William F. Buckley died at his desk on Feb. 27. He was at different times in his life a racist, a fighter against gay rights, and even a supporter of marijuana decriminalization. He was the voice of classic conservatism and I disagreed with nearly everything that he said.
But the way he said it was beautiful.
I listen to what today passes as conservative rhetoric in the forms of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and I already miss Buckley. I offer this opening paragraph from a 2006 column on the Palestinian elections:
“So . . . Democracy rides again.Nearly poetry. Comparing that to pretty much anything that ever comes from the pie-hole of Rush Limbaugh is like comparing caviar to goose shit.
“What disconcerts so is the obstinacy of the democratists in believing that good heavy doses of democracy will bring eudemonia and peace everlasting.
“The most that can be said with confidence about democracy is that certain satisfactions are given to those who practice it. If three-quarters of your gang voted for this kind of government, then you live with this kind of government. If the citizens are mad at other governments, they have the option of going to war against them, which non-democratic governments often do. But if there is self-rule, they have only themselves to blame, and relief is in their own hands at the next election.”
RIP Mr. Buckley. I disliked your political beliefs, but I loved the way you defended them.
Texas Turnout and Ugly Campaign Games
They are still counting in Texas. According to CNN, 1.1 million voters showed up to caucus in Texas, that is double the number from the last election. It does a body good to know that people are this motivated to participate in the political process. But there are already allegations of voter fraud and chicanery coming from the Hillary camp.
Clinton's campaign, meanwhile, says it may challenge the state's caucus results, citing what they call "hundreds of complaints" of mischief caused by the campaign at caucus, The Associated Press reported.Hillary, please stop. One of the driving factors behind the turnout we are seeing is the anger people feel about the voting irregularities that appear to have cost the Democrats the White House in the last two general elections. This is not the kind of card you want to play when the Democrats are finally drawing in the Independent and liberal Republican voters.
We need to offer them a real choice of honesty and hope against the Republicans, not a politics as usual, in fighting, win at all costs choice. Remember, this isn’t about you, it is about us. It is about the country and the future, not your political ambitions. I’m begging you; quit trying to drive down participation and belief in change. We need hope, we need inspiration, and we need to believe that the country can escape the quagmire we currently are struggling to survive.
Hell, I need it. I need to know that whoever gets the Democratic nomination got it not by smearing the process and his or her opponent, but got it on the strength of their message and ideals. Prove to America that we Democrats really are different, that we care not just about winning campaigns, but about changing the business-as-usual politics that have put us in the mess we are in today.