RUSH: We’ll start in Knoxville, Tennessee, this is Susan. Thanks for your patience. Hi.
CALLER: Yes. Rush, I’m just glad you took my call. I had just gone out to the mailbox to get my copy of the National Review, which I found in there, and when I came back in I heard you giving those good words about William Buckley. I just wanted to thank you for doing that. I think you very well captured what he meant to so many of us, and, by the way, what does sybaritic mean?
RUSH: The pursuit of pleasurable delights.
RUSH: As separate from hedonism. Hedonism is the pursuit of pleasurable delights for the sake of it.
RUSH: As an occupation, as a character trait.
RUSH: Sybaritic pursuits are, you know, your good times.
CALLER: Well, you see, he would very often send me stirring to the dictionary as I would read his stuff and I just found the spelling of sybaritic in the dictionary, and you just answered my call, so thank you for that.
RUSH: Well, you’re more than welcome. I can remember watching Buckley on Firing Line and not understanding a word he was saying but being mesmerized by it.
CALLER: I know, and every other word — yes, and the mesmerization, but you really captured the father-like sort of, I don’t know, kind of an oversight kind of —
RUSH: You know, one of the things I’ve been doing, I’ve been checking The Corner, which is the primary blog at National Review Online, and all kinds of people are posting there as to their remembrances of Buckley, and without fail, I’d say 99% are all talking about the pleasure, the honor, and in some cases how blessed they were to be personally impacted by him, gotten to know him. He meant a lot to a whole lot of people, there’s no question about it.
CALLER: It’s just wonderful to hear you and your personal recollections of him, because those of us who just knew him through print even thought of him as a father-like figure.
RUSH: Yeah, everybody would love him.
RUSH: Everybody that would have had a chance to meet Bill Buckley would love him.
CALLER: Yes. So I just wanted to thank you so much for doing that. I’m sure it’s much more than we’ll get from Associated Press or any of those people.
RUSH: Thank you, Susan.
CALLER: You’re welcome.
RUSH: Appreciate that so much.
RUSH: Jennifer in Havelock, North Carolina, thank you for waiting. You’re next on the program.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Nice to talk to you.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: Thank you. I just wanted to ask the question that I was very inspired by what you said about Buckley, and I belong to a book club and a lot of the books we read are from a female point of view.
CALLER: And I’d like to read something from maybe Buckley’s point of view to introduce something new into our group.
RUSH: Okay, here’s what you do. One of his most recent books was — I wouldn’t call it autobiographical, but it was a review. I’d go out and find a copy of Let Us Speak of Many Things, and you’ll get a comprehensive collection of Buckley on everything.
RUSH: Another book that, if I were you, I would really try hard for you to get, I read this book, he didn’t write it, but he edited this book. I read this book in I guess ’83 and ’84, I was in Kansas City, and I had gone back into radio after having left the Kansas City Royals, and it was an all-news station. I could not keep my opinions out of the news, and they kept admonishing me. I said, ‘Why, Peter Jennings puts his opinions in the news, why can’t I put mine in?’ ‘Ah, you can’t.’ So they gave me a commentary, and this was during the Democrat primary, Gary Hart and the Reverend Jackson and others, and, of course, the commentaries were — the Mormon Church owned the radio station, Bonneville broadcasting, and they had not had this kind of controversy before. It was just political controversy, it was just opinion-oriented controversy, and people were outraged. So I had to do coaching sessions on how to not make people mad during commentary and so forth.
I went home to Missouri and I stumbled into a book that was collecting dust in my dad’s bookshelf that was called, Have You Ever Seen a Dream Walking? It was edited by Buckley, and it contained essays written by a variety of people that Buckley had known over the years — Whittaker Chambers and a number of others — and critiques of some of these people and their performance. I’ll never forget, Whittaker Chambers had reviewed, in an essay, somebody else’s public speech on some issue, and Whittaker Chambers had taken this person to task for a totally incorrect tone that would accomplish the exact opposite of the persuasion that he was trying. It was just one of the many lights that went on in my head. I don’t know if that book is still in publication, but it is one of the most important books I’ve read. I love reading books that every page turns a different light on in my brain, and this one did.
