Monday, November 24, 2014

Celebrating William F. Buckley, Jr.

on Firing Line 1971
Today would have been William F. Buckley, Jr.'s 89th birthday. He was a great man--not only because of his brilliance in political debate, thinking and writing, but because he was genuinely a kind, loving man. I was blessed to have his friendship for almost 40 years. He was unfailingly encouraging, generous and kind. Thank you, Lord, for giving us Bill Buckley.
"So during those moments when doubt will assail you, moments that will come as surely as the temptations of the flesh, I hope you will pause. I know, I know, at the most hectic moments of one's life it isn't easy--indeed, the argument can be made that neither is is seemly--to withdraw from the front line in order to consider the general situation philosophically. But what I hope you will consider, during these moments of doubt, is the essential professional point: Without organized force, and the threat of the use of it under certain circumstances, there is no freedom, anywhere. Without freedom, there is no true humanity."
(from "John Kerry's America" a commencement address at the United States Military Academy, West Point, N. Y., June 8, 1971 in Let Us Talk of Many Things)


OregonGuy said...

"The Jeweler's Eye" is still on my bookshelf.

T. D. said...

That's a good one, OG! I think it was my second book of his after _Rumbles Left and Right_.

MAX Redline said...

Interesting, TD! I'd no idea that you knew the man, much less were friends. He was one of the greats, and we could surely use him now.

T. D. said...

Yes, Max, it was one of the sweet blessings of my life. I went to grad school in NYC and got to go to Firing Line tapings during the time there. The friendship took off when I returned to Portland and we started corresponding.

We certainly could use him now. He had a way of cutting to the central political and moral point of the issues he wrote or talked about.

In personal conversation he didn't talk about himself unless directly asked a question, but was interested in the person he was talking to and the issues that person wanted to talk about. Not humble in attitude but very humble in content.

MAX Redline said...

How incredibly fortunate for you, TD! His intellect is sorely needed today.

T. D. said...

If he were in charge of National Review, I would still be reading it. It has become niche conservative rather than big tent conservative after his passing.