I was staggered to learn this morning of the death of William F. Buckley, Jr., founder of National Review and modern American conservatism; sometime editor of the magazine. Mr. Buckley, ill with emphysema, passed on sometime last night while in his study -- a fitting ending-place for a man whose work contributed so much to American political and intellectual life.
I shall never forget first discovering his magazine in the late 1970's, during Jimmy Carter's era of malaise. America, and freedom, had been defeated in Vietnam; political discourse was dominated by the friends and fellow-travellers of the 60's and 70's protesters; and too many of our teachers and professors mouthed the noxious platitudes of the flag-burners; malnourished us on the foul nostrums of the Left.
Finding a powerful conservative voice who so eloquently articulated, promoted and advocated a different political path, one that upheld and proclaimed the greatness of the nation, was a great encouragement and comfort in those drab, wrongheaded, spiritless political and intellectual times. Mr. Buckley now rests with God, and is thereby the infinite gainer, but the rest of us miss him now, when the country and conservatism both need someone like him so very badly.