Showing my age

9 August 2006

This may not have quite the historical heft of, say, the Kennedy-Nixon debates, but I just watched Noam Chomsky and William F Buckley Jr debating from sometime in the 1970s, judging by the attire and events discussed. Someday I’ll have to figure out how to use YouTube so I can just put the video here, but for now, here’s the link.

I don’t know if Buckley got a voice coach or what, but to me he sounds much more credible since he toned down the accent. And while I see several important (and timely) points argued in the debate, it definitely seems like an awful lot of posturing for the cameras. Chomsky looks pretty good here, and his continued activism and brilliance earn a lot of respect, but I like to think that Buckley isn’t as much of a public-policy-debating lightweight as he appears. Maybe it’s just because he is unapologetic about his use of words like ‘animadversion‘ and ‘limicolous,’ in his writing. Words like that transcend politics.


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