The Corner


A Welcome Idea for Honoring a Profoundly Important Conservative

This week in USA Today, Brett M. Decker made the case for President Donald Trump’s bestowing on our dear friend James. L. Buckley — the former “Sainted Senator” from New York (and brother of National Review founder William F.) who will celebrate his 97th birthday on March 9 — with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It’s deserved. From Brett’s piece:

One of the few in history to hold senior positions in all three branches of the federal government, Buckley has been a U.S. senator, undersecretary of State and ambassador, and retired as a judge on the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He served in the Navy in the Pacific Theater in World War II.

During the Cold War, Buckley played a key part in President Ronald Reagan’s successful two-pronged strategy to defeat the Soviet Union by bankrupting Moscow through a costly arms race that the inefficient socialist economy could not afford, and by undermining the legitimacy of the regime by publicly attacking the evils of the communist system. As president of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, Buckley led America’s operations to broadcast hopeful messages about freedom, democracy and capitalism to millions suffering behind the Iron Curtain. . .

Bestowing Judge Buckley with the nation’s highest civilian honor would celebrate the man for his role in government, champion the value of public service in general, and mark the contemporary coming together of the establishment and populist wings of an ascendant conservatism.


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