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William F. Buckley Jr. quotes (showing 1-30 of 55)

“I won't insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said.”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“The amount of money and of legal energy being given to prosecute hundreds of thousands of Americans who are caught with a few ounces of marijuana in their jeans simply makes no sense - the kindest way to put it. A sterner way to put it is that it is an outrage, an imposition on basic civil liberties and on the reasonable expenditure of social energy.”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“I would rather be governed by the first 2000 people in the Manhattan phone book than the entire faculty of Harvard.”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“Decent people should ignore politics, if only they could be confident that politics would ignore them”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“Life can't be all bad when for ten dollars you can buy all the Beethoven sonatas and listen to them for ten years.”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“To fail to experience gratitude when walking through the corridors of the Metropolitan Museum, when listening to the music of Bach or Beethoven, when exercising our freedom to speak, or ... to give, or withhold, our assent, is to fail to recognize how much we have received from the great wellsprings of human talent and concern that gave us Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, our parents, our friends. We need a rebirth of gratitude for those who have cared for us, living and, mostly, dead. The high moments of our way of life are their gifts to us. We must remember them in our thoughts and in our prayers; and in our deeds.”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“I would like to take you seriously but to do so would affront your intelligence.”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“Liberals, it has been said, are generous with other peoples' money, except when it comes to questions of national survival when they prefer to be generous with other peoples' freedom and security.”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“The academic community has in it the biggest concentration of alarmists, cranks and extremists this side of the giggle house.”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“Back in the thirties we were told we must collectivize the nation because the people were so poor. Now we are told we must collectivize the nation because the people are so rich.”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“Truth is a demure lady, much too ladylike to knock you on your head and drag you to her cave. She is there, but people must want her, and seek her out.”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“A Conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart history yelling 'Stop!”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“There is an inverse relationship between reliance on the state and self-reliance.”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“Industry is the enemy of melancholy”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“The obvious differences apart, Karl Marx was no more a reliable prophet than was the Reverend Jim Jones. Karl Marx was a genius, an uncannily resourceful manipulator of world history who shoved everything he knew, thought, and devised into a Ouija board from whose movements he decocted universal laws. He had his following, during the late phases of the Industrial Revolution. But he was discredited by historical experience longer ago than the Wizard of Oz: and still, great grown people sit around, declare themselves to be Marxists, and make excuses for Gulag and Afghanistan.”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“I had much more fun criticizing than praising.”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“I profoundly believe it takes a lot of practice to become a moral slob.”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry.”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“The more complicated and powerful the job, the more rudimentary the preparation for it.”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“Conservatives should be adamant about the need for the reappearance of Judeo-Christianity in the public square.”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“I find it easier to believe in God than to believe Hamlet was deduced from the molecular structure of a mutton chop.”
William F. Buckley Jr.
tags: r-i-p
“I would sooner be governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than by the two thousand members of the faculty of Harvard.”
William F. Buckley Jr., Happy Days Were Here Again: Reflections of a Libertarian Journalist
“Halfway through the second term of Franklin Roosevelt, the New Deal braintrusters began to worry about mounting popular concern over the national debt. In those days the size of the national debt was on everyone’s mind. Indeed, Franklin Roosevelt had talked himself into office, in 1932, in part by promising to hack away at a debt which, even under the frugal Mr. Hoover, the people tended to think of as grown to menacing size. Mr. Roosevelt’s wisemen worried deeply about the mounting tension ...

And then, suddenly, the academic community came to the rescue. Economists across the length and breadth of the land were electrified by a theory of debt introduced in England by John Maynard Keynes. The politicians wrung their hands in gratitude. Depicting the intoxicating political consequences of Lord Keynes’s discovery, the wry cartoonist of the Washington Times Herald drew a memorable picture. In the center, sitting on a throne in front of a Maypole, was a jubilant FDR, cigarette tilted almost vertically, a grin on his face that stretched from ear to ear. Dancing about him in a circle, hands clasped together, their faces glowing with ecstasy, the braintrusters, vested in academic robes, sang the magical incantation, the great discovery of Lord Keynes: “We owe it to ourselves.” With five talismanic words, the planners had disposed of the problem of deficit spending. Anyone thenceforward who worried about an increase in the national debt was just plain ignorant of the central insight of modern economics: What do we care how much we - the government - owe so long as we owe it to ourselves? On with the spending. Tax and tax, spend and spend, elect and elect ...”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“The loneliness of flight is not entirely overwhelmed by cabin movies, the drinks, the Gemütlichkeit of shoulder-to-shoulder life.”
William F. Buckley Jr., The Lexicon: A Cornucopia of Wonderful Words for the Inquisitive Word Lover
“A good debater is not necessarily an effective vote-getter: you can find a hole in your opponent's argument through which you could drive a coach and four ringing jingle bells all the way, and thrill at the crystallization of a truth wrung out from a bloody dialogue - which, however, may warm only you and your muse, while the smiling paralogist has in the meantime made votes by the tens of thousands.”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“I catch fire and find the reserves of courage and assertiveness to speak up. When that happens I get quite carried away. My blood gets hot my brow wet I become unbearably and unconscionably sarcastic and bellicose I am girded for a total showdown.”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive.”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“There will be no legacy for Mr. Bush. I don't believe his
successor would re-enunciate the words he used in his
second inaugural address because they were too ambitious.
So therefore I think his legacy is indecipherable.”
William F. Buckley Jr.
“Human progress is achieved by taking exact measurements.”
William F. Buckley Jr.

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