William F. Buckley On Big Tobacco and Hypocrisy


In a 1988 ABC special, columnist William F. Buckley debated Jesse Jackson on drugs (particularly cigarette smoking), and during the debate Buckley said this:

“If we get nothing else out of the hour tonight, I would hope that we emancipate ourselves from the superstition that that which is legal is necessarily honorable. . . It’s perfectly legal to contract syphilis but that does not mean that society is in favor of syphilis.” And then he goes on with the pointed jab: “As a matter of fact, it’s perfectly legal to vote for Jesse Jackson. That doesn’t make it reputable, does it?”

I receive a decent amount of comments from readers (some of it posted here, some of it posted on my Seeking Alpha writings, and some of it sent to me privately) responding to old articles that I have written analyzing the tobacco stocks (Altria, Lorillard, Reynolds American, and … Read the rest of this article!