Fox News is reporting that William F. Buckley Jr. died. I have no doubt that this post will annoy some people. But let's go beyond politics for a moment, and allow me to tell you why this is sad.
1) As an author, Buckley treated his readers with respect. His books on conservatism lacked the crassness of the current crop of writers. You may not have agreed with him, but he didn't indulge in gratuitous insults and pointless rants.
2) As a television host, he had style. His classic interviews with such people as Noam Chomsky are still worth watching. Two intellects battling it out without yelling, spitting and exclamation points. Buckley, Dick Cavett and others could never find a home in today's environment, where saying it loud beats out saying it well.
3) Again, you may not have agreed with him, but people of his generation were well-schooled in the classics. It makes me green with envy when I consider his education. While I was not as fortunate to have his social class and background, I always felt that I could achieve his level of mental acuity by following the Walt Whitman method of education. Reading, studying the classics, and thinking things through makes one a better person. I have a feeling that Bill Buckley would've agreed.
Here's the classic Chomsky/Buckley interview off of YouTube.