John B. Judis on Buckley. This rings very true:
When he was at officer's training school, Buckley, who was only 18 at the time, couldn't get by on his good grades and brilliance, and found himself not only disliked, but on the verge of being flunked out of officer candidates' school. In the letters he wrote, Buckley revealed a fear and anguish about his place in the world and how people thought of him. He got his commission, but he also learned that he had to leaven his own political and intellectual convictions with a tolerance for people who didn't share them. He would sometimes condemn their views, but he would not condemn them. By the time he arrived at Yale, he was pretty much the Buckley whom we've known for the last sixty years--witty, arrogant, but always with a certain restraint, even at times a gentleness and consideration. And I think that same sense of limits and boundaries--a sense of how far he could and couldn't go--affected the way he conducted himself politically.