Monday, February 28, 2011

WFB: Three years ago today

Three years ago on February 27th we lost William F. Buckley Jr., a man so bright in the intellectual firmament that we had come to think of him as a permanent fixture in the heavens of American political thought. Three years gone by and the conservative movement remains an experiment in constant motion, all of its tethers to thoughts leaders of the past mostly undone. That does not mean it will fail to rise again; on the contrary, there are reasons to believe that the American public is trying to resuscitate ties to traditional values.
But this is a hard battle. Entrenched interests in government, unions and big corporations are powerful and hard to dislodge. The individual who still seeks to stand as an individual is a dying breed, and one who embraces his or her individuality does so at great personal and financial cost given the natural tendency of power to devour anyone who does not conform.
Still, we hope. We see the courage of those in the Middle East trying to throw off the shackles of tyranny and we pray they are not going to trade in one type of oppression for another. We see the frenetic energy of the tea party, and the counter strikes in Wisconsin, and we wait to see the outcome with a sense of concern for the ability to see it through.
We know this and Bill Buckley reminded us of it both in his life and in his writings – that to enslave future generations to massive debt is an immoral act. It is larceny on a massive, almost unimaginable, scale. To ask the young and the yet to be born to pay for our indulgences – social, financial, environmental – is an act of selfishness that belies any responsible understanding of stewardship or decent self government.
Bill spent a lifetime teaching us that being part of the responsible right also carried with it the burden of doing what is right. At the very least, we know that his wisdom and his example remain within our reach and smalls acts of thoughtful dialogue and debate might yet bring our nation back from the brink.

George Shadroui has been published in more than two dozen newspapers and magazines, including National Review and

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