grounded American conservatism in solid reason.

Perhaps the greatest testament to his legacy is the vacuum left by his passing. When I look for real thought-leader intellectual conservatives these days, I don't find many. Where are the 21st-century Buckleys?

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