’Tis the season for giving. So it’s no surprise that I’m here asking you to give a tax-deductible donation to National Review Institute’s 2018 End-of-Year Fund Appeal. I’ve just given one myself. What I need to give even more, though, is gratitude to you. NRI makes it possible for me (I’m a senior fellow) to do what I do.
And it is you who make NRI happen.
Personally, I can’t remember when I’ve had a busier, more productive year. Naturally, none of us get more productive with age, and I’ve been at this second career now for more years than I care to count. But there has never been anything quite like the Trump News Cycle. Opinion may vary widely on the 45th president of these United States, but there is no doubting his energy. It’s not so much that, at age 72, he shames us younger whippersnappers (I still prefer to think of myself that way) with the whipping he puts on a work day. It is more that it is outdated to speak of a 24/7 news cycle when we have a president who flips the script every couple of hours.
It so happens that much of what the president does, to say nothing of what other government players do about the president, is in my wheelhouse. Thanks to NRI, I have been all over the Mueller probe, the congressional investigations of the investigators, and, more recently, investigations in my old haunts, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan. In between, we’ve had contentious Supreme Court nominations, border-security battles, seemingly endless litigation over Trump executive orders, and the everpresent threat we face, at home and abroad, from radical Islam — or, as we try more accurately to frame it, sharia supremacism.
It is quite a menu, and items are added all the time. The critical thing with all of them — and all issues that at some level affect the fundamental (unalienable!) rights so vital to us as conservatives and as Americans — is that NRI, through its many programs, is trying to get them right, and to involve you in that process.
We are a conservative organization, and we operate on the conservative faith that the truth will set us free. And we operate on the reality that: We can never rest when it comes to articulating and defending the truth.
My job around here, as I’ve always envisioned it and been encouraged to see it, is to make often complicated legal and national-security matters accessible to our readers, to break them down and relate them cogently and as compellingly as the situation demands.
Through my NRI fellowship, I am afforded the opportunity to travel America to meet with fellow conservatives — often at gatherings created as part of NRI’s Regional Partnership Events program — to make the conservative case on so many matters, and to hear back directly from our friends and supporters about what they find vital.
I never expect that everyone will agree with me about where things are, or should be, headed. One of the wonderful things about working at the mothership of the conservative movement is that we breed diversity of thought and have an array of brilliant thinkers to fit that bill. We strive, though, for two things: a place where you can come to find out what the facts are (regardless of whether they are what we’d like them to be); and a place where you can come for spirited, civil discourse regarding what needs to be done about them.
In my neck of the woods at NRI, we promote these goals in several important ways. I’ve joined with four of the best thinkers in the West — Victor Davis Hanson, Jonah Goldberg, John O’Sullivan, and Douglas Murray — in our Center for the Defense of Western Civilization, carrying forward the Buckley legacy of fortifying what makes us strong by championing our principles and traditions. Speaking of the Buckley Legacy, 2018 was a banner year for preserving and promoting it. I was honored to participate in a number of events on our national tour, marking the tenth year since our founder’s passing — including a conference in Palm Beach at which I was privileged to interview the one and only Rush Limbaugh.
Rush gushed, as only Rush can, about the singular significance of WFB to the modern conservative movement — to the fact that we have a movement.
Finally, at about the half-year mark, I was thrilled to join my good friend, our incomparable editor Rich Lowry, in starting The McCarthy Report, a new podcast. I can’t tell you how much fun it’s been, and how gratifying it’s been to hear from our readers and listeners, who’ve enjoyed the presentation of some tough topics in depth and good cheer.
Again, none of this could happen without your generosity. As we look forward to a rollicking 2019, we depend on it. I hope you will join me in contributing to our great cause. You can find the information needed to make a tax-deductible contribution here. Merry Christmas to you, and a happy, healthy New Year.