It is hard to believe that Bill Buckley left us five years ago. He departed before the Age of Obama, before, that is, a president of the United States set about “fundamentally transforming” the country. What changes there have been! In five years, the federal debt has grown by more than 50 percent, from less that $10 trillion to well over $16 trillion. The federal government has intervened in, Oh! so many departments of life. It has nationalized, i.e., socialized, health care, insinuated itself into large swathes of the auto industry, the production (or, rather, the non-production) of energy, and assumed a bloated, swaggering gait as it arrogates to itself more and more social and economic prerogatives. Bill started NR with a defiant promise to “stand athwart history yelling stop!” Part of Bill’s genius was the uncanny ability to combine that invigorating yelp of resistance with an inveigling geniality. The combination was irresistible. For myself, it is the geniality — and the unstoppable generosity — I remember best about Bill. But when it comes to the lessons and advice he has for us today, we cannot do better than recall this stern admonition from the 1950s: “I will not.” Bill wrote, “cede more power to anyone, not to the state, not to General Motors, not to the CIO. I will hoard my power like a miser, resisting every effort to drain it away from me. I will then use my power, as I see fit. I mean to live my life an obedient man, but obedient to God, subservient to the wisdom of my ancestors; never to the authority of political truths arrived at yesterday at the voting booth. That is a program of sorts, is it not? It is certainly program enough to keep conservatives busy, and liberals at bay. And the nation free.” We need more voices echoing that astringent admonition. I observe sadly that there seem to be fewer and fewer such voices in the cultural landscape these days.
Americans voted for Barack Obama in 2008 despite, not because of, his most partisan voting record in the Senate. They were once willing to look past his earlier dubious associations with abject anti-Semites such as the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, former terrorists like Bill Ayers, and unhinged characters such as ... Read More
‘It has to stop,” says Representative Ilhan Omar. No, it does not. Representative Omar, the Jew-hating Minnesota Democrat, is engaged in one of her usual games of misdirection, a pattern of hers that by now is familiar enough to be predicted: She says something outrageously stupid, offensive, ... Read More
She's not a fan. Read More
Over the weekend, American political discourse reached another one of its low moments — a moment of nearly record-level hypocrisy and absurdity. And once again, a low moment centered around one of the Democrats’ celebrity House freshmen, Ilhan Omar. The cycle went like this. First, Twitter discovered an ... Read More
The greatest Western of all time . . . isn’t. Though The Searchers is regularly hailed as the finest exemplar of its genre and one of the best movies of any kind (seventh-best of all time, according to the decennial Sight & Sound poll), John Ford’s 1956 film is mediocre for most of its run time. Nearly ... Read More