If I had a dollar for every time since 2001 that someone has come up to me to thank me for a Victor Davis Hanson column or Corner post, National Review Online would never hold a fundraising drive ever again. As you know, he writes with authority and erudition and wisdom. He is some of what you have come to expect from NRO. Incisive, timely analysis. Honesty. Debate.
Knowing this, I asked Victor why exactly he writes for NRO. I promise you it’s not for the big bucks. No one makes a fortune writing for us. You’d be surprised, in fact, how many write for free, valuing you — the readers — and the tradition we’re trying to uphold here. Victor’s written for NRO in some of the most precarious situations — you know a writer is serious about his work when he barely takes time out for medical emergencies in not the friendliest of countries. I’m not far from the whole truth when I tell you one of the only times he didn’t respond to a query for rapid commentary had to do with his life being in danger. What other excuse could there be, after all, to not offer that VDH wisdom to you, dear readers?
“Writing for NRO is a pleasure,” Victor tells me. “It helps to offer Americans from all walks of life some sort of antidote to the daily liberal consensus; there is throughout NRO an attitude of cheerfulness and optimism in the age of Obama that is critical for one’s sanity in the age of liberalism; and I am free to offer thoughts on everything from illegal immigration and foreign policy to education and contemporary politics, without editorial censorship, but guided by the trust from editors that writers will not abuse such wide freedom of expression. An altogether wonderful experience!”
Further, as long-termers know from an occasional back and forth between writers, especially but not exclusively on the Corner, our writers are also NRO readers.
As Victor puts it: “I read NRO for two reasons: one, its legions of eyes, ears, and intellects of both readers and contributors pick up all sorts of breaking news that few others can find and would otherwise pass by unnoticed; and two, the online magazine offers near-instant analyses of the day across the conservative spectrum that are usually unmatched anywhere on the web.”
If you’ve made it this far, you know what the man says is true. It’s been true for the decade of the Corner. It’s been true for the 15 years since National Review Online really started to become the real-time resource it has been in your life. We, NRO editors, writers, and readers, want you to continue to click here and expect an ever richer site, particularly at this pivotal moment for our country and culture. We will be here, as we have been in the print magazine and in newsletters and all the different ways National Review has published good, smart, fusionist ideas since 1955. Will you support us here? What you’ve come to expect, writers like VDH — and all the rest of the band, Andy McCarthy, Mark Steyn, Jonah Goldberg, et. al — turning out quality copy and lots of it, does cost money. Will you be our much-needed partner here? National Review readers have always been partners with our editors, and we’re honored that’s the case. A generation responded to Bill Buckley’s financial appeals as he stood athwart history. We publish today, in print and online, because of our forefathers! As we fight to preserve that which is exceptional about this country of ours, as we seek to encourage and highlight the good and the beautiful in our culture, please stand with us. Read us and link to us. Share VDH and all your other favorite writers. And please support us. The link is here.
Thank you. For the reading and the e-mailing, the links you share with family and friends. We’re honored to be a part of your lives. Thank you for keeping us online fighting for faith, family, and freedom.
— Kathryn Jean Lopez is editor-at-large of National Review Online.