My Wild Guess: What Mr. Buckley Would Think

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RUSH: Walton Hills, Ohio. This is Jim. Welcome, sir. It’s great to have you here. Hi.

CALLER: Oh, thank you for your time, Rush. Say, I was wondering — I know you spoke of William Buckley in the past as helping you get your career started and get you on the path that you’re on now. I’m just wondering what you think he would think of this presidency and this travesty of an election? You know, what do you think his thoughts would be on this? I’ll hang up and listen.

RUSH: He’s asking me what I think William F. Buckley would think of the Trump presidency. Folks, this is gonna be a wild guess. It will be a guess informed by intelligence guided by experience, admittedly, and what he would think of the — well, I know what he thinks — this election mess, I’m pretty confident in believing that he would think that this is highly suspicious. He’d be worried about it.

In Buckley’s day, going back now to the forties, fifties — well, the fifties on through the seventies, it was the unions that did all of this stuff that the Democrats are now doing at the statehouse. It was the unions where all of this chicanery happened.

I can remember being at his home — I’m sorry, his maisonette on Park Avenue, 73rd Street watching election returns. And I remember getting real frustrated because he was just pessimistic as hell. And I said, “Bill, what are we even doing here if you don’t think –”

“Rush, the unions, the unions, we can’t overcome the way the unions are gonna cheat this.” So, he was well aware of the Democrats and their abilities. What he would think of Trump, look, folks, this is a wild guess. William F. Buckley was an anomaly. He was a member in good standing of the New York City elite. But he was conservative. He was respected and adored by the New York liberal elite, and he never once had to compromise his beliefs to do it. He didn’t have to give them a thing. He didn’t have to change one thing that he believed.

What he would think of Trump as president I think would probably surprise you. I think he would have loved it. Remember, William F. Buckley was the guy who said he would rather be governed by the first 1,200 names in the Boston phone book than by the faculty at Harvard. Meaning, he would much rather be governed by a bunch of average, ordinary people than a bunch of elite academics, of which he was one.

He was an elite academic. He was an elite, unique mind. He was brilliant. He was hilarious. He was sardonic. He was sarcastic. He was a conservative. And he would have had a twinkle in his eye about Trump and that Trump had won and had beaten those people. He would not have had this phony attitude that Trump’s attitudes embarrassed him. He might — I don’t know — tweeting didn’t exist before Mr. Buckley passed away, but I could only guess about that.

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