Liberal Gay Eugene Luther Gore Vidal called Buckley a “crypto-Nazi” on ABC so Buckley called Vidal a “queer.”
They were supposed to be commenting on the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago while police were rounding up anti-Vietnam War protesters outside. It led to the trial of the Chicago Eight defended by William Kunsler who used the First Amendment to get them out of jail. Buckley defended the police. Vidal declared “America has become a police state”. Buckley supported the Vietnam War. Vidal opposed it. Moderator Howard K. Smith’s comparison of supporters of the Vietnamese communists with American supporters of the Nazis during World War II caused Videl to call Buckley a “Crypto Nazi”.
Buckley was defending the Vietnam war and the foreign policy of liberal Democratic president Lyndon Johnson and the Chicago police who reported to Liberal democratic Mayor Richard Daley. Gore Vidal represented the anti-war Democrats who were defeated that year.
The Democrats in Chicago in 1968 nominated Hubert Humphrey, a supporter of the Vietnam War, a war that was begun by Democratic President John F. Kennedy. When Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 his Democratic successor, Lyndon Johnson took over the bombing of Vietnam started by the Democratic President. Republican Richard Nixon who eventually pulled America out of Vietnam.
And yet it is an article of faith among Baby Boomer liberals to this day that Nixon and the Republicans caused the war when it was Nixon who surrendered and lost the war. Today, Vietnam is Communist.
After being defeated in 1968 Democrats nominated George McGovern in 1972. The result was Nixon’s re-election by a landslide and control of the White House for the next 24 years by Republicans until 1992. Republican presidential hegemony was interrupted only by Jimmy Carter in 1976, an uncentered former Georgia governor and a former military officer, and ended only by Bill Clinton in 1992, a former Arkansas governor.
What is missed completely by “The Best of Enemies” is the alliance of Buckley’s movement conservatives and the Democratic Party establishment that began the Reagan revolution with the election of Republican Richard Nixon.
The Nixon and the Reagan Republicans alliances with “New Deal Democrats” who revered FDR and JFK helped make Reagan president. Reagan Republicans. As president, Reagan, who had begun as a Democrat, told Dan Rather his favorite president was FDR, for whom he had voted four times. the Democrat alliances with the Republicans is going on again with Democrats moving to support Donald J. Trump over Hillary.