This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
From card catalog: William Buckley, Conservative party candidate for Mayor of NYC, talks about the campaign. Talks issues and about remarks against him by Rep. Lindsay and Senator Javitts [sic]. Questions and answers.
Buckley makes lots of jokes, some about Lindsay and the campaign. Responds to accusations made by Javits that he is an "assassin."
Q&A: Is there a white backlash in New York as Senator Goldwater suggests? Yes, and he welcomes it: many people identify the members of the Negro movement being like Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. A white backlash that is aimed at resisting the special affronteries ... by some acknowledged Negro leaders is not only welcomed, but in my judgment, inevitable. The kind of white backlash that is not of course welcomed is any backlash that seeks to vent some kind of indignation against the Negro people because they are making justified progress or as a result of an increasing energy on the part of the Negro people as a result of an increasing awakening on the white conscience..." Who are the responsible Negro leaders? Shown more courage than white political leaders. Raymond Jones, Kenneth Clark. Better laws to curb any traffic in dope? He passes. Why is he running; isn't it a wasted vote? Future elections? Attitude toward minorities, including Puerto Ricans? What about Abe Beame?
Continues to talk about the likelihood he'll win, his vision for New York, and his impressions of the city.
A question to Mrs. Gunning about busing and African Americans.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 70537
Municipal archives id: T627
This is a machine-generated transcript. Text is unformatted and may contain errors.
Our guest today is all of you know very well as been different things to different people to Mr Lindsey he is Mr Bean and to Mr Bean and to Senator Javits he is well. Shall I use the word that you said that he used against you I'll leave a few of them to give the description to Mr Javits gave off you perhaps Mr Buckley will tell us today who Mr Buckley really as and without any further delay let me introduce the Conservative Party's candidate for mayor the city of New York. THANK YOU itself and you and I thank you the Overseas Press Club I sometimes wish all the press were overseas. And. I was told to to speak up and extemporaneously. Which I found it. Easier to do having been fed and I was reminded of stuff of something somebody once told me involving Lord saws Barry when he was a little boy at school in England. One of the boys apparently committed suicide. And they had master got all the students at the Gabba and he said Boys. You know about the tragedy. That happened to poor Jones and if any of you have thought him Oh if anyone has any idea at all what could have driven him to suicide. Would you stand up and and and tell us. And most old grade South understood up and he said could it have been the food not. Some. Somebody. Somebody somebody has. Somebody has reported to me that yesterday at lunch Mr Lindsey uttered a witnesses and. He said that I was so much of an S.O.B. that it would serve me right if I was elected mayor of New York. I remember in the autobiography of of G. K. Chesterton. A rather extensive story that he told involving himself and his roommate who were apparently the Y. axis at this particular school St Peter's in England where they went all and their mathematics master was in the Tory of groom. Who were tyrannized and it was a boring way over them. And the headmaster also was a part of the most notorious born in England but it happened that the mathematics. At one point of accepted. And engaged meant in another school so all the student body was was convened to alter the ritual. Of the Jews on the departing master. And the boys were paying no attention at all to what was being said. But all of a sudden a test and room mate looked up and punched Justin and he looked up and there was a stir throughout the entire student body he had master had made a joke. He had made some reference to robbing Peter to pay Paul because the mathematics master was going off to teach St Paul's. So Justin and his friend went back to their room and they composed a long story the thesis of which wasn't the entire history of the adult life of this head master had been shorted in such a way as to make this joke possible. That he had decided to become headmaster of the school called St Peter's. That he would Hari mathematics teacher there and then persuade St Paul to hire a lawyer. In order to make this drop. So I sometimes feel. That I have fulfilled my highest purpose in life. By making it possible for Mr Lindsey to water it with us as. I was under the mistaken impression. That we were here off off the record and I thought therefore to talk about some aspects of the campaign in a sort of off the record because me that really doesn't matter whether what I said off the record or not. I know newspaper reader would know the difference. I saw in the end I know that primarily you want to ask questions of me and was gunning just marking. So I just bring up bomb R eight a couple of things which may be of interest to your professional. Class as they are of interest to me professionally and it seems to me that all of us tend to accept where politics is concerned and perhaps especially in New York a sort of special surrealism everyone is expected to speak and you so be an accident of communicating one set of things to one set of people