William F. Buckley Jr. (1925-2008)

This is why I like Buckley, “A precocious controversialist, William was but 8 years old when he wrote to the king of England, demanding payment of the British war debt.”

From Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review

I’m devastated to report that our dear friend, mentor, leader, and founder
William F. Buckley Jr., died this morning in his study in Stamford, Connecticut. He died while at work; if he had been given a choice on how to depart this world, I suspect that would have been exactly it. At home, still devoted to the war of ideas. As you might expect, we’ll have much more to say here and in NR in the coming days and weeks and months. For now: Thank you, Bill. God bless you, now with your dear Pat. Our deepest condolences to Christopher and the rest of the Buckley family. And our fervent prayer that we continue to do WFB’s life’s work justice.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Matt Waymeyer on February 28, 2008 at 4:05 am

    I’ll miss printing up his columns and leaving them on my bedside stand for my final reading of the day.

  2. No man could drop words like “consanguinity” or “nomenklatura” while making his opponents look like “sciolists.”

    Unfortunately, many obits and tributes I have read today seem to think that Buckley’s greatest achievement was using a dictionary better than the rest of us. It seem few are prepared to discuss his thought and the enormous contributions he made to recovering a meaningful understanding of the constitution.

    When he founded National Review magazine in the 1955 it was to stand “athwart history yelling ‘stop'”. He was a libertarian before the term was hijacked to mean libertinism. As a Roman Catholic he showed Protestants that they had sold their soul within the university system. What they thought was a liberal arts education was actually a secular swan dive into the abyss of relative decadence.

    Can anyone point to a real thinker in today’s political world that is currently shaping an entire segment of the population? We look in vain.

  3. Posted by Matt Waymeyer on February 28, 2008 at 4:36 am

    On a simpler note, I still crack up when I think about his oft-quote line about how he would rather be governed by the first 100 people listed in the Boston phone directory than by the faculty of Harvard University.

  4. Yes Matt that is pure Buckley. I remember his line that “I can understand the occasional necessity to execute people, but never to hurt their feelings . . .”

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