Politics & Policy

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I hate pledge drives. But we're in a new paradigm.

Pledge Drives. I hate ‘em. I hate ‘em on NPR. I hate on ‘em on PBS. The only kind I think I’d like are the ones where the fraternity brothers drive the new kids out into the woods and leave them to find their own way home. Of course, I never belonged to a fraternity, so I have to content myself with having the interns darn my socks. But look, these appeals are necessary. Especially around here. We don’t have Uncle Rupert. We don’t have Big Mac heiresses dumping hundreds of millions on us the way NPR does. People: There are live chickens clucking and pecking around the editorial conference room for Pete’s sake (we raise them to pay the assistant editors). We need the cash!

I don’t like the logic of pledge drives because–as Ned Beatty might say in Network–they defy the laws of nature. Giving the milk for free and all that.

But look: We’re in a new paradigm. National Review–contrary to all good conservative instincts– leapt into the slipstream of the Internet with both feet. We’re delighted we did and we’re delighted to have you folks hanging around here like friends from college, ransacking the fridge, reading our stuff, all on our dime, or paradigm (notice how I’ve fought the temptation to recycle Dick Darman’s jab at Jack Kemp, “Brother can you paradigm?” Oh wait, I just did).

If you don’t want to sell your house, liquidate the college fund, and hawk a kidney on the black market and give us all the proceeds, we understand (though some of us will be disappointed). But if you could slip us a few bucks, that’d be great. If your spouse doesn’t want you to do even that, then buy a subscription to the magazine, print or digital. At least that’s consistent with the laws of nature.

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