This is the hardest “ask” we’ll make all year.
Urging you to give to Scott Brown back at the beginning of the year to stop Obamacare, asking you to believe in Marco Rubio when he was practically an asterisk in the Florida Senate race, making a last-minute plea for support to get Pat Toomey over the top, highlighting conservative congressional candidates worthy of your support — all that comes naturally and easily.
Asking for help for ourselves, on the other hand, is a drag. If we were the kind of people who were good at asking people for money, we’d be in another business — and presumably a much more lucrative one.
We only ask because we really do need your support. People sometimes ask me, Who are your donors? To which the answer is: You.
We have no sugar daddies, no well-heeled owner, no media conglomerate behind us. We only have people all around the country with a shared devotion to an idea about what this country is and should be. And I shouldn’t say “only,” because all those people — you — have sustained National Review for decades. We wouldn’t be here without you, and can’t survive without you.
As I often explain, opinion magazines don’t make money, which is why we’ve been a loss leader for 55 years and counting. We’re print-heavy, have a small circulation relative to mass-market magazines, and exist to stir up controversy and defend views deemed outrageous by all the great and good. Would you advertise your laundry detergent with us?
But we’re not about selling laundry detergent, anyway. We’re here for a cause, and hardly a day goes by when I’m not inspired by the commitment of my colleagues to our collective enterprise.
A little story. On Election Day, one of our bloggers out on the campaign trail was driving on the highway when a truck next to him blew a tire. He hit the tire and spun out, and the semi swiped him. Thank God no one was hurt, but the car was totaled. The amazing thing is that this blogger — I won’t name him — immediately wrote a couple of us here apologizing that he might miss a few events that day, even though he was looking for alternate transportation. We had him rent a car and he filed all day long as planned.
There’s no one here who doesn’t understand the stakes in American politics right now. Everything is up for grabs, and if we lose, the country as we’ve known it is going to slip through our fingers. Jonah wrote a while back about how Obama’s sweeping ambitions had created the possibility for a sweeping alternative vision. In the Tea Party, we’ve seen the embodiment of that alternative way, and the question now is whether we manage to effectuate it or not.
The midterms were only a start. On election night, around 10 p.m. or so when the networks started to call a Republican takeover of the House, we gathered in the middle of the office and I opened a bottle of (inexpensive) champagne. I have the cork right here on my desk, where it is going to stay until it’s joined by a second cork from a bottle of champagne the night we defeat President Obama for reelection in November 2012.
Everything right now is a play for 2013, when either Barack Obama gets to consolidate and advance his far-reaching progressive agenda, or we elect a Republican president who gets the opportunity for a program of conservative reform as consequential as Reagan’s in the 1980s.
Every day and every single fight will matter on the way there. The biggest will be over the budget. Just as soon as Paul Ryan begins writing a budget, the Democratic and media meme is going to switch in a second from “Republicans talk about limiting government but never do it” to “These are the most savage cuts in government we’ve ever encountered.” We’ll be there for that scrap, and every other one — provided we have your help.
Sadly, producing NRO costs money. We have to pay for the servers, and the writers, and the editors, and the tech team. It’s all run on the skimpiest budget possible (just ask our writers!), but it does take a budget that will have a gaping hole without you.
So if you come here regularly and find yourself informed, enlightened, amused, provoked, outraged, and sometimes even annoyed, please make it possible for us to keep doing it. You may not always agree with us, but hey, as you see in The Corner almost every day, we don’t always agree with ourselves. Every little bit, every widow’s mite, helps make NRO possible and is registered here with the deepest gratitude.
Our work has just begun.