Friday, February 29, 2008

Forever silenced

Just in case you've been hiding in a cave with Osama Bin Laden the last couple of days, I have some bad news to pass along to you: William F. Buckley, the conservative giant, has died.

Let me say this up front: There was almost NOTHING about his political views that I agreed with. I think the man could be, not to put too fine a point on it, a pompous ass sometimes. And I think he was extraordinarily narrow-minded on a host of issues that, in this day and age, cannot be approached with anything resembling a narrow mind.

But I respected him.

You see, Mr. Buckley was that very rare class of conservative: Honest, intelligent, sincere, and unwavering in his beliefs. Like it or not, his mind did not change based on which way the political wind happened to blow, unlike so many other so-called "conservatives" in this day and age. He remained steadfast, staying his own course in the ever-changing political world. It is so refreshing--and rare--in this day and age to find anyone so firm in their beliefs that no amount of persuasion can change their minds. Some may call this a flaw, but I believe sincerity is a virtue that is rare in today's world.

You the 3 readers of this blog may have guessed by now that I tend to lean a little bit towards the liberal side of politics, in the same way it can be said that the Titanic took on a little bit of water. I disagreed with nearly everything Mr. Buckley stood for. But while I may have hated his politics, I did not hate him personally, which is something that I can't say about very many conservatives.

I would have enjoyed the opportunity to sit down and have a discussion with Mr. Buckley. Not a debate or an argument, for I am the first to admit that he was WAY smarter than I am (with the exception of our current President, they rarely admit morons into Ivy League Universities), but a discussion of his views of the current political climate.

The realist in me, however, realizes that such a discussion would never have happened even while he was alive, but now that opportunity is lost forever. A giant voice is forever silenced, and the world is now a little poorer for it.

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