It’s fair to say that 2019 has witnessed an NR editorial recalibration, with editor Rich Lowry deciding to use a number of magazine editions – five, to be precise — for exclusive focus on vital matters, employing dozens of leading conservative writers to provide sharp analyses, commentary, critiques, and, where applicable, vision. This new determination is the result, in part, of selfless NR supporters — many of whom are responding to our 2019 Fall Webathon, which right now seeks your participation and generosity — who are determined to provide material assistance that will allow NR editors to spread and share the wisdom and influence of conservatism’s principal voice. Our supporters’ contributions make possible these special issues — and, truth to tell, all that NR publishes, either on paper or on the web.
We are proud of what we have published in these special, concentrated issues. Each one alone is a solid reason for readers — may we suggest yourself? — to consider additional support for NR.
The October 14, 2019 issue provided a detailed investigation into the many costly plans that presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren proposes in order to fix (or, in reality, complicate) various problems facing America. There were 10 Warren-focused pieces, with authors including Kyle Smith (he penned the lead essay, “Elizabeth Warren, Cherokee from Outer Space”), Samuel Hammond, Carrie Lukas, Shawn Regan, and others, each one taking to task a different Warren “plan” — on energy, family leave, student debt, wealth tax, payday lenders, and others — that would tear at the social fabric while costing America trillions in government spending. If you seek one-stop shopping for a thorough takedown of the progressive politician, this special issue is it.
The May 20, 2019 issue was the first of a one-two punch, the uppercut being “In Defense of Markets.” While “some on the right are raising questions about free markets, or even rejecting them,” editor Rich Lowry pronounced the need for this issue, as part of our (your!) heritage: “NR exists to stand up for important truths, even when they are embattled or out of favor.” The issue included a dozen jewels, such as Scott Lincicome’s essay, “The Case for Free Trade,” Other contributors included David Bahnsen, Yuval Levin, Jonah Goldberg, Kevin Williamson, Ramesh Ponnuru, and Marian Tupy.
The following right hook came in the ensuing June 3, 2019 issue with the simple and direct cover line: Against Socialism. Rich Lowry sets the backdrop: “Here we are: A self-avowed socialist nearly won the Democratic nomination in 2016 and is a serious contender this time. Another socialist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is the hottest thing in progressive politics today. The Green New Deal and Medicare for All are proposals for sweeping aggrandizements of government power on a scale not seen in this country since the New Deal, if ever.” And then a dozen pieces follow — led by Charlie Cooke’s essay, “Socialism Is Not Democratic,” with much more from terrific contributors such as John O’Sullivan, Tim Carney, Joshua Muravchik, and Andrew Stuttaford.
Come the August 12, 2019 issue, Rich Lowry dedicated NR’s contents to concentrate on “one of the most important policy questions for conservatives to answer today.” More from his explanation for why another special issue was called for:
Trends over the last several decades in the economy and the culture have undercut the interests and standing of the American worker. This helped bring about the election of Donald Trump and accounts, in part, for the overwhelming populist mood of our politics. In what follows, our authors diagnose the discontents of the American worker and sketch out a pro-worker agenda, which must begin with a greater appreciation of the worth of Americans who don’t have four-year college degrees.
The dozen gems in this issue included Steven Camarota’s piece, “Unskilled Immigration Lowers Labor-Force Participation,” which was followed by penetrating articles from Robert VerBruggen, Robert Cherry, Jay Cost, Eli Lehrer, and others.
What can you say but, yes! Rich Lowry argued that NR spends a lot of paper and ink defending America, or proposing ways to make it better . . . but how about stepping back and just telling why we love America? Which we did in the September 9, 2019 issue, with 31 mash notes that went way beyond mom and apple pie — from Kyle Smith praising football and Stephen Hunter thrilling to plays at the plate to Terry Teachout loving Westerns and John J. Miller groovin’ to Motown. It was a unique publication, and one that we believe America and Americans — no matter the political stripes — sorely needed.
Let’s Add a Reason Six
There is no question that NR has been America’s most consistent, articulate, and influential voice on behalf of the ever-under-attack Second Amendment, and we proved that once again in the September 30, 2019 issue, which marshaled five powerful pieces — led by Robert VerBruggen’s essay, “Do Guns Help People Defend Themselves?” (the answer is, yeah) — in defense of your right to keep and bear arms. No, the entire issue was not about “guns.” But the combined firepower was significant. It was . . . special.
We find every issue of National Review to be special, and we have no illusions about why we are able to hire writers, put ink on paper, print and mail: It’s due to the legacy bequeathed to us by Bill Buckley, and to the good people who not only subscribe to NR, but go above and beyond and donate to this unique and very much needed institution.
Last Friday, October 25th, was Saint Crispin’s Day. You know the speech by Henry V, inspiring his outnumbered troops before the Battle of Agincourt. We take from it that famous line:
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.
Add sisters. And there are a quite real happy few who see this thing called National Review as vital, as a larger entity, a cause, needing perpetuation, meriting support. Maybe not blood and life and limb, but aid material, aid that inspires, as NR fights for the conservative beliefs that we mutually cherish, that we are determined to protect, that we aim to preserve for our grandchildren, and theirs.
Join the ranks of the happy few. Please donate to the 2019 Fall Webathon. Our goal is to raise $275,000 by November 10th, and more if we can. To date, some 1,800 folks have donated a total of over $250,000. Truth be told, our needs are much, much greater than this goal, so we are determined not only to meet it, but to surpass it. With your help — can you contribute $25, or $50, or maybe $100, or those of exceptional means think about $500 or $1,000 or more? — we can and will.
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