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William F. Buckley (1925 – 2008)


American author, conservative journalist, who founded the conservative political magazine National Review in 1955 and hosted the award-winning television show Firing Line from 1966 until 1999.
William F. Buckley
Liberals do a great deal of talking about hearing other points of view, but it sometimes shocks them to learn that there are other points of view.
Buckley quotes
Had there been no Buckley, there would likely have been no Reagan administration, no Morning in America, no “Tear down this wall,” and no Cold War triumph for liberty and the West.
It may sometimes be confusing, what with all the intramural squabbling among libertarian conservatives, neoconservatives, paleoconservatives, and the like, to know exactly what “conservatism” stands for these days. But Buckley more than anyone made clear that there are things it would not stand for.
Buckley
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.




He was really a quintessential leader of the conservative movement not just in New York but in the nation. There are no other Bill Buckleys now on the scene. On a personal level he was a very warm and kind individual.
Buckley William F. Jr.
The central question that emerges—and it is not a parliamentary question or a question that is answered by merely consulting a catalog of the rights of American citizens, born Equal—is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes—the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race.
William F. Buckley quotes
America has lost one of its finest writers and thinkers. Bill Buckley was one of the great founders of the modern conservative movement. He brought conservative thought into the political mainstream, and helped lay the intellectual foundation for America's victory in the Cold War and for the conservative movement that continues to this day.
William F. Buckley
You didn’t just part the Red Sea — you rolled it back, dried it up and left exposed, for all the world to see, the naked desert that is statism. And then, as if that weren’t enough, you gave the world something different, something in its weariness it desperately needed, the sound of laughter and the sight of the rich, green uplands of freedom.
Everything I do and say and the way I do and say it annoys me.
Buckley
Skepticism about life and nature is most often expressed by those who take it for granted that belief is an indulgence of the superstitious — indeed their opiate, to quote a historical cosmologist most profoundly dead. Granted, that to look up at the stars comes close to compelling disbelief — how can such a chance arrangement be other than an elaboration — near infinite — of natural impulses? Yes, on the other hand, who is to say that the arrangement of the stars is more easily traceable to nature, than to nature's molder? What is the greater miracle: the raising of the dead man in Lazarus, or the mere existence of the man who died and of the witnesses who swore to his revival?
Buckley William F. Jr.
When in 1951 I was inducted into the CIA as a deep cover agent, the procedures for disguising my affiliation and my work were unsmilingly comprehensive. It was three months before I was formally permitted to inform my wife what the real reason was for going to Mexico City to live. If, a year later, I had been apprehended, dosed with sodium pentothal, and forced to give out the names of everyone I knew in the CIA, I could have come up with exactly one name, that of my immediate boss (E. Howard Hunt, as it happened). In the passage of time one can indulge in idle talk on spook life. In 1980 I found myself seated next to the former president of Mexico at a ski-area restaurant. What, he asked amiably, had I done when I lived in Mexico? "I tried to undermine your regime, Mr. President." He thought this amusing, and that is all that it was, under the aspect of the heavens.
We have noticed that Valerie Plame Wilson has lived in Washington since 1997. Where she was before that is not disclosed by research facilities at my disposal. But even if she was safe in Washington when the identity of her employer was given out, it does not mean that her outing was without consequence. We do not know what dealings she might have been engaging in which are now interrupted or even made impossible. ... In my case, it was 15 years after reentry into the secular world before my secret career in Mexico was blown, harming no one except perhaps some who might have been put off by my deception.
William F. Buckley
More people die every year as a result of the war against drugs than die from what we call, generically, overdosing. These fatalities include, perhaps most prominently, drug merchants who compete for commercial territory, but include also people who are robbed and killed by those desperate for money to buy the drug to which they have become addicted.
This is perhaps the moment to note that the pharmaceutical cost of cocaine and heroin is approximately 2 per cent of the street price of those drugs. Since a cocaine addict can spend as much as $1,000 per week to sustain his habit, he would need to come up with that $1,000. The approximate fencing cost of stolen goods is 80 per cent, so that to come up with $1,000 can require stealing $5,000 worth of jewels, cars, whatever. We can see that at free-market rates, $20 per week would provide the addict with the cocaine which, in this wartime drug situation, requires of him $1,000.




William F. Buckley quotes
One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed. ... Our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000 Americans. The great human reserves that call for civil life haven't proved strong enough. No doubt they are latently there, but they have not been able to contend against the ice men who move about in the shadows with bombs and grenades and pistols.
The Iraqis we hear about are first indignant, and then infuriated, that Americans aren't on the scene to protect them and to punish the aggressors. And so they join the clothing merchant who says that everything is the fault of the Americans.
William F. Buckley
Demand a recount.
Buckley quotes
William F. Buckley was more than a journalist or commentator. He was the indisputable leader of the conservative movement that laid the groundwork for the Reagan Revolution. Every Republican owes him a debt of gratitude for his tireless efforts on behalf of our party and nation.
Buckley William F. Jr.
No other actor on earth can project simultaneous hints that he is in the act of playing Commodore of the Yacht Club, Joseph Goebbels, Robert Mitchum, Maverick, Savonarola, the nice prep-school kid from next door, and the snows of yesteryear.
Now listen, you queer, stop calling me a crypto-Nazi, or I'll sock you in your goddamn face and you'll stay plastered.
William F. Buckley
They are men and women who tend to believe that the human being is perfectible and social progress predictable, and that the instrument for effecting the two is reason; that truths are transitory and empirically determined; that equality is desirable and attainable through the action of state power; that social and individual differences, if they are not rational, are objectionable, and should be scientifically eliminated; that all people and societies strive to organize themselves upon a rationalist and scientific paradigm.
William F. Buckley quotes
Buckley did say this on the Firing Line episode "Vietnam: Pull Out? Stay In? Escalate?". According to the transcript here, he says "...if someone told me that if I voted for Goldwater, we would escalate the war, I did and we have."
William F. Buckley
I am obliged to confess I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University.
Buckley William F. Jr.
I think Mr. Bush faces a singular problem best defined, I think, as the absence of effective conservative ideology — with the result that he ended up being very extravagant in domestic spending, extremely tolerant of excesses by Congress, and in respect of foreign policy, incapable of bringing together such forces as apparently were necessary to conclude the Iraq challenge.
There will be no legacy for Mr. Bush. I don't believe his successor would re-enunciate the words he used in his second inaugural address because they were too ambitious. So therefore I think his legacy is indecipherable.


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