William F. Buckley
William Frank Buckley Jr. (New York City, November 24, 1925 - Stamford, February 27, 2008) was born in a devoutly Roman Catholic family. Buckley was a prominent conservative author and commentator, and the founder of the National Review. He was also host of Firing Line, a talk show featured for years on the otherwise liberal public television. He was admired on both sides of the political spectrum for his seemingly limitless vocabulary, and his intellectual wit.
Buckley's political views did not represent the future of the conservative movement as much as its past, and he did not speak out much about the big social issues that would dominate the future of politics. For example, he was mostly silent about ERA, the defining issue for the modern conservative movement. Buckley's views could be almost summed up in one word—anti-collectivist—as reflected by his book "Up From Liberalism" (1959):
|“||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.||”|
Son of an oilman who made a fortune in Mexico, Buckley was educated in an English preparatory school as a teenager. He studied Spanish in Mexico City (1943, UNAM) (Buckley's first language had been Spanish, having been raised by Mexican nannies). Buckley graduated from the Millbrook School in New York in 1943, and from Yale College in 1950. His first book exposed the failures of Yale College, "God and Man at Yale" (1951). It detailed what he saw as the collectivist and anti-Christian leanings of America's foremost school.
In 1955 Buckley founded The National Review (NR), a biweekly magazine of political opinion. Ronald Reagan was a longtime subscriber to National Review. Through the magazine he fostered the idea of a conservative movement.
Buckley wrote over 50 books about history, politics and sailing, and a series of spy novels (which featured the fictitious Yale graduate Blackford Oakes) that were consistent best sellers.
Buckley, doing it his way, became one of the most influential writers and journalists of the past century – in the august company of Walter Lippmann, Alexander Solzhenitsyn and George Orwell. The latter two came to symbolize what was at stake in the spiritual and moral struggle against the totalitarian mentality. But Buckley spearheaded the counterrevolution in the West that emboldened Reagan, Thatcher and John Paul II to confront and defeat the Soviet Empire.
Even friendly biographers do not give him adequate credit in deconstructing liberalism ... Buckley did not elevate conservatism to a major political force simply because he was a charming guy, though that didn’t hurt; but because he laid bare with a penetrating logic the inconsistencies of liberal and leftist thought.
Buckley liked to go yachting, twice crossing the Atlantic himself, and playing the harpsichord. He married Patricia Alden Austin Taylor in 1950.
Buckley died of a heart attack in 2008.
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- Liberal values and Liberalism: Similarities between Communism, Nazism and liberalism
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- Obamunism: Obamanomics Economic planning of the Obama administration fiscal policy, Obama administration monetary policy, Obamacare, Federal funding via Crony capitalism (Obama donor list, Bailout, Obama administration corporate bailouts, Obamageddon), Deficit spending and the National debt
- John Maynard Keynes liberal Keynesian economics and Fabian Socialist influence on Barack Obama
- Big Government-Welfare State-Nanny State-Police State: Globalist-Statist-Socialist-Communist
- National Review Online
- William F. Buckley Jr. on Conservatism: An Interview Bill Steigerwald, Human Events, 11/19/2007
- William F. Buckley Jr. Is Dead at 82, New York Times, 2/27/2008
- Father of Conservative Movement Dies
- Biography by Lee Edwards, Ph.D.