He proved that, even in late 20th century, ideas matter and can change governments, minds and history; he produced the intellectual fertilizer that grew the conservative movement from Goldwater to Reagan; He was astonishingly gracious for a man of his position, intellectually honest to a fault; if you are a liberal you should acknowledge his contribution to at least the basic structure of politics. He came to oppose the Iraq war, he was noticably more sympathetic to gay people (and perhaps to civil unions) as he grew older; he believed that conservatism under George W. Bush had lost its way; he was humble enough to allow his magazine to prosper under editors who thought differently. His was a conservatism of doubt.
Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.