Conservative activist and writer William A. Rusher died on Saturday, April 15, 2011 at the age of 87. His last column was published two years earlier on March 3, 2009 and titled it the Final Column and began it with the following unsentimental statement:
I began writing these columns 36 years ago and have come to the conclusion that it's time to bring them to a close. It's certainly not a problem of lacking subject matter. It's simply that I am 85 now, and the energy and creative juices are just not what they used to be. Anyone in that age bracket will know what I mean.
Prior columns laid out the conservative case for developing wind and solar power as alternatives to oil and made the case that Obama had "stiffed" the Left. All in all when looking at what passes for commentary today still full of both energy and creativity.
Upon learning of the passing of Rusher, Richard A. Viguerie one of the creators of the modern conservative movement issued a statement outlining his historical importance:
"In fact, Bill was the last of a relatively small group of conservatives whose intellect, energy, work, sacrifices, and passion for freedom came together in the 1940s and 1950s to launch, build, and nurture a cause that, in the 1940s, did not even have a name...
"Most conservatives today would not know of even a third of these men. But without them, there would have been no conservative movement in the 1960s, certainly no Goldwater presidential campaign, and probably no Governor or President Ronald Reagan...
"A short but incomplete list of his achievements would include helping build National Review to be the leading conservative voice in America, Young Americans for Freedom, the New York Conservative Party, the American Conservative Union, the Draft Goldwater Campaign, Reagan for President, and many others."