Would William F. Buckley support the Tea Party?

I’d rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University. ”

William F. Buckley, Jr.

I think William F. Buckley would indeed be a strong supporter of the Tea Party movement if he were alive today. His famous anti-academic, anti-elitist statement, made over 40 years ago,  never seemed more relevant than it does today. The Obama Administration probably comes closer than any prior Administration to resembling an Ivy League faculty and the Tea Party represents regular, middle class folks. The kind you would likely find if you selected a random group of people from a phone directory, even one in Boston.

In some ways it was quite ironic that Buckley would make such a statement because he came from a very elite background himself. He was the son of a wealthy oil barron and educated at  a Catholic boarding school in England and Yale University, where he was a member of the Skull and Bones society. Buckley was very much an intellectual and yet he recognized that those who have spent their entire lives in the Ivory Tower probably would not exercise very good judgement as political leaders, no matter how high their IQ’s might be.


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