William Buckley gave an interview to the evangelical magazine Christianity Today, which they reprinted today.
YOU ONCE DESCRIBED YOURSELF AS A PHILOSOPHICAL PESSIMIST WHO REMAINED A TEMPERAMENTAL OPTIMIST. DO YOU STILL FEEL THAT WAY?
I remember that someone once said that the trouble with socialism is socialism, and the trouble with capitalism is capitalists. I've talked in general about the theme that there is every objective reason to think that things are going to go bad, like Whittaker Chambers thinking that he was joining the losing side. But temperamentally, I think the notion of disaster is very sinful.
IS YOUR TEMPERAMENTAL OPTIMISM ROOTED IN A CHRISTIAN THEOLOGICAL VIEWPOINT OF GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY OVER THE WORLD?
God has a role which you can't predict, to begin with. Plus, one likes to think that the sheer enterprise of right-thinking people will at least cause things to survive. I was 18 years old when the atom bomb went off, and I was 65 years old when the Berlin Wall came down. My entire adult lifetime was during the Cold War. When you consider that this is what 250 million people in the Iron Curtain countries and Russia endured throughout their entire lifetime, it is very hard to say that God cleared his throat early on in this contest. On the other hand, we did finally win.