I love National Review Online readers. I always have. I always will.
Always you’re clicking and reading. Sometimes you’re sharing. Sometimes you’re criticizing. Sometimes you’re saying “thank you.” Sometimes there is a different word before “you.” Regardless, you are here and participating, even if you have never sent any of us an e-mail or commented on an article.
Odds are, if you are bothering to read this, you may have read other fundraising pitches this fall, too. Kevin’s or Jonah’s or Andy’s? I can use their first names, because they are probably like family to you. Sometimes they make you laugh. Sometimes they tell you something you didn’t know. Sometimes you find them off-base but you’re still glad you read it. And you come back. And you’re glad you did. And we’re overjoyed you did.
National Review Online has been around in some form or another for 17 years now, NR for 58. I’ve been here for just about the whole life of NRO thus far (since 1997), and I can testify that the drive is to always bring you more, and better.
We try to get the most and best out of our writers, even while giving them room to appear in other venues – to bring more people here, through TV, speeches, and freelance appearances. (You never do know who the new NR subscribers might be at the Communion breakfast!) It’s a hard-working, talented crew.
It’s a crew that could also do so much more.
You’ve seen Charlie in Colorado for the recall election just this week, and Betsy in Texas for the Wendy Davis circus. I even made it to Rome for the conclave and election of Pope Francis to report live from the Square (though Rich wasn’t pleased I hadn’t been an exclusive embed on Benedict’s helicopter ride out of the Vatican).
Would presidential primaries be the same without the color and interviews from the trail through the eyes of Bob or Katrina — or Rich or Ramesh, for that matter? But to do these things, to get away from desks, from New York or Washington, we need the budget.
And NRO is worth investing in for way more than campaign or cultural or conclave color. The kind of investigatory work that Jillian and Eliana have been doing is essential. One of the more important pieces of the year, in my estimation, was Jillian’s investigation into the underside of Florida abortion clinics — nail salons are held to higher standards than some of the most intimate and violent of medical procedures. There is much more reporting to do there. Reporting that will benefit women (including, yes, their health), children, and men.
And can I say something about life? As you most likely know, this is something I can never write enough about. Abortion is the human-rights travesty of our day –right here in the United States, doing irrevocable harm to lives, families, and our national soul — and I do believe it’s something history and eternity will call us to account for. I’ve been heartened to see a new generation of NR/NRO writers who see this too, somewhat naturally and obviously. Who want, as I often say, something better than what they’ve seen, expect something better, and insist on it in their own lives. Whenever I am tempted to despair, I give thanks for them, their common sense, their desire for truth.
Even if you don’t agree on that particular issue, I do hope you’ve found some of the commentary respectful and challenging. I suspect you welcome real reporting of the kind that Jillian did, that is not reliant on a position on the political or moral issue but can see injustice and shine a light on it. We have a particular responsibility now that we know about what went on in Kermit Gosnell’s house of horrors, where desperately poor women found themselves.
I write this in a fundraising pitch because I think you know there is something special about NRO, in its community of writers, in its quality, in its deeply rooted mission. Things may come and go that you agree or disagree with, but there’s a fundamental moral grounding and a love for life that goes beyond only the protection of the vulnerable unborn and women in difficult circumstances. It’s also got humor! And good sense! And good writing! And can be a good time.
We want more of this in our lives! NRO needs support if we’re going to continue to grow and keep getting better. Please consider helping us in this daily effort.
Donate to National Review here.
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Thank you for considering donating to NRO’s fall fundraising drive. Thank you for being here. For clicking on this. For reading. Thank you and God bless you.
– Kathryn Jean Lopez is editor-at-large of National Review Online.