It makes for a great movie-plot device, but in real life would we want to risk George Bailey’s opportunity to discover how the world would have fared without him? Would we fear uncovering that it might not have been so wonderful a life? That I really didn’t matter all that much?
As we launch this brief webathon — necessitated by urgencies, justified by performance — seeking to raise $100,000 (between now and April 12) to underwrite National Review’s essential voice of conservative truth-telling, in the face and onslaught and might of this destructive pathogen, we do so having accepted and embraced George’s gut-check.
The vital question for an institution such as ours, a cause such as ours, is boiled down to this: Do we matter? Asked another way: Is the world a better place because we exist? Flipped and asked another way: Would the world be a worse place if we did not exist?
The answers, we strongly contend — and we believe you would confirm as strongly — are Yes, Yes, and Yes.
In any times, in any crisis — especially in this crisis, an unfolding drama of unknowns and unimagined disruptions that extend to every home and the front door of every business — it is simply the case that National Review matters. Deeply.
Maybe it has never mattered so deeply as it does now, as never before in the 64 years since Bill Buckley launched a magazine to speak bold truth to hostile leftist power. Our numbers do not lie: Massive and growing traffic to this website are a result of National Review’s relentless, from-all-angles coverage of the coronavirus threat, of the countless failures of the liberal media, of Red China’s mendacious ways and its role in unleashing a cruel contagion on an unprepared globe. In facts, in analysis, NR is providing what people are yearning for: truth free from liberal bias.
No question: “NRO,” as some of us old-timer staffers still call it, is a go-to. Make that a must-go-to. For the ace reporting of Jim Geraghty and young Daniel Tenreiro, and the unrivaled analysis of Rich Lowry and Charlie Cooke and Michael Brendan Dougherty and about two dozen other big-brained talents who have provided our readers with decision-shaping truth.
For conservatism’s sake, for America’s sake, it’s really quite essential that NRO be functioning, with all hands on deck, armed to the teeth, reloading, undoing the damage of the drive-by media, exposing its agenda, reporting facts, and making shrewd and intelligent observations as events unfold.
Yep, National Review matters. A ton. And you matter to this place. Also a ton. I’ve shared this before and will share again, at this hour when we tell you of our pressing need for material aid: Bill Buckley contended in his later years that he owned National Review on behalf of the donors and supporters whose selfless contributions kept the lights on, the doors open, the keyboards clacking, the wisdom outpouring. How could he not so contend?
The financial pressures that this Wuhan-brewed contagion has unleashed have buckled our economy, touched us all, and frightened plenty. But we need to gather ourselves and recall a central tenet of our movement: We are people of hope. We dwell not on the darkness of the clouds but look for the signs when they will break and then afford us the chance to fight mightily to keep America the greatest experiment in mankind’s history.
But there is so much fighting to be done right now. Hence our webathon. We’re not obtuse: We are well aware that we ask for your financial support amid a maelstrom — not what anyone would call an ideal setting. But ask we must.
Because . . . survive we must. Because . . . we matter. Because . . . the world is a better place for there being NR. Because . . . the world would be a far worse place without it.
We must raise $100,000 (more if possible). If there is anything you can do, from the Widow’s Mite and upward of that, be assured: It will be used for truth, told in a time of crisis. Be assured too of this: The oceans hold no trench that is deeper than our appreciation. Please donate here.