On the Ropes: What William F. Buckley Jr. Can Teach Today’s Conservatives

Audio, American Enterprise Institute, March 3, 2009.


A year after William F. Buckley Jr.’s death, conservatives find themselves at a political low point and divided over what to do next. An enduring hallmark of conservatism is the belief that tradition includes deposits of wisdom that can guide decisions today. In that spirit, a panel of distinguished conservatives will take a fresh look at one of conservatism’s seminal moments: the founding of National Review in 1955. An examination of Buckley’s inaugural editorial shows how conservatives have succeeded in the past–and sheds light on how they might face the challenges of today.

At the panel, AEI senior fellow Christopher DeMuth, Claremont Review of Books editor Charles Kesler, and National Review senior editor Ramesh Ponnuru will discuss the continuing impact of Buckley’s thought and the future of American conservatism. AEI president Arthur C. Brooks will moderate.