We have it on the authority of many conservative philosophers that conservatism begins in gratitude, but conservative writers do not express the sentiment nearly often enough. I would like to take a moment here to register my own gratitude for National Review Institute and for the donors — ahem — who make our work possible.
For me personally, what the Institute does first and foremost is support my writing, allowing me to do what I can to learn about and then illuminate everything from Obamacare to religious freedom to the Democrats’ leftward march to the Supreme Court (I wrote roughly a zillion articles about the struggle over Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, and some of them were even about legal issues) and, of course, the president.
In every article I have written, I have had perfect freedom to say what I think. When I’m writing, I don’t have to worry that a line will cause someone — whether a politician, a pressure group, or a colleague — so much offense that the institute will have to disown me. There are shared premises but also real differences of opinion among thoughtful conservatives, and our mandate as fellows of the Institute is not to sweep those differences under the rug but to debate them openly, honestly, intelligently, and respectfully.
I am thankful, as well, to the Institute for bringing me into contact with so many smart and civic-minded people. This fall I spoke about William F. Buckley Jr.’s legacy to a crowd at George Washington University that was gratifyingly familiar with the topic, and about the evolution of our two major parties and the upcoming election before a politically diverse audience at the University of Dallas.
The Institute’s donors have been generous in their support of its ongoing enterprises. If you would like to renew that generosity, or join in it, you can find the information needed to make a tax-deductible contribution here.