and a different set of things to a different set of people it seems primarily important. To say nothing at all though it does help if one can conjure up a rhetoric that seems to have some sort of Nom to a logical significance although it as I say it seems to be again very very important to say nothing I thought and then too it seems to be unnecessary at least at the municipal level. Due to say anything bad in years especially directed to the intelligence and interest of the audience but it's true that when one goes to grouping one says. A plus type of things and in going to group B.. One identifies with with the group being there are the same the untouchable subjects which are common in every group of. I'm told that the only startling thing about my campaign so far is that I have thus far failed to come up for Leif Erikson. But I'll remember one time at Princeton at Princeton University. Being present at a graduate school some of the heart which mistook it for the spoke he was then campaigning for president it was nine hundred fifty six. And and he came in about an hour and a half late and launched into one of those. Essays of over simplification of problem. And the. There was certainly an instantaneous resentment but then after about thirty seconds everyone seemed to look at each other and say but that of course is the way politics. Well and they realized that he hadn't written a speech especially for the intellectual elite of Princeton University but rather was giving them the same speech that he had given eight or ten times previously in the course of that day and under the circumstances they sort of nestled back and listened rather appreciatively the condescension completely evaporated and they they they more or less thought well that's that's the way life is out of doors. Are. That that that the city seems to be some in some sort of our tradition in municipal politics people don't don't mind repeating themselves at all and I don't mean by that that people should so much be infatuated with a neo Terek ideas that they ought all so all ways to be seeking to say something different if only to entertain themselves but that they perhaps ought to try to find a way of saying things. Which which is. Different and well and interesting and and seeks to harm the plums and lead to try to communicate some of the niceties of a position there isn't that kind of of stage fright that I can see in this campaign that it's a. The candidates don't mind not merely saying the same thing time after time for saying the same thing in the identical we're talking formulation so that on the three occasions for instance that I have debated with Mr Beam and Mr Lindsey I've heard Mr Beam saying. I owe the city of great deal the city educated meaning it can't be all wrong in the city. We educate a million people every year in this city and I want to do what I can for New York I have no doubt that he was educated in New York City. And had no doubt at all that. And no doubt at all that He desires to have a deal from New York City but it is all it is interest interesting to me if you're only in terms of the theater of politics. By that he should not. Consider the necessity of a few variations on that that theme that these are as I say might is purely of professional interest but I was given five minutes to talk to you and I thought that I wouldn't tell you doing those five minutes that I was against a civilian review board. Or in favor of neighborhood schools or in favor of economy in government since you will have heard that much from The Herald Tribune so. The These these the whole business of the untouchable subject of the whole notion that one should coast in to the shaking was at the nearest possible opportunity. Does strike me. As. As on necessary now I say it is unnecessary is that as a minority candidate. If I won the election I suppose I would be more impressive insisting that it wasn't necessary after all that being of course on like green. I do nevertheless I hope that. That in due course of people will be encouraged in New York politics to feel that they can deal. With. Difficult subjects without immediately being denounced as racists or revolutionaries or blood mongers or assassins or whatever when the television gentleman asked me yesterday what was my comment about some of the drive that saying that I was an assassin I found myself I find myself having to answer that question on three different occasions because each television. Station wanted. What wanted me to do it over again for them so I tried it first I said well it seemed to me that I was only an assassin in respect of trying to shoot down all ideas that struck me as odd to Truman and preposterous and in other words I felt that I would try to play with Mr Dr its own metaphor Norman Mailer's told us that everyone must respect other people's metaphors and he is the. People he is. The final authority on the subject and then to do the second one I said well it seems to me that it was none fortunate metaphor. That there's just this is to watch escalate they were talk of war. And that. Since I don't believe the longer they can marry for say nuclear policy I'm prepared to escalate that we're talking. To the third one I tried to say something different and I said Well maybe Mr Dobbs had a little whiskey in his bloodstream. At the moment he said. But but but in any event. I do think that there is are a problem of of tedium in attempting to answer the same question time and time and time and time again without