Saturday, January 23, 2016

William F. Buckley Appears to Have Hated Donald Trump as Much as He Hated Murray Rothbard

In the heap abuse on Trump issue, NR republished these comments from NR founder and CIA operative William F. Buckley, which originally appeared in the March/April 2000 issue of Cigar Aficionado:
What about the aspirant who has a private vision to offer to the public and has the means, personal or contrived, to finance a campaign? In some cases, the vision isn’t merely a program to be adopted. It is a program that includes the visionary’s serving as President. Look for the narcissist. The most obvious target in today’s lineup is, of course, Donald Trump. When he looks at a glass, he is mesmerized by its reflection. If Donald Trump were shaped a little differently, he would compete for Miss America. But whatever the depths of self-enchantment, the demagogue has to say something. So what does Trump say? That he is a successful businessman and that that is what America needs in the Oval Office. There is some plausibility in this, though not much. The greatest deeds of American Presidents — midwifing the new republic; freeing the slaves; harnessing the energies and vision needed to win the Cold War — had little to do with a bottom line.
So what else can Trump offer us? Well to begin with, a self-financed campaign. Does it follow that all who finance their own campaigns are narcissists? At this writing Steve Forbes has spent $63 million in pursuit of the Republican nomination. Forbes is an evangelist, not an exhibitionist. In his long and sober private career, Steve Forbes never bought a casino, and if he had done so, he would not have called it Forbes’s Funhouse. . . . .
Of course, Buckley's writing here makes clear that he spent much time focused on turning a witty phrase rather than attempting deep thought into the rhythmic abortions he seemingly represents as settled ideas in the eyes of God.

In fact, forget God, Buckley's comment that there is "some plausibility" for a businessman in office suggests that Buckley didn't even understand F.A. Hayek's Road to Serfdom and its warning about such "can do" leaders.


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