Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. “The Socialist Workers’ Party and American Politics”

Firing Line Videos, Hoover Institution, taped on July 10, 1968, uploaded to YouTube on February 11, 2011.

Guests: Fred Halstead, Paul Boutelle


WFB starts off by reminding us that the Socialist Workers are “the principal political heirs of Leon Trotsky in this country,” and one might expect a certain amount of acrimony to follow. In fact, while the ideological edge is always there, many of the exchanges are great fun. FH: “I don’t know that it’s the obligation of any militant to be rude. I wish the capitalists would be gentlemanly toward us.” WFB: “Yeah.” FH: “Occasionally, they throw us in jail, and things like that.” WFB: “Well, considering that you want to sort of, you know, do away with capitalists–” FH: “… Not with the individual human beings–with the system. I suspect that even you would find a place in the socialist system.” WFB: “Well, sure. I’m a very good typist, and I’m sure you’d have a lot of forms.” FH: “Maybe lectures, on the past….”