One of the pioneers of modern Conservatism, William F. Buckley, has died at the age of 82. He was the founder and editor of the National Review Magazine, was a nationally syndicated columnist, and was the host of Firing Line, one of television’s longest-running talk shows. He was also the author of more than five dozen best-selling books in almost every conceivable genre--indeed, he was still at work when he was found today at his desk. Many credit "his sharp wit, his polysyllabic exuberance, his refined demeanor, and his perspicacious mind" with helping to "elevate Conservatism to the center of American political discourse."
According to the New York Times, though "the more than 4.5 million words of his 5,600 biweekly newspaper columns, On the Right, would fill 45 more medium-sized books," his greatest achievement "was making Conservatism--not just electoral Republicanism, but Conservatism as a system of ideas--respectable in Liberal post-World War II America." I disagree. His greatest achievement was simply that as the tireless mentor to two generations of thinkers, writers, politicians, social reformers, moms, dads, cousins, and neighbors, most of whom he never met, he nevertheless made himself a beloved friend.