In the forthcoming issue of the Terrapin Times

Doubtless, some editing will occur; few of my pieces escape the “This needs to be shortened” machine. It’s one part paean to WFB, one part mission statement in prose form, and one part further attempt pretentiously to sound more erudite than I ever could hope to be. Enjoy.

Cogitating about the passing of William F. Buckley, Jr., I could not help but to rejoice briefly. You see, the demise of this erudite patriarch — and patrician — of modern conservatism occurred quite providentially, liberating me from the obstructions that had hitherto prevented the confluence of various thoughts cascading through my mind into a tranquil stream suitable for a column.

I hope to see instilled into the ethos of this paper what Buckley injected into mainstream American conservatism, to wit, ideas, for a conservatism concerned solely with issues, failing to recall the principles at its roots, is intrinsically anticonservative. To this end, I intend to dedicate the occasional column to prominent conservative figures and their thoughts. With this issue I had hoped to commence the series, but had no idea how.

Then Bill Buckley died.

Immediately, though, an inconvenient truth impeded my progress. Whereas I have read Burke and Kirk, two of the most influential thinkers of Anglo-American conservatism, Buckley’s works remain foreign to me. How could I, having never met the man nor read his works, hope to emulate the multitudinous essays in his memory?

When I could descend no deeper into the pits of despair, kismet again inclined to oblige me, this time masquerading as an opinion piece in the Diamondback on the Fourth of March.

Rachel Hare, doubtless a lovely, intelligent young lady, penned the column “The right to choose . . .” — a woman’s right, that is, to choose which political candidate to endorse.Quite indubitable, Miss Hare offers cogent points about the insularity of suggesting that women automatically should gravitate toward the female candidate and African-Americans to the black contender.

The unfortunately misleading assumption of her column, however, is quite telling of biases on this campus and in the editorial staff who decide which pieces to publish and which to spurn.

Women and minorities voting Democratic oftener than not, Miss Hare pays no heed to those ladies and blacks who dissent from the majority. She makes not even a passing mention of John McCain, Mike Huckabee, or the quixotic, impassioned Dr. Paul.

I suspect that the Republican Women at Maryland scoff at the suggestion that, short of supporting Senator Clinton simply because she is a woman, they may cast their votes for Senator Obama. Alan Keyes, daftly acceding to the Illinois G.O.P’s request, challenged Obama for the seat vacated by Peter Fitzgerald. I fear the level of incompetence required to believe that he would, not finding his former opponent to be suitable, champion Clinton’s cause. Needless to say, less extreme examples abound.

The clarion having sounded, William F. Buckley, Jr., may he requiescat in pace, rejoined, uniting multifarious factions comprising the anti-New Deal American Right — traditionalists in the vein of Kirk and T.S. Eliot, libertarians, anti-communists — in his National Review.

Rejuvenating an enervated movement, Buckley did the unthinkable: He proved wrong Lionel Trilling, who had contended that “liberalism [was] . . . the sole intellectual tradition” in post-war America. Absent this, portraying George Gipp may have marked the apex of Ronald Reagan’s career; Ted Kennedy could be president!

So, too, shall the Terrapin Times answer the call, providing an organ for contrarian thought on this public campus in the heart “Blue State America”.

No one on the staff here is the next Bill Buckley (though I, rather pretentiously, have a predilection for poorly mimicking Mr Buckley’s sesquipedalian, pleonastic style). We are, however, all cognizant of the need for our publication. Biases of various Leftist vintages permeate the culture and media of this campus, and someone must stand vigilant, challenging unquestioned assumptions and defending liberty against the pernicious, often surreptitious dominance of political correctness, reckless multiculturalism, and paternalism. This paper shall be that someone.


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