Reading Strictly Right: William F. Buckley Jr. and the American Conservative Movement, it’s hard not to escape that conclusion. I suppose we’ll have to wait many years for a less hagiographic biography.
Speaking of the saints, to read this book is to be reminded that, alas, Teresa of Avila was wrong. That great Doctor of the Church penned a famous “bookmark” prayer that includes the line, “All things are passing.” Uh-huh.
We’re reminded in Strictly Right that Martin Luther King, Jr. compared Goldwater to Hitler.
That Reagan’s opponent for the California governorship ran a TV ad, depicting Mr. Brown solemnly reminding a gaggle of schoolchildren: “You remember who killed Abraham Lincoln, don’t you kids? An actor…”
And so forth. All too familiar rhetoric that shows no sign of “passing” from the present scene any time soon.
Why, one particular bit could very well have been written just this morning — a famous outburst from our side which strikes me as eerily timely, prophetic even.
“Now listen, you queer. Stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I’ll sock you in your goddamn face and you’ll stay plastered.”
Not a sentiment you’d want read into the minutes of your beatification hearings, it’s true, but you must admit, it would fit beautifully onto a bookmark.