Politics & Policy

Standing Athwart Doesn’t Come Cheap

WFB at his desk
Your contributions make everything that National Review does possible.

Dear Friends,

My nature is to be reluctant, but seeing the challenge, I take a deep breath, clear my head, and then forge ahead . . . and ask you to help National Review when our semi-annual webathon rolls around.

And around it having rolled, let me welcome you to our spring fundraiser.

If you’re practical, you can save the trouble of reading further by giving right now, right here. Or you can wade through another twice-yearly Fowler Diatribe/Plea/Supplication and then give.

If you are reading this, you must want to wade. Let’s wade!

I told you about my nature. Let’s talk about yours — or at least the nature of the typical NRO reader, even the NRO enthusiast. And that nature is . . . to ignore these appeals.

Yep, there’s something about the potent mix of content and the Internet that has resulted in a near-biblical, absolutist belief that not a single penny is to be paid for it. “It” being content. Even for the wisest and most profound commentary and reporting — which is precisely what National Review provides every day, relentlessly every day, no days off, 24/7/365.

But I’m counting on you to be . . . persuadable. I’m hoping there’s room to convince you that this nature may be someone else’s, but not yours. So let me appeal to you, a conservative — or a libertarian, or even a Charlie Cooke conservatarian — and remind you of the old-but-true saying: There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Or a “free” website.

Can you live on NRO, read dozens of articles and Corner posts every day, all day long, and not pay a farthing for it? Yeah, sure you can.

Should you?

I’d argue no. Now, I don’t want to go all Jiminy Cricket on you, but surely your conscience would agree with me, because you know, in your heart of hearts, that someone is paying for all this terrific material we publish. You know: You’re getting something of great value. You know: Yeaaaah, you should be paying, even a little, for all this marvelous content, because — it’s simply the right thing to do.

There is no such thing as a free lunch. Or a “free” website.

Let me assure you: There’s no pile of cash here. NR’s safe-deposit box is empty but for fossilized rubber bands and a couple of rusty paper clips. Rich Lowry has not won Powerball (at least he’s not telling us if he did). And on the cruises, try as I might, I’ve never won the snowball bingo jackpot. So we need you.

You’re big boys and girls, or maybe one of the 50-and-counting new-fangled gender derivatives, so you understand that it costs a lot of money to produce NRO, and that the content we publish is:

‐very worth producing, and

‐very worth consuming, and

‐the nature of opinion journalism requires us to ask you to help us out in order to keep publishing, and

‐we’d love for you to do that (to help out).

Here’s my pitch to ask you not only to help, but to help us do more.

A bit behind the 20th-century curve, National Review has finally invested some (for us) significant money in social-media talent and marketing. We want to see NR’s important content before many more, millions more. Not by pushing monkeys-playing-with-ducklings videos (cute as they are) or angry-cat memes (funny as they are) or promising EPIC responses and WEIRD TRICKS, but by aggressively promoting exceptional and influential and smart and conservative writing. Writing by people such as Jonah, Jay, Andy, Ramesh, Charlie, K-Lo, Kevin, Jim, Victor, Reihan, Eliana, David (French — what a coup!), and other superior talents.

I am asking, directly: Will you make a donation — small if you must, large if you can — to help defray these social-media costs, this outreach, this vital message-spreading?

Please do, and please do so with a good conscience, aware that every dollar you contribute will bring National Review’s wisdom, sanity, clarity, and consequence to many more people.

Let’s be honest: You read National Review for your own edification and enjoyment. But let’s be even more honest: Such parochial interests aside, you really do want more people to know of, to be impacted by, National Review — because you know that this in turn will impact the issues about which you — we! — care, and the causes in which we believe.

Yet more honesty: National Review is not just a magazine or website or even a cruise company (by the way, there are still cabins to be had on our Alaska voyage, so visit www.nrcruise.com and grab one of the few remaining luxurious staterooms) . . . it is a cause, it is a mission, a damn vital one, created by Bill Buckley to change the world. A cause that depends on you.

We have changed, are changing, and will continue to change the world. But the “we” is not limited to people whose paycheck is mailed from 215 Lexington Avenue — the “we” includes you, includes all good people who want to fight for justice, who believe America is exceptional, who oppose the state aggrandizers, the regulation junkies, the First Amendment despisers, the multi-culturalist intolergentsia, the wannabe-victims, the micro-aggressed, the gender-crazed, the global warm-mongers, the detesters of traditional family, traditional marriage, traditional values, and everything else mocked regularly by the media and cultural elites who cannot stand your beliefs and now cannot stand you.

Game on! We know how to counter-punch, to fight back, to stand for something. National Review is here to make a difference, to stand athwart history yelling “Stop!” — and that can only happen with you, and that can only happen with your generous contribution.

The wading is nearly over! Please make your contribution now to National Reviewright here — and you will sleep the soundest of sleeps tonight, knowing that you did indeed do the right thing.

God bless you and your conscience. And many thanks.

Jack Fowler



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