Before I make a pitch for the 2018 Annual NRI Fund Appeal, let’s all get in the time machine for a moment.
When we started National Review Online two decades ago, one of the first things I was told was that William F. Buckley Jr. believed the mission of National Review was “the mission, not the magazine.” Now, just to be clear, Bill loved the magazine dearly. It was one of the great loves of his life. But his point was that one could be flexible and adaptive about means but not about ends. “To live is to maneuver” was one of his favorite quotes from his friend Whittaker Chambers.
These were the early days of the Internet, and no one knew what the next few years would mean for opinion journalism. Maybe we’d need to go all-digital straight away? Maybe we’d need to make the magazine a monthly or a quarterly? Whatever circumstances required, we knew we should be ready for the challenge, because the mission was the mission.
Fortunately, none of that was necessary. National Review has endured through turbulent times, maneuvering through uncertain waters, with its North Star being the mission: making conservative arguments, spreading conservative ideas, defending tradition, faith, and the nation, and fighting for the good. And National Review Institute — where I am a fellow – is increasingly central to that cause.
Created by Buckley himself to support the National Review mission, NRI has become a vital journalistic think tank. It supports and promotes the work of Richard Brookhiser, Victor Davis Hanson, Ramesh Ponnuru, Andrew McCarthy, John O’Sullivan, Reihan Salam, David French, Kathryn Jean Lopez, Jay Nordlinger, Matthew Continetti, Douglas Murray, and yours truly, as they spread the timeless message of National Review in books, on television, in seminars and discussions with supporters, and on college campuses across the country.
Over the past year, NRI supported numerous legs of my book tour, at times partnering with various state-based think tanks, to make it easier for me and readers to meet (and, crucially, easier for some to bring me brown liquor and cigars). Thanks to NRI, I met NR readers and others in San Francisco, L.A., Austin, Dallas, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Chicago, and New York City, just to name a few.
NRI helps spread Buckleyite conservatism the way Bill Buckley himself did: across every platform possible. The mission is the mission at NRI.
And if you believe in that mission, or if you just think it’s important that there’s space for those who do in today’s political climate, NRI could use your support.