In the five years since William F. Buckley’s death, the Republican Party and their related causes have seen a radical upheaval of personality, opinion and popularity. Though this changing public persona may not be directly tied to Buckley’s death, it is moments like the government shutdown when Buckley’s voice is missed the most. Buckley, the founding editor of National Review and a longtime fixture of political columns and talk show couches left behind a massive tome of interviews, books and essays in which generations can continue to learn from. As we wade through the congressional arguments and party aligned television reports, let’s remember the words of Bill Buckley.
I came to appreciate…the difference between truly competent reporters, and those others who are simply untrained at listening to, and then conveying, rigorous analysis. The latter are usually the most biased, probably because bias slurps over a lot of details it is unwilling, or unable to confront intellectually. A reporter of quality, unless he is totally dazed by ideology, or by personal animosity, will listen; will ask the deft question; will try to understand…
The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry
Conservatives (unlike anarchists, or Objectivists) know that sacrifices are necessary, even as diet is necessary for organic health. Exactly what it is necessary to forgo is always debatable.
Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.
Perhaps the most important and readily demonstrable lesson of history is that freedom goes hand in hand with a state of political decentralization, that remote government is irresponsible government.