I’m no fan of William F. Buckley’s philosophies. I rarely watched him when he was alive. Recently I’ve been taken by a sense of loss for his style. Whether I agreed with his opinions or not, he had them and he was not one to avoid a debate with an interviewee.
Here are a few of the best Buckley interviews I’ve watched on YouTube:
Noam Chomsky — This takes place in 1969 during the Vietnam War era and in hindsight Buckley’s positions have completely disintegrated. There are several different versions of this on YouTube but this one has an afterward with a much older Chomsky discussing the difference between conservatism of Buckley’s days and modern conservatism.
Steven Pinker — There was much talk about ebonics in the late 80’s and Pinker was one of the few to succinctly state that it was simply another english dialect. In this episode Buckley comes across even more arrogant than usual and Pinker effectively takes him down a notch. Just watch how Buckley first states his absolute authority on the subject by name dropping his professional connections and then how Pinker even takes that apart.
Christopher Hitchens — This is an interesting segment where they discuss the influence on Britain on America which I found particularly compelling as we start to look back at the effects of 2016.
Each one of these highlight why I dislike William F. Buckley’s opinions but respect his forum. This is pure mental sparring and yet it’s respectful. Well, except for the time Jack Kerouac was drunk and belligerent.