boring not only the voters which is bad enough but yourself which is worse. And I say and I say that quite seriously because it seems to me that on any kind of or total servitude. To voters of a kind that tends to depreciate your own and the judge it intelligence is hardly a way to fight of them and hardly a way to commend yourself. As somebody who is who is actively a concern and to keep your eye on the problems of politics and to try to say something relevant however often you're called on how often you want called so that I do hope that. That some pressure will will eventually mom on with reference to which our candidates in New York City and elsewhere. We'll For instance look back to the Golden Age of Adelaide Stevenson who during one nine hundred fifty two I did at least attempt to say if not different things well at least to approach what he had to say with different intuitions with different all month with a different back with a different. Intellectual approach and even with different. I stress that it is not important to say the different things this is the this is the villa times approach to life and the fascination of things of newness for newness big for the sake of newness is heartening you know to admit Whitehead is correct that the whole history of the last is nothing but a series of footnotes on Plato and Aristotle that and then it is also true that our sublimest intellectual responsibility is to go back and and understand what was said before and to understand as a human toll as we should do how necessary it is to contribute your own intelligence in such a way as to make what was old what was truly old sounds new and being invigorated by my fresh experience so I'll be glad to answer what questions are all I can and up I beg you only not to ask me the question how many votes do I think I will get. Because I have run a lot of the answers of different ways of answering that question tried on on Mrs gunning who was very witty and very resourceful or just marking. Who is who is art. Oh extra who is I think I suppose of all of us all here in this room most intitled to be intoxicated by his own political successes he actually got fourteen percent of the vote in Staten Island Mr Gunning and I sometimes. Sometimes accuse him of demo Gaudry. These strike us as almost a heretical excesses but in any case are we here to answer whatever questions you want to put to us and to thank you for your hospitality and. Newton. Thank you most about play first questions now from a fate press table well each one identify himself and his publication and I'll repeat the question for these numbers microphone. Paul Weissman of the Herald Tribune asks missed by playing to your having identified yourself as agreeing with Mr Goldwater on several points agree with him that there is a white black life and if so and no we are going to defect in this election and how. Well I don't ever remember Mr Goldwater saying that there was a white backlash I do remember to get off point saying in his book on Goldwater and Johnson that there was a widespread theory that there was a white backlash but that Mr Goldwater persistently refused to opportunity on the possibility that such a backlash might exist under the circumstances I don't know what any talk of having to do with a white backlash has to do with sort of a Cold War But let me tell you this and I hope the dam according which seems drawn because it's going to come out in about seventeen different versions tomorrow. Let me tell you this that I think there is a white backlash and as I understand that white backlash I welcome that. I believe that a great many people identify the leaders of the Negro movement in New York today. As being a man like out and they can power join him and by Ruston Now if out of making Paul Jr I and by Boston for instance indeed speak for the Negro community then I hope there will be a fight back. Because I'm glade apology and you know it seems to me is constantly making important to me that a demand not only on the white people but ultimately on Negro people or yellow people or whatever kind of people they are they are constantly insisting for instance I don't play pinball Johnny insists that there is an entrenched hostility by all white people toward or Negro people what kind of a form what a backlash to that proposition it would take the form of the deep resentment in my judgment by Ruston writes in The New York Times eighteen months ago it is up to the Nigro people to force a radical departure from the existing order on in the United States we've got to scuttle the gold economic system well and we've got to go in for some kind of socialism and as much as this is the only way to break the power long of the white establishment I welcome any quote white backlash that is directed at saying to by a trust and patiently but firmly we don't expect and to do any such thing to the extent that you quote represent the Negro people as you tell us who we will do everything in the world that we can to oppose the ending of the traditional system in America because that was the system in America that brought a whole lot of other minority groups ultimately to freedom. And is likely to do the same for you so a white backlash that is aimed at these special presumptions of special self and depute time as well and from time to time to be sure ratified Negro. Who look on the white community. As enemies of the black community to be faced. Stopped too and ought to be faced up to irrespective of the political tabo