Bill Buckley has died. Written expressions of eloquence–of which Buckley was a grand master–cannot describe the loss.
I never had the honor of meeting Mr. Buckley. But his books, newspaper columns, innumerable television appearances and of course, National Review, had a profound influence on my life, and millions of others who found a home in the conservative cause.
Before Rush Limbaugh; before conservative talk radio; before Fox News Channel; before the Weekly Standard, The American Spectator, the Heritage Foundation and even Ronald Reagan, there was Buckley and his magazine. He burst upon the scene in the early 1950s, articulating concepts and ideas that were largely dismissed in that era–and even more out of favor in the 1960s. Still, Mr. Buckley never wavered, and his brand of conservatism became part and parcel of the Reagan Revolution that followed.
Fifty years after the founding of National Review, we can only hope that such ideas once again resonate within the GOP. There could be no more fitting tribute for Bill Buckley. He created a movement that, in the words of his AP obituary, led conservatives from the political fringe back to the White House. Now, it’s up to all of us–who subscribed to his magazine, watched Firing Line, read his columns and marvelled at his erudition and wit–to carry on.
Rest in peace, Mr. Buckley. You are indeed, irreplaceable, and you are already missed.