William F. Buckley died today at the age of 82. I know there’s going to be a lot of a hagiography and gushing about his influence on the conservative movement, but the fact of the matter is that I can’t think of a single positive thing he accomplished. He defended McCarthy in the 1950s, was an advocate of segregation in the ’50s and ’60s and apartheid in the ’80s, and promoted reactionary policies throughout. He catapulted his brother into the Senate in 1970, depriving New York of the progressive representation it deserved for six years. He called Gore Vidal a “queer” on national television (albeit in an inherently funny aristocratic accent). He was an important figure, no doubt, but he wasn’t a good man, he wasn’t a sensible or fair opponent, and it’d be a shame if he’s remembered as such.