Buckley and Hoosier conservatism

February 27, 2008
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William F. Buckley, who died yesterday at age 82, was an intellectual lion who played a key role in pushing conservatism to national prominence, and he left tracks in Indiana along the way.Buckley was instrumental in starting not only National Review magazine but also Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a conservative organization for students interested in academics and political aspects of campus life. Among its members was Stan Evans, who edited the conservative opinion pages of the defunct Indianapolis News, which was a daily newspaper here.

Pierre Goodrich, a lawyer, businessman and Wabash College trustee, underwrote a Buckley speech on campus. Goodrich, who died in 1973, also founded Liberty Fund, which has its offices in the Castleton area. Liberty uses its $430 million in assets to print conservative-leaning books and to sponsor a couple hundred seminars around the world on topics of interest to social conservatives and libertarians. Buckley also once spent a day at Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank brought to Indianapolis by former mayor William H. Hudnut. Buckley, on his own dime, spent a day talking individually with senior fellows at Hudson before it moved back to the East Coast.Thatâ??s at least some of his shadow here. How would you describe the state of conservatism in Indiana?

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