James Buckley: Freedom At Risk

Friday, December 17, 2010

On the Brian Lehrer Show today at 11:06

Over the course of his long political career, James L. Buckley has worn many different hats: he's been New York's U.S. Senator, an Under Secretary of State for Ronald Reagan, the president of Radio Free Europe, and a federal appellate judge. He discusses his new book, Freedom at Risk, in which he reflects on what he calls the "intrusive" growth of the federal government.


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Comments [24]

His observation of the growth of Federal Law, i.e. "3 volumes to 30", I found notable but I did not draw the same conclusion he did. Across from me is yesterday's Post which includes an article on the Federal ban of cribs after 32 deaths. I agree that law-making is a large, blunt, and awkward way of compelling businesses and individuals to do the moral and ethical "right" thing. But it is all we have left in our civil society when faced with a culture of greed or "bottom-line" thinking. His "freedom" seems only to apply to corporations and not to consumers who are "free" to suffer from the self-indulgent, self-righteous, morally indifferent corporation CEO's. Perhaps with other political administrations in power there might be 60 volumes of Federal Laws and at least 32 children may have reached adulthood.

Dec. 17 2010 01:28 PM
Joe Mirsky from Pompton Lakes NJ

Lucky him he could afford to pay for his own insurance. I own a jewelry store and I had 2 women in this week selling their gold for money to buy medicine. One was on medicare and still needed the money. The other was young, and seemed desperate.

What planet does this guy live on?

Dec. 17 2010 11:36 AM
Mike from Tribeca

Good questions, Brian.

Palace Guard: "Sire, the peasants are revolting!"

Rufus T. Firefly: "They certainly are."

-- Duck Soup

Dec. 17 2010 11:34 AM

And of course this guy is from CT. Probably Greenwich or Westport.

Dec. 17 2010 11:29 AM
Cynthia from brooklyn

Why are you subjecting your listeners to this idiot?

Dec. 17 2010 11:29 AM
Mike from Tribeca

Free the elites! Unleash the hounds!

Dec. 17 2010 11:28 AM



it has ever been so...
Jesus was crucified for being a COMMIE, not the son of god

Dec. 17 2010 11:28 AM
mz from manhattan

omg. "I didn't need the government to help me with health care." ...because you're rich. this guy is so out of touch - keep talkin' mister! he is cancelling his own opinion out just by speaking.

Dec. 17 2010 11:28 AM
Hal from Brooklyn

Some freedoms should be irrevocable.

The freedom to:
- let my dog poop in front of your house.
- dump poison and sewage in the rivers
- own a business that poisons my employees and neighbors.
- drive a car with no insurance
- sell water labeled as medicine to sick people
- sell poison labeled as medicine to sick people

Dec. 17 2010 11:25 AM

Normally I would comment in a more nuanced way, but this guy sucks so much.

Dec. 17 2010 11:24 AM
mz from manhattan

freedom to this man = the freedom of money to do what it wants. freedom to a "liberal" = the freedom to not be at the complete mercy of the rich even if you aren't rich. one of these definitions ensures an amount of humanism, the other only ensures profit.

Dec. 17 2010 11:24 AM

Freedom from predatory corporations - some of whom have more money and influence than many governments - is a major role of government, and regulation is how the people's representatives achieve this goal.

Dec. 17 2010 11:21 AM
Ken from Little Neck

I can't believe I'm still listening to this person. Is he seriously arguing that the complete and total dismantling of campaign finance makes elections more fair? It's complete and utter nonsense. I'd have much more respect for conservatives if they just said what they really felt - if you're not rich enough to make your opinion heard, it's obviously not worth hearing. Let's have an honest argument, not this bull****.

Dec. 17 2010 11:20 AM
Mike from Tribeca

"Distortions"? Mr. Buckley's publisher, Encounter Books, is a leading purveyor of climate change denial literature.

Dec. 17 2010 11:20 AM
Gregory from Spuyten Duyvil

Radio going off for this segment -- as soon as I heard "Obamacare" I knew this was just another Right Wing shill spewing talking points -- I don't have time for this, Sarah Palin, or any more Teapublican nonsense. PLEASE give voice to conservatives with intelligent guests who can offer meaningful debate/ideas. Thanks!

Dec. 17 2010 11:18 AM
office from office

Please use the word liberal, not progressive. It makes it sound as if anyone opposed is a regressive.

Dec. 17 2010 11:17 AM
Steve from Brooklyn, NY

It seems that under J Buckley's reasoning legislation from the Federal gov. restricts freedom but the same legislation from the State gov. is freedom neutral. Given the dubious history of the Southern States on Civil Rights and our own well established "gridlock in Albany," I have more faith in the Federal Gov than the States.

Dec. 17 2010 11:16 AM
john from office

Brian, you and the upper westside, will never understand this man.

My dad came here and opened a dry cleaners in the 50's. Rand it for 45 years, I saw the constant addition of new and more regulations. To the point where you need advisors and counselors to open a cleaners today.

Freedom, is the freedom to be left alone.

Dec. 17 2010 11:15 AM
Ken from Little Neck

As usual, his definition of freedom is the freedom of the wealthy to exploit the poor with no interference from the government, and the freedom of those less fortunate to wallow in poverty without hope of help.

And if you want to talk about the freedoms the founders intended, never forget that they only meant white male landowners. The founders (and anybody who takes up that argument these days) could care less about anyone else.

Dec. 17 2010 11:14 AM
Phoebe from NJ

Wow. This is crazy talk.

Dec. 17 2010 11:13 AM
Steve from Upper East Side

I agree with Mike from Tribeca completely. No administration in our history has done more to destroy American's freedoms than that of George W. Bush.

Dec. 17 2010 11:13 AM
Jim from Brooklyn

How can we,
How can I be free of a massive industrial accident that destroys a region for ever?

Dec. 17 2010 11:13 AM

let's go back to the days of poison meat being sold to the weak and poor

Dec. 17 2010 11:10 AM
Mike from Tribeca

I suppose it's just a coincidence that Mr. Buckley's book wasn't published during the recent authoritarian Republican administrations.

Dec. 17 2010 10:58 AM

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