Note: The following article first appeared in the March 2008 Action Report of Freedom First Society.
It was July 1973 and for the previous 18 months I had been a Coordinator on the staff of The John Birch Society. La Rita Quinn and her husband Bill had moved to Colorado from Moline, Illinois, and we were holding our first ever “Rocky Mountain Rally” in Pueblo, Colorado. Not only did La Rita Quinn have the vision to get this annual event off the ground, she also had the influence with Robert Welch to persuade him and many other top speakers and writers to attend and participate in this great event year after year.
Included among the well recognized speakers that first year were the Honorable John G. Schmitz, former Congressman from California, and the venerable Father Francis E. Fenton — then a resident of Connecticut — and, of course, Robert Welch.
The name of William F. Buckley Jr. came up in a question and answer session at the close of a speech delivered by John Schmitz. Since it has been 35 years, I certainly can’t remember word for word what was said, but I can still remember vividly the essence of the question asked by an older gentleman in the audience, and the responses received to his question from both John Schmitz and Father Fenton.
The question to former Congressman Schmitz was, “It seems that The John Birch Society is constantly fighting fellow conservative William F. Buckley, rather than joining forces with him. Why is that?”
The answer offered by John Schmitz was, “I agree, we have greater enemies in common than Buckley, and we should work with all other conservatives to oppose them.”
Then came the definitive response from the back row in the hall. It was Father Fenton, already on his feet, and with his hand high in the air insisting on being recognized by the speaker, John Schmitz. “John,” proclaimed Father Fenton, “you would not want these people to leave this hall this afternoon believing for one moment that William F. Buckley Jr. isn’t an enemy to us all. By intentionally misleading conservatives and taking them down blind alleys, William F. Buckley has done more damage to the freedom movement than any other liberal or conservative whom I can think of!”
Father Francis Fenton knew what he was talking about. The Buckley family lived in the same area and attended the same parish. Father Fenton knew firsthand who, and what, Bill Buckley really was. And he always went out of his way to set that record straight.
In our new book, Organize for Victory!, we quote Dr. James P. Lucier who said: “The first job of conspiracy is to convince the world that conspiracy does not exist.” For those who have studied the life and accomplishments of William F. Buckley Jr., it would not be difficult to come to the conclusion that he may well have devoted his life to that Insider objective.
There are several reasons why one might reach that conclusion. Listed below are just a few points to consider:
• In his early years, Buckley was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency — not necessarily a pre-qualifier for leadership in the “conservative” movement. (Such credentials remind us of two other “conservatives” — Presidents Eisenhower and Reagan — both of whom had been dyed-in-the-wool Democrats before being elected Republican presidents of the United States. Convenient for the Insiders, but quite illogical.)
• Buckley took the lead in debunking “Conspiracy” among the ranks of all “respectable conservatives.” With the national stage as his platform (National Review magazine, Public Television, and a syndicated column just for starters), Buckley was able to broadcast his anti-Conspiracy theory far and wide.
• Because the truth was being told by Robert Welch and his fledgling John Birch Society, the Insiders obviously had to discredit Mr. Welch, the Society, and anyone else foolish enough to use the “Conspiracy” word. Bill Buckley clearly took on that assignment and devoted himself to the role of “dragon killer.”
William F. Buckley Jr. died a few days ago on February 27, 2008. So guess how he is remembered and eulogized? That’s right — in almost every news release, he has been credited as one who devoted his life to making the conservative ranks mainstream, and having purged those ranks, and all America for that matter, of anyone with any credibility at all who could claim to be to the right of George W. Bush, Rush Limbaugh, or John McCain.
There is a Conspiracy. The proof is incontrovertible. Therefore, in order to downplay the very existence of Conspiracy, would not the Insiders who control it strive to put their own people at the top of every organization of importance? Would not a powerful Conspiracy do all in its power to have carefully placed, controllable agents (candidates) at the top of both the Republican as well as Democratic parties running for the office of president as well as for other significant elected posts? Would not the Insiders be certain to promote their own as prominent personalities for both the conservative as well as the liberal public voices in America? The answers are obvious — of course, they would!
William F. Buckley Jr. was far worse than simply a fraud on the American landscape. He was a man with a mission! He became both prominent and successful because of his devotion and dedication to that mission.
And while he will be remembered as the giant killer who purged the “C” word from the conservative vocabulary, his mission will not be abandoned. Anyone wanting to be assured that no organized evil is out there need only turn on his car radio, read the conservative columns in his newspaper, or read the plethora of mail coming from the “conservative” Washington, D.C. beltway groups demanding money.