I recently moved back to our nation’s capital after more than a decade’s hiatus, and what an impact it’s made on my life! It’s quite a different scene from the hipster SoHo cafes where I used to find myself back in Mike Bloombergsville.
Okay, actually, many of you actually know me better than that. Although my native, beloved (Chelsea!) Manhattan is drowning in Page Six–sighting locales, I almost always found myself across the street from any given one of them, at some cheap diner.
In all seriousness, once I returned to D.C., the first thing I was overwhelmed by is the reach and impact of and appreciation for NRO here. If you’re a conservative laboring in the minority — on or off the Hill — you read NRO. You appreciate knowing you’re not alone. If you’re a Republican doing the right thing, you appreciate the encouragement. If you’re a Republican doing the wrong thing, you call and try to explain — often to no avail. But it’s an audience you respect and want to try to make your case to.
Wherever I go here, I hear people quoting NRO. And because I’ve spent so many years behind a computer in an undisclosed location underneath NR’s humble world headquarters, I still go around a little incognito, so 90 percent of the time, they’re not doing it for my benefit.
In fact, even in the liberal bastions I sometimes travel through — and even sit down in — there is a respect for NRO. “Conservative water-cooler” is how the Corner is often described, and not just by conservatives. If the Left wants to know what the Right is thinking, they know they’ll get a good cross-section on NRO. Conservatives of all stripes know that they won’t get talking points from NRO but — more often than not — lively debates on issues among the conservatives who congregate here. It’s one of the things our dynamic forum does best — and always has (14 years and counting). It’s why so many of you keep coming back, day after day, hour after hour.
And reading your e-mails every day (which I’ve made a spring-cleaning vow to be better at answering; thank you for your patience, but do know I read every one of them), I know that so many of you love NRO and so many of our writers — from our regular cast of characters, which includes bestselling authors and a former federal prosecutor, and frequent drop-bys, including former members of Congress, attorneys general, a papal biographer, an Emmy Award winner or two, and a whole host of thoughtful experts on whatever’s pressing or should be. You are encouraged when you hear from or about a fresh conservative face. You come here on days and nights when you’re most nervous about what’s going on in the world (health care, any presidential election or primary night), when you’re energized with optimism (Scott Brown’s election), at moments of unity (9/11, the Iraqi ground war, the Iraqi purple-fingered elections!), and when you’re remembering those who fought the battle for liberty on the battlefield of ideas valiantly (Ronald Reagan’s death, the passing of our beloved WFB).
NRO is where you send your loved ones who don’t quite agree with you, youngsters who haven’t quite discovered dead-tree papers, and politicians who need help.
NRO fills the gaps between issues of the print magazine, lifts your spirits, makes you mad . . . whatever it means to you at a given click, National Review Online is a website that you value. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be reading this. You wouldn’t have gotten this far.
Well, if you value NRO, I promise you that NRO needs your help. The brand name “National Review” may be something that’s always been part of your life. You may assume that we’ve got the financial resources that other media outlets have. But we don’t. We’ve always relied on our readers.
We’re not just a magazine anymore. We’re online and on Kindle and popping up on your BlackBerry or e-mail, too. The more NR does, the more it costs, as frugal as we are. And we’re looking to do new and more innovative things every day, all in the name of conservatism, liberty, and truth.
If you do, in fact, value all that; if you do, in fact, want us to keep up the fight; and especially, please, if you have money to be investing in our country’s future, would you please click here and contribute to National Review Online’s spring emergency fund drive? Because there are hundreds of people who don’t have the money to spare — out of jobs, putting kids through school, working more than one job to make ends meet — who have contributed their $25 or more. $219 has inspired more than a few, a dollar for every vote for Obamacare. If you’re in a more comfortable position, please do consider matching some of the larger donations we’ve received. We need you, and keeping us working is good for America.
Thanks again — to everyone who has given to our fund drive, who is considering giving to NRO, who will give to NRO. Thank you for even bothering to read these — and especially for reading the encouraging (they are to me!) words from your fellow readers.
And once more for the road: Here’s the link.
– Kathryn Jean Lopez is editor-at-large of National Review Online.