William F. Buckley v. Gore Vidal — 1968

William F. Buck­ley, Jr., the intel­lec­tu­al force behind the strand of con­ser­vatism that peaked with Ronald Rea­gan, died yes­ter­day. (See NY Times obit.) Here, we have some vin­tage Buck­ley. The video clip below fea­tures Buck­ley and Gore Vidal going at it, almost com­ing to blows, dur­ing the con­test­ed pres­i­den­tial cam­paign of 1968. It offers a good reminder that Amer­i­can polit­i­cal dis­course has­n’t been agree­able for quite some time. Com­par­a­tive­ly, things look down­right civ­il today.

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