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Quotes of the day: William F. Buckley, Jr.
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Published Monday, November 23, 2015 @ 9:20 PM EST
Nov 23 2015

William Frank Buckley, Jr. (November 24, 1925 – February 27, 2008) was an American conservative author and commentator. He founded the political magazine National Review in 1955, which had a major impact in stimulating the conservative movement. He hosted 1,429 episodes of the television show Firing Line (1966–1999) where he became known for his transatlantic accent and wide vocabulary. He also wrote a nationally syndicated newspaper column and numerous spy novels. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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A Conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart history yelling 'Stop,' at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.

A society is not 'free' merely because the freedoms the people are doing away with are those they voted at the last election to do without.

All adventure is now reactionary.

Back in the thirties we were told we must collectivize the nation because the people were so poor. Now we are told we must collectivize the nation because the people are so rich.

Conservatives pride themselves on resisting change, which is as it should be. But intelligent deference to tradition and stability can evolve into intellectual sloth and moral fanaticism, as when conservatives simply decline to look up from dogma because the effort to raise their heads and reconsider is too great.

Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.

I am obliged to confess I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University.

I get satisfaction of three kinds. One is creating something, one is being paid for it, and one is the feeling that I haven't just been sitting on my ass all afternoon.

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.

I profoundly believe it takes a lot of practice to become a moral slob.

I won't insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said.

I would like to electrocute everyone who uses the word 'fair' in connection with income tax policies.

I would like to take you seriously, but to do so would affront your intelligence.

I'd rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.

I've always subconsciously looked out for the total Christian and when I found him he turned out to be a non-practicing Jew.

Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality the cost becomes prohibitive.

Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive.

It had all the earmarks of a CIA operation; the bomb killed everybody in the room except the intended target!

It is not a sign of arrogance for the king to rule. That is what he is there for.

Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.

Life can't be all bad when for ten dollars you can buy all the Beethoven sonatas and listen to them for ten years.

The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry.

The more complicated and powerful the job, the more rudimentary the preparation for it.

The superstition that the hounds of truth will rout the vermin of error seems, like a fragment of Victorian lace, quaint, but too brittle to be lifted out of the showcase.

Truth is a demure lady, much too ladylike to knock you on your head and drag you to her cave. She is there, but people must want her, and seek her out.

We are so concerned to flatter the majority that we lose sight of how every so often it is necessary in order to preserve freedom for the minority, let alone for the individual, to face that majority down.

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(November 24 is also the birthday of Moss Hart and Arundhati Roy.)


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