Before formally encouraging NR readers to consider supporting our ongoing webathon, necessitated by the pressing costs of providing you exceptional coverage and analyses of this overwhelming crisis, I wish to share something. Personal.
It’s this: I have never much been interested in living in “interesting times.”
Happy times, sure. Prosperous times, yes. Free times, most definitely. But “interesting”? That’s always seemed like a euphemism for the sort of events that any student of history would most assiduously try to avoid. Wars are interesting. Depressions are interesting. Deadly storms are, too. Instead of “interesting,” give me years of peace and plenty, with a little baseball thrown in for good measure. The object of politics is to create space for human flourishing. Interesting times tend to invade, if not to crush, that space.
But, as the Rolling Stones have taught us, we do not always get what we want, and, at present, we are most definitely living through times that are “interesting.” I am proud that National Review has met this challenge as superbly as it has. From the beginning of the crisis, NR has been a voice of sanity and reason. It has been informative, thoughtful, versatile, and alert. It has refused to filter each and every question through the usual partisan lenses, and it has avoided the equal temptations of fatalism and dismissal. It has sought out and published a broad array of voices from different fields and different places. It has, in short, looked at the questions before us in widescreen and in high definition.
In our articles and on our podcasts, our writers have debated the coronavirus in full. They have examined the epidemiological, pharmaceutical, economic, and societal questions at hand. They have tracked the origin of the outbreak and made sure that the initial reactions to it will be recorded for posterity. They have looked at the pandemic in a historical context, both broadly and narrowly; from a constitutional perspective; and with a geopolitical stance. They have written about the continuation of religious services and the cancellation of sports. They have put together some advice on what to expect when you’re expecting to do nothing much at all. They have even meditated upon the nature of death. How’s that for a response?
In return, readers such as you have been beating down our doors. We are grateful, as ever, for your support and for your trust. I have heard from many of you that you have been following us both as an opinion journal and as a news source, and for that I thank you. I also ask you, once again, for help in keeping us doing what we are doing. National Review is indispensable at the best of times, and I hope you will agree with me that it has proven itself indispensable at the worst of times, too. It is no mean feat to keep this incredibly talented stable of writers, debaters, editors, tweakers, proofers, and SEOers together, or to make sure that there are lights shining above their heads as they work. And yet, for more than six decades, you have been the glue behind the assembly. These are tough times, but your continued support is invaluable and it is appreciated.
And: Stay safe out there.