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William F. Buckley, Jr., RIP

God rest his soul.

He was a fascinating man, a prolific writer, a powerful leader, and a prescient thinker. It's a sad day for the conservative movement, but a day also to celebrate all that Mr. Buckley's remarkable life made possible for the rest of us.

His optimism and determination helped bring conservative ideas from down in the boondocks of American political thought right up Pennsylvania Ave. to the White House, and led several generations of conservative Americans to make the same political journey, claim their conservatism and the courage to "stand athwart," as he had done before them.

His publisher's note from the first issue of National Review prefaces that rise of conservatism and the pride that made it possible, declaring conservatives "nonconformist" and the magazine of conservative opinion the "hottest thing in town." How's that for the audacity of hope?

Thank you for everything, Mr. Buckley.

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