Thursday, February 28, 2008

Goodbye, Bill Buckley

One adage goes something like this: If it weren't for Bill Buckley, we never would have had Barry Goldwater. And if it weren't for Barry Goldwater, we never would have had Ronald Reagan. I don't know enough to measure the truth of that. What I do know is that William F. Buckley Jr., who died yesterday, made a difference in our world.

I think that for many middle-aged people like me, it's tempting to assume that the political conservatism represented by President Reagan had always been there. Or, if it hadn't always been there, it was inevitable. It wasn't. One of the main reasons it emerged and took the shape it did was Buckley. In the words of his son, Christopher, "He founded a magazine, wrote over 50 books, influenced the course of political history. . . "

I can still remember flipping through the channels and coming across Buckley's show, "Firing Line." There he was, slouched down in his chair, talking with someone, using words I'd never heard before. What did those words mean? Maybe it was a good thing when something on television required a dictionary.

But it wasn't just the words. It was his accent. A kid in Oklahoma, I must have assumed he was British. And then there were those expressions: raised eyebrows, gleaming eyes, sly grin. He clearly took pleasure in friendly debate. And it seemed like one reason was, he knew it was unlikely that he'd be outdone.

You might not be on the same side Buckley was on. Either way, you have to admit he was a great thinker, a tremendous leader who fought the good fight.


Royce Ogle said...

My family thought I was quite odd when I was a young man. First I was a Republican when everyone else were Democrats and had been for generations. And, I seldom missed seeing Firing Line. Buckley facinated me then, and still today I am facinated with his great mind, good heart, and love for his country.

Royce Ogle

preacherman said...

I was wondering if anyone heard ABC new on his life. They showed a clip where he was arguing with a man who had a different view than he did. Bill Buckly stood up and told the man and ABC allowed it to go over the airways: "If you don't shut up I am going to smack you in your Goddamn face." I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe that they allowed the word Goddamn to go over the air at 5:30. It is just an example of the media's disrepect for God and pushing the evelope a little more and a little more. It sadens me and should sadden every Christian in America.

Stoned-Campbell Disciple said...

He was an interesting man.

Seeking Shalom,
Bobby Valentine

Frank Bellizzi said...

Preacherman, disappointed to hear that. It's too bad one of the man's worst moments was taped and aired.

preacherman said...

I think it shows the lack of disrespct and liberal the media has become.