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William F. Buckley Continues to Inspire

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Posted on February 27 2010 5:00 pm
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By Rich Trzupek

On a personal note, Buckley was one of the two great influences in the creative life of this particular – not particularly humble – correspondent. The other was that irascible Chicago newspaperman/Everyman: Mike Royko. It’s difficult to imagine an odder couple, but Buckley and Royko shared at least a couple of common characteristics. One took them on at one’s peril (and very few ever successfully did so) and neither could be neatly constrained within an ideological box. Royko was classically liberal, but he openly scorned the liberal elite. Buckley became the symbol of the conservative movement, but he refused to let the movement define him, cutting his own path through the ideological jungle when necessary, most famously when he argued for the legalization of many illegal drugs. Agree or disagree, both Royko and Buckley were thinkers, and honest thinkers to boot, who had a knack for expressing their thoughts with the kind of panache that left their readers breathless in awe.

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