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A founder of the conservative movement won’t yet say he’ll vote for Trump and here’s why

At 93 years old, James L. Buckley has lived a full life. A Yale University graduate and World War II veteran, Buckley was a United States Senator representing New York from 1970-1976 and later a senior judge on the United States Court of Appeals. As a young man, he, along with his brother William F. Buckley Jr., helped shape the conservative movement, which many argue the current Republican nominee has all but destroyed.

In an interview with Rare from his home in Sharon, Conn., Buckley explained why he has yet to decide who he will vote for in the 2016 presidential election, and why he finds both Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to be troubling candidates.

Both of the main party nominees have helped bring in a toxic political climate, according to Buckley.

“None whatsoever,” he said when asked if he had ever lived through a more volatile political time.

“The unhappiness of the American people that’s happening in the country, the sharp divides between the political parties, though not necessarily to the candidate, and the fact that each party seems to have nominated the most unpopular of its potential candidates…well, you figure that out.”

RELATED: BUCKLEY SPEAKS (Part 1): Nation’s last third-party senator on the chances of a third party today

Despite his years as a senator from New York, Buckley claimed he never crossed paths with Donald Trump or his scandal-plagued father, and does not see any conservative principles in the Republican nominee.

“I have no idea what he is, I have no idea what his premises are, I have no idea whether he’s read the Constitution,” Buckley said, but he did offer Trump some slight praise.

“I will say that, based on his list of potential nominees to the Supreme Court…I thought it was an excellent list.”

Due to his status as an inactive judge on the United States Court of Appeals, Buckley is unable to say precisely who he would vote for in this year’s election. But even if he could, the former Reagan appointee said he has “not yet” decided who that person would be, and that it may not even matter.

“I’d have to see how Trump spells out his situation…I vote in the state of Connecticut, and I’d have to decide if a vote would make any difference that I’d want to make.

Though he wouldn’t go so far as to endorse Trump (or any other candidate), Buckley made it clear that he was not hoping for a Hillary Clinton presidency.

RELATED: BUCKLEY SPEAKS: (Part 2) Conservative icon on how Barack Obama has damaged the U.S., and why the GOP may fail in 2016

“I think any choice other than Hillary Clinton, and I say that because I believe that for the last eight years and longer, we’ve been developing a dependency on the state that’s going to strangle the Republic that we grew up knowing and grew up loving,” Buckley said.

This differs slightly from Buckley’s thoughts in 2013, when he told Rare that he wouldn’t wish for a Clinton presidency, but may appreciate her way of achieving it.

“I wouldn’t like how she wanted to lead, but I think that she would be somebody with clearly stated objectives and a willingness to discuss with other people in the tradition of American politics in the past,” Buckley said in 2013.

This post is from RareRare. Click here to read the full text

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