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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

William F. Buckley RIP « Previous | |Next »
February 28, 2008

William F Buckley, the father of modern American conservatism in the form of National Review, died today. Unlike the screeching conservatives clustered around The Australian Buckley was willing to engage in debating ideas, which he took seriously. Buckley treated his interlocutors with a courtesy and erudition that today's shrill, movement conservatives---in both Australia and America---lack.

Buckley's primary intellectual achievement was to fuse traditional American political conservatism with libertarianism, laying the groundwork for the modern American conservatism of U.S. President Ronald Reagan. The groundwork included being a leading proponent of the Vietnam War, being a vociferous Cold Warriors, and a vocal opponent of both the feminist and civil rights movements.

Unlike the Quadrant/IPA/CIS conservative cluster in Australia, Buckley explicitly distinguished the conservatism he founded from what it became under the Bush-led Republican Party. He opposed the war in Iraq and the neoconservative hubris around the war on terrorism.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 4:28 PM | | Comments (3)
Comments

Comments

Gary,
things have moved on again. If Bush's presidency cannot be salvaged, then the reputation of conservatives and conservatism can be. This can only by done by separating the former from the latter.

Peter,
The way McCain has split the conservative support base suggests that you're right. It is much easier to give the older version serious consideration than the new, screechy one.

Nope. Can I retract that? McCain's an Iraq berzerker.