Archive for February, 2008

william f. buckley passes away

February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley passed away this morning at the age of 82. Reading about his passing on the Internet, I was immediately transported back to the early 1980s when as a high school sophomore I came across his book, “Up with Liberalism.” The double-entendre was obvious even to a 16 year-old. Clearly he did not mean “hooray for liberalism” but rather the not so nice “up your’s!” In any event, given my ethnic minority working class background with wanna-be someone aspirations, I was a staunch Kennedy Democrat, always fingering through “The Quotable John F. Kennedy” like a Maoist snaps through his little red book. (Interestingly, my “Quotable JFK” was literally a “little red book”). But I was intrigued by Buckley, so obviously I also read “God and Man at Yale”, as well as that one about his campaign to be New York’s mayor. My interest in Buckley ran its course probably at the same time my subscription to National Review ended while at Cal. I did not agree with everything Buckley wrote or said (“So you agreed with some of what he wrote?” inquires the cynic), but I believed that, as best as possible, understanding his politics (difficult to begin with given the way he communicated) was essential toward understanding my politics. To be a reflective person and Democrat, even then I believed you needed to understand other viewpoints, absorb what works for me and set aside what doesn’t. So, to William F. Buckley, this Democrat says thank you.

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