CALLER: Very good.
RUSH: Have You Ever Seen a Dream Walking? edited by William Buckley. I’ll tell you something else you might do.
RUSH: Go back, if you can, don’t be offended by this. Again, 1985 or ’86, around there, Playboy magazine asked William Buckley to write a piece on the new definition of smart. I forget the exact title, but the point of the article was what do you have to know today to be considered smart? That was one of the most unbelievable things I had read, even though I had to get Playboy to do it. I was one of those few people that actually read the words in Playboy. But if you want to expose Buckley to people, he wrote novels, too, with his main character and hero Blackford Oakes. He also wrote a book about James Jesus Angleton. Buckley was a CIA agent in Mexico, and he wrote a book about James Jesus Angleton, who was the premiere, number-one counterterrorism analyst in the CIA back in its early and formative days all the way up through the sixties and seventies. He just wrote a prolific number of things. But if you go out and get Let Us Speak of Many Things, which is fairly recent, I think that will give you a good overview of Bill Buckley. All right?
CALLER: Okay. Thank you so much, Rush.
RUSH: Okay. You bet, Jennifer.
Debbie in Omaha, you’re next on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Mega dittos, Rush.
RUSH: Thank you, Debbie.
CALLER: Long-time listener. It is my pleasure. When you began speaking about Mr. Buckley, my first thought was that you are now being passed the torch to continue that fight for conservatism.
RUSH: You think so?
CALLER: Yes, I do, sir. You are more important now to this fight than ever before.
RUSH: You’re right.
CALLER: Yes. I know I’m right.
RUSH: One of the questions I always ask, ‘What would Bill say?’ When I was stuck on an issue or an opinion, ‘What would Bill say? What would Bill think?’ and I think Bill would probably thank you and say, ‘Yes, madam, you’re very intelligent, very wise, and you’re right.’
RUSH: Dallas, this is Becky. It’s great to have you with us, Becky.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. How are you?
RUSH: Fine. Thank you. Very well.
CALLER: Well, this is fun! Getting to talk to you.
RUSH: Good. I appreciate that.
RUSH: I was just calling to say that I had the pleasure of one time meeting Mr. Buckley, and he was so kind and so gracious to me. I’m a flight attendant. He was sitting in first class, and we just started chatting. I just happened to be reading — it was really coincidental — I happened to be reading one of his books. He graciously signed it for me. I’ve never met a more kind, decent man really and truly.
RUSH: Well, that’s great to hear. I hear this from a lot of people who have met Mr. Buckley, just on a random basis like this. And it warms my heart to hear. He was, like you say, very gracious. He had time for everybody. Look, he had an ego, he knew who he was, but he was modest and he was humble.
CALLER: Yes, he was. And, you know, a lot of times celebrities and political figures aren’t as nice as they should be.
RUSH: Really? I’m surprised to hear that.
CALLER: I know, it’s shocking, isn’t it? But, anyway, may I make one more comment?
CALLER: I was thinking about the death of the feminist movement, and I think there’s another movement coming to its demise.
RUSH: What would that be?
CALLER: Well, I think civil rights leaders like Jesse Jackson and people like that, because Barack Obama looks like he’s going to be the Democratic nominee. And if he in fact gets elected as president, they can no longer say that there’s racism in this country because we have —
RUSH: Oh ho-ho-ho-ho-ho. Becky, Becky, I hate to disappoint you. It’s going to be worse than ever if he’s elected president. The charges of racism are. The race industry is going to grow. Look, I’m running out of time. Keep your radio on, if you can. I will explain this. I love getting calls from flight attendants, fly the friendly skies of ‘ignited.’