He was a source of constant inspiration to all on the Right. His books “God and Man at Yale” and “Up From Liberalism” have been required reading since they were first published a half century ago. In 1960, he helped form Young Americans for Freedom based on the principles enshrined in the landmark “Sharon Statement,” which challenged future generations to think clearly, dream big, and take on challenges.
When we were down, we knew Bill could cheer us up, and tell us what was really impossible, but worth doing nonetheless. Bill Buckley for Mayor of New York City? Impossible, but his quixotic campaign paved the way for the election of his brother Jim to the U.S. Senate, and for intermittently good government in the city.
I can still hear him now, back in the early 1970s: “So, Ed, if you want to start a new conservative think tank in Washington, go for it, and I'll help you any way I can!” A day doesn't go by that I don't think of Bill and the seeds he planted to make an impact for the ideas we believe in.
For me, William F. Buckley, Jr., will always retain his primary title: the inspiration of the modern conservative movement.