Buckley founded National Review in 1955. Through that seminal magazine and his television program, Firing Line, Buckley brought conservative ideas to the country backed by his intellect, logic, and wit. He attacked liberals on principle not on personality. Without Buckley, there might not have been a Barry Goldwater or a Ronald Reagan.
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Buckley once in 1988, when he came to speak on campus at the university I attended. A northeastern intellectual, he seemed a bit out of place amid the farms of northeast Missouri. But Buckley was comfortable and on his game. After his prepared remarks, the floor was opened to questions. A liberal student asked Buckley about some environmental issue and how it was destroying the planet. Rather than stating simply (and boringly) that he felt that the issue was minor compared to the size, complexity and resilience of the planet, Buckley put it this way . . . "if a child pees in the headwaters of the Missouri River, I do not think that it should be cause for concern." He made his point and I've never forgotten how he did it.
Buckley was the father of modern conservative thought. His voice will be missed.
To a great man, rest in peace.