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Defending WFB

Posted by on Aug 28, 2009 in Conservatism, public square, WFB, William F. Buckley | 0 comments

Cheers to the author of a letter to ‘The Atlantic’ a while back, which responded to an article that seemed to debase William F. Buckley.  The letter was published in the September, 2009 edition:

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200909/letters

“Garry Wills’ article on William F. Buckley had much potential, but left one with a profound sense of regret. Instead of any posthumous homage, there was an inescapable theme that Wills simply wanted to have the last intellectual and ideological word. What a shame WFB is unable to respond.

Wills effectively debunked any notions that WFB was a social, ideological or intellectual snob. Why the need to convey a sense that WFB lacked intellectual rigor, or a sound dedication to the English language in the process? For example, the etymology of oxymoron may indeed fit Wills’ description of it in Greek. However, most dictionaries, and even H.W. Fowler’s usage of the term, bear out WFB’s meaning.

It is dispiriting to witness the ongoing efforts of those who benefited most from WFB’s confidences and friendship, to debase him and the indelible mark he left on modern conservatism. For if nothing else, WFB advocated meaningful dialogue from all sides of an issue to hone the ideas being shaped in the public square.”

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