It is the duty of every man, when engaged in a great cause, to humble himself to ask for assistance. So it is with National Review. We stand up for many old and true things that go in and out of fashion, and those things have rarely faced such a coordinated assault on so many fronts as they do today. You can stand with us by donating to our summer webathon.
National Review does many different things: contribute to policy debates, cover elections and political scandals, debate the big ideas of conservatism, comment on cultural works high and low, and of course, have fun doing it all. Nothing, however, is more central to our mission to “stand athwart history, yelling Stop” than a defense of the permanent things, the proven and hard-won traditions of the United States of America and of Western civilization. In setting out that mission back in 1955, William F. Buckley Jr. warned:
Instead of covetously consolidating its premises, the United States seems tormented by its tradition of fixed postulates having to do with the meaning of existence, with the relationship of the state to the individual, of the individual to his neighbor, so clearly enunciated in the enabling documents of our Republic.
We have been called upon more than usual, in 2020, to covetously consolidate those premises. We are inheritors of the patrimony of two and a half millennia, built with sweat and blood over a thousand lifetimes and learned from the collected sparks of genius carefully conserved by those who kept the flame alive. Yet all of it is easily swept away in a short time if not fought for. Neither history nor philosophy can survive if it is not taught anew in each generation. And your donations play a vital part in that teaching.
I should know. In March of this year, after two decades of writing in what passed for my spare time as a busy lawyer, I came aboard National Review full-time as a senior writer. In just over four months, I’ve had occasion to celebrate the exceptional first American century, expose the bad factual history and false narratives of the New York Times’ 1619 Project, defend the role of Abe Lincoln and the early Republicans in freeing the slaves, defend Ulysses S. Grant against the woke mob, and push back at the mad scramble to cancel Native American corporate logos and team names and tear plaques out of baseball’s Hall of Fame. I’ve condemned the pall of woke orthodoxy at the Times and the dangers posed to journalism by woke sources. I’ve argued against using coronavirus relief as a justification for socialism, against using the pandemic as an excuse for red-diaper radicals to empty the jails, against the unwarranted redefinition of gender by the Supreme Court, and against overheated calls to defund the police and smuggle left-wing radicalism behind mainstream sympathy for “Black Lives Matter.”
I’m just one of our many writers on this beat, but I could not have written half of those articles if National Review had not had the resources to bring me aboard. Any army in the field needs money to stay on the front lines, to continue producing ammunition, to bring up reinforcements, and to maintain the logistical support for those at the tip of the spear. So it is with battles of ideas: putting out fortnightly magazine issues and producing a daily stream of written content and podcasts on this website does not happen without the efforts of a lot of dedicated people. We count on your subscriptions to support that, but also on your donations, especially in a difficult economy that is pinching many journalistic outlets to cut staff. Our $250,000 webathon goal will go a long way toward keeping that army in the field, to fight another day.
All too often in our history, the success or failure of bad ideas has depended on whether they were resisted. If you’re like me, you probably read a fair amount of news about the cultural madness around you and ask, “Why doesn’t somebody say something?” National Review will always be here to say something and do something, to stand up for America and its ideals when nobody else will. Not everybody can spare a dime right now, but that makes it all the more important to have the support of those who can. If you can spare a few dollars — or a lot of dollars, those are welcome too — please donate.