"Now listen, you queer, stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I'll sock you in your goddamn face and you'll stay plastered."
-- William F. Buckley to Gore Vidal during the 1968 Democratic Convention
While Chicago cops were brutally beating up students outside The International
Amphitheater (where the convention was held), inside, two well known bastions
of intellectual political thought, William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal were
beating each other up with Vidal calling Buckley a "crypto-nazi" and
Buckley calling Vidal a "queer." But while this debate might seem a
portent of things to come almost 50 years later, no one could possibly conceive
of a Presidential race that would make the exchange seem vanilla in comparison.
Buckley later regretted his comment. He had been defending the Chicago police - but only to a degree, and certainly not to the degree of being called a "crypto-nazi". He lost his infamous composure and, for once, did not rely on using an unusually complex, archaic word to intimidate.
Today, few Republicans could understand Bill Buckley's normal mode of speech.
Certainly Donald Trump could never comprehend - one big word would finish him
off in an instant.
Trump is a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP in favor of a free-floating populism with strong-man overtones.
Trump called the National Review a "paper" in his press conference. (!?!)
The magazine is fighting more than an electoral battle. It is waging a serious struggle to prevent the redefinition of conservatism as Trumpism--so serious, and so clear in its intent, that the Republican National Committee has disinvited National Review from a partnership with NBC on the party's February 28 presidential debate in Houston. The magazine's publisher responded that exclusion from the debate was a "small price to pay for speaking the truth about The Donald."
Knowing Buckley to the limited degree that I have (I interviewed
him twice) and having read some of his work, I have come to the conclusion that
he would be appalled at the state of the Republican party today and would most
definitely be against Trump and Ted Cruz. He would also decry pundits like Ann
Coulter and Sean Hannity.
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