Jack Fowler has been badgering me to write a fundraising appeal around our planned re-design, and I was in the midst of formulating one when I started looking through the comments from all our donors so far.
Yes, we actually read what you write us. And now all I want to say is, “Thank you.” It is so humbling and moving to get your feedback. I’m quite certain that no magazine has ever been blessed with such devoted readers.
It’s amazing how many of you chip in something despite straitened circumstances, and say you wish you could give more.
A bunch of you are frustrated with the current site, but it doesn’t keep you from coming back. (Please be assured that we hear your feedback, by the way — a way to view the site chronologically and better author pages are common suggestions.)
A number of you are print subscribers, so don’t have a reason to feel “guilty” about reading NRO for free, yet donate anyway.
You represent a broad spectrum of opinion about our president-elect: Some of you are devoted Trump supporters who “forgive” us; some of you are reluctant Trump supporters who appreciated seeing our various writers grapple with the Trump phenomenon in real time and so honestly; some of you are still Trump skeptics.
The thread that unites all of you judging by your comments — and here it’s going to sound like I’m boasting, and I suppose I am — is that you appreciate good writing and clear thinking, and you want to support it.
All of you come here to read. This should go without saying, but in an age of click-bait sensationalism, it’s not so typical. When we occasionally sit down with web-consultant types they are amazed at how long our readers spend on our articles; they will take three-and-half minutes, a geologic age in today’s terms, actually reading, say, a Victor Davis Hanson column from top to bottom.
It’s not news to anyone that it’s been a tumultuous and divisive political year. But you’ve stuck by us. October and November were record traffic months. This fundraising drive has already exceeded what Jack initially thought was an ambitious goal.
Which brings me to the business end of this appeal. If you’ve already given, we are very deeply grateful. If you come here regularly and value what we do but haven’t yet given, please consider supporting our work. Serious opinion journalism has never been a profit center, and we have always been dependent on the help of our readers to keep us afloat. Any amount, from $25 to $5,000, is an inspiration to us and makes a material difference as we try to continually improve our product.
And defend it. As you might have seen, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals finally issued forth, after a couple of long years of deliberation, with an opinion right before Christmas in the Michael Mann case. It declined to throw out his suit, in a setback for us.
It’s extremely important that we ultimately prevail, but it looks like that will take even more time, energy, and resources. The case will have major First Amendment ramifications. The Left, obviously, is particularly inflamed by climate change and determined to squash dissent. This is a test case for whether it will be allowed to do so or not.
So, if you can, please lend us a hand. Every little bit counts, and adds to our marvel and gratitude at the extraordinary phenomenon known as readers of National Review.
— Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review.