William F. Buckley’s Fight Against the White Nationalist Extremist Right

For the past 40 years, the Republican Party has been moving further and further to the Right. Today, the Republican Party has gone too far to the Right, absorbing racist and anti-immigrant influences from the white nationalist elements of the extreme Right that more moderate and sane conservative Republicans would’ve opposed decades ago. Since the Newt Gingrich speakership in the mid 1990s, though, most of those moderate and sane conservatives have been expunged from the GOP. The remaining traditional conservatives within the GOP have been fighting for a conservative movement without those white nationalist influences.

From the 1960s to the 1990s, conservative William F. Buckley tried to use his influential conservative magazine The National Review to protect the conservative movement from the extreme racist and xenophobic elements of the Right.

In the 1960s, Buckley clashed with the John Birch Society, a far Right group. Buckley felt that the conspiracy theories that the John Birch Society promoted would be a dangerous influence on the conservative movement.

In 1968, Buckley opposed the Presidential candidacy of George Wallace, the segregationist governor of Alabama. Wallace was trying to appeal to conservative blue collar white voters with his appeals to white nationalism and his talk of states rights. Buckley tried to show that Wallace wasn’t a conservative, that Wallace wanted government social programs so long as they helped only white people and excluded blacks and other minorities.

In the 1990s, William F. Buckley opposed the Republican primary run of Pat Buchanan. Buckley opposed Buchanan’s appeals to racism and antisemitism.

Though I don’t agree with William F. Buckley’s conservative views, I respect him for his willingness to engage with people of differing views while simultaneously opposing the more racist and xenophobic views of the extreme Right.

Here is a January 24, 1968 Crossfire interview between William F. Buckley and Presidential candidate George Wallace.

About angelolopez

I’ve wanted to be an artist all my life. Since I was a child I’ve drawn on any scrap of paper I could get a hold of. When I went to San Jose State University, I became more exposed to the works of the great fine artists and illustrators. My college paintings were heavily influenced by the humorous illustrations of Peter De Seve, an illustrator for the New Yorker magazine. I also fell under the spell of the great muralists of the 1930s, especially Thomas Hart Benton and Diego Rivera. I graduated with a degree in Illustration. Angelo Lopez has had illustrations published in Tikkun Magazine, the Palo Alto Daily News and Z Magazine. From April 2008 to May 2011, Angelo's cartoons were regularly published in the Tri-City Voice, a weekly newspaper that covers the Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, Neward, Sunol and Union City areas in California. He did a political webcomic starring his cartoon character Jasper for the progressive blogsite Everyday Citizen. Since December 2011, Angelo does a regular weekly political cartoon for the Philippine News Today, a Filipino American newspaper based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Angelo is a member of the Sunnyvale Art Club, and the Northern California chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. During the 1990s, he was a member of the part-timer workers SEIU unit in the city of Sunnyvale. Angelo won the 2013, 2015 and 2016 and 2018 Sigma Delta Chi award for editorial cartooning for newspapers with a circulation under 100,000. He has also won the 2016 RFK Book and Journalism Award for Editorial Cartoons. Angelo won first prize for the Best of the West contest in 2016 and third prize in 2017. Angelo is married to Lisa Reeber. They enjoy taking walks, watching movies and hanging out with their nieces.
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