Thursday, February 28, 2008

William F. Buckley Jr., R.I.P.

I was saddened when I heard of his death. But I was saddened in an “everyman’s death diminishes me” sense. I did not feel the same sense of sorrow that I felt when Samuel Francis died. With Samuel Francis, I felt one of my own had died, which was not the case with William F. Buckley.

Mr. Buckley certainly doesn’t need my praise in passing; he will have his eulogists. It will be said that no man did more for the conservative cause. I can’t agree with that assessment. I think no man did more damage to the conservative cause. By linking the capitalist faith with conservatism, Buckley destroyed conservatism. It is the liberals who should applaud Buckley, not the genuine conservatives. But the genuine conservatives are gone, and even the liberal fusionist types like Buckley have been replaced by straight capitalists such as Rush Limbaugh.

I was somewhat surprised at the rather brief, perfunctory obituaries William F. Buckley received in the mainstream press. I suppose, at his death, he who had helped marginalize so many of the cultural conservatives, such as Samuel Francis, had become marginalized himself.