Bill Buckley's Death Inspires Latest Banal Kristol Column

Bill Kristol thinks that William F. Buckley Jr.'s death last week was perfectly timed and truly conservative. "It's fitting that Bill's last evening," Kristol writes in his latest New York Times column today, "was filled with music and graced by friendship, both of which gave him so much joy." And, and, it's also fitting that his last evening was Wednesday night, just as Kristol was desperately scanning USA Today for some general column idea! Bill Buckley was always so generous to his lazy intellectual heirs. So how does Kristol phone in his homage to Buckley this week?

When Bill Buckley died, Bill Kristol must have instituted a "no editing" vigil to honor him, because what is this:

In my high school yearbook (Collegiate School, class of 1970), there's a photo of me wearing a political button. (Everyone did in those days. I wasn't that much dorkier than everyone else.) The button said, "Don't let THEM immanentize the Eschaton."

There you see an example of the influence of Bill Buckley, who died last week at age 82. For it was Buckley who had promulgated this slogan, as an amusing distillation of the thinking of the very difficult historian of political philosophy Eric Voegelin. I'd of course not read Voegelin then (there's a lot of him I still haven't read, to tell the truth).

When Bill Buckley died, I (DID YOU KNOW I GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL LIKE HIM) recalled my clothing accessory from high school (WORE ONIONS ON ME BELT, AS WAS THE STYLE AT THE TIME), which said some quote (I HAD NO IDEA WHAT THE HELL IT MEANT). Bill Buckley also was fond of this quote (I STILL HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE HELL IT MEANS).

"It was a fitting end to an admirable life."

The Indispensable Man [NYT]


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