News and views from the award-winning author of the novels The Skinny Years, America Libre, House Divided and Pancho Land

Friday, February 29, 2008

Speak well of the dead

“Speak well of the dead” says the ancient Latin proverb. Apparently many among today's far right could not resist kicking the corpse of William F. Buckley.

Once one of their own, today’s “conservatives” have chosen to vilify Mr. Buckley for the sin of independence. He dared to deviate from the sacred dogma of the far right by admitting the U.S. incursion in Iraq was a mistake. That was a transgression that in their eyes must follow him to the grave.

It appears the mantle of “conservative” is reserved only for the select few who have shown the necessary intellectual conformity. Republicans who have exercised independent thought like Mr. Buckley and Senator John McCain are shunned for straying from the far right’s precious ideological purity. To those of this persuasion, bipartisanship is an unforgivable sin.

Many will mourn Mr. Buckley’s passing. Sadly, those who Mr. Buckley staunchly defended during most of his life, could not bring themselves to forgive him even in death.

Raul Ramos y Sanchez