A Buckley Against Walmart


Over at The Daily Caller, Jonathan Strong interviews Reid Buckley, brother of William F., and says that in a forthcoming book he will "blast" the editors of National Review for being Republican Party stooges and Beltway conservatives for being "snobs." It's a rather strange little piece, though. Nowhere does Strong quote from the book in question, which is being self-published, and it's only in the final paragraph that we hear Buckley criticize, in fairly mild terms, a passel of mainstream conservative magazines, include the one founded by his brother:

"I include in [these criticisms] National Review, the Weekly Standard and the American Spectator. And what I'm saying is, they are fuddy duddies. They are political junkies. They are beltway snobs and they're not paying attention to that vast land between, say, the Ohio River and California. And so they are out of step, they're out of tune."

Pretty thin gruel. But more interesting is Buckley's hyperventilation about big box stores ruining America. He laments "suburban proliferation" and the death of mom-and-pop America:

"The sprawl. I'm talking about setting up a Wal-Mart, and to hell with the countryside. And to hell with the sociological despoilment of Wal-Mart, where local shops close. In this little town of Camden, South Carolina we've had 15 shops close in the last couple of years. Some of them were over 100 years old."

Writing in the American Conservative last year, Buckley made a similar case: "For 40 years, smug, snide right-wingers have made merry mocking Greenpeace fanatics and ecological doomsayers without learning a blessed thing about the precariousness of the ecology and the effect of human action (not to speak of avarice) on it, as when we promiscuously exfoliate the rain forests or condemn yet one more green acre on the southeastern shore of New Jersey to the desolation of heedless urban development."

And: "When last did you hear a conservative spokesman deplore yet another six-lane highway, yet another fast-food alley, yet another graceless subdivision, yet another Super Wal-Mart or Lowe's that sucks the life out of small village businesses, yet one more onslaught against neighborhood and nature that is masked under the name of progress?"

Good questions. But you can find a libertarian celebrating big box stores right here on this website!