Thursday, February 28, 2008

if you can't say something nice about somebody...

... then don't say anything, my mom always said. And that's even more true about the dead. Like a recent addition to that group, William F. Buckley, dead at 82.

OK, let me try to say some good things about him. Yeah, he was erudite and had a great voice - the kind of voice that modern conservatives like to make fun of and say it sounds French, as if that were an insult.

He was an intellectual. "Intellectual" now of course is a slur among most modern day conservatives. (In fact, between his brains and his voice I can imagine most modern conservatives preferring to beat him up if he wandered into a bar in Alabama somewhere, rather than embracing him.)

Buckley founded the National Review, and was a major inspiration for the Reagan "Revolution" of the 1980s. Oh wait, I said I would say NICE things about him - so I can't use that, can I?

I'm running out of things - wait, his son Christopher has written some funny books.

That's it. Buckley was a founder of modern conservatism, a movement that has been unrelentingly negative for America. I don't think he was a crypto-Nazi, as Gore Vidal once called him. I don't necessarily think he was a bad man, either. But the ideas he helped nurture have on net been bad for America, and the world. And that's too bad for us all.



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