I have written for National Review since the third bleak day after September 11, 2001, and have not missed a column since. I live and work on the West Coast, but the editors and writers at NR in New York over the years have seemed like a family, with long traditions back to, and reverence for, William F. Buckley’s original vision of a conservative voice in the wilderness of growing liberal chaos.
In the 21st century there are now all sorts of conservative media in a way undreamed of when Buckley created National Review. But few have such deep roots as NR and welcome such diverse views. In over 13 years, I have never had a column spiked, though often on issues such as war, peace, immigration, or the particular Republican nominees vying for the presidency my views were not necessarily those of either the editorial staff or fellow conservative writers. In other words, a wide conservative spectrum — paleo-conservatives, neo-conservatives, tea-party enthusiasts, the deeply religious and the agnostic, both libertarians and social conservatives, free-marketeers and the more protectionist — characterizes National Review. The common requisite is that they present their views as a critique of prevailing liberal orthodoxy but do so analytically and with decency and respect.
I support National Review because it is a professional and humane organization that tirelessly makes the case that what is called liberalism is not liberal and that what we are told is progressivism progresses nowhere but to serfdom. And that collective and state-run empathy for the poor and dispossessed is not a Great Society, which depresses individual initiative and makes us all collectively poorer, but rather is best expressed as allowing the citizen of a free society to prosper on his own initiative, and thereby enrich the entire commonwealth.
In the 21st century, National Review has opened new pathways of reaching younger professionals and students, with an Institute, symposia, and lecture series. Its cruises are unique — natural meeting places for some of the greatest Americans one can find, from all walks of life, who share a common worry that wherever liberal engineers think they are driving America, all sorts of people simply do not wish to go — and won’t! Intellectual populism is a National Review cruise and get-together.
Let us all support National Review, each according to his or her station, as the country reawakens from its six-year slumber. And as it rediscovers what has been lost, National Review will be there each day to help us rebuild.