William F. Buckley is one of those people that as one goes through life one wishes he had met. The closest I ever came was meeting his brother James when he was running for the Senate from New York State, my parents being staunch conservatives having brought me to a function for the late senator. I quite don't remember if William was there, being quite young at the time such things did not interest me much. I had though about writing something significant of the passing of one of the giants in modern conservative thought. On reflection however, I came to the conclusion that nothing I would write would do justice. If Buckley would have an epitaph on his tombstone I would think it would probably be the following quote from his writings;
“I will not cede more power to the state. I will not willingly cede more power to anyone, not to the state, not to General Motors, not to the CIO. I will hoard my power like a miser, resisting every effort to drain it away from me. I will then use my power, as I see fit. I mean to live my life an obedient man, but obedient to God, subservient to the wisdom of my ancestors; never to the authority of political truths arrived at yesterday at the voting booth. That is a program of sorts, is it not? It is certainly program enough to keep conservatives busy, and liberals at bay. And the nation free.”
William F. Buckley Jr., in Up From Liberalism
May we all carry on forward and do honor to his legacy.