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Johnny Cash Is Singing NRI’s Song

Johnny Cash sings a duet with a Navy lieutenant during his performance for military personnel at the naval station. (Wikimedia Commons)

If Bill Buckley could have chosen a composer for a theme tune for National Review Institute, which he founded in 1991, maybe it would be Bach, or maybe even Elvis (the subject of a pretty good Buckley novel). But if our late founder knew what NRI would accomplish in 2018, I’d wager he’d be tempted to pick Johnny Cash’s “I’ve Been Everywhere” for the official ditty.

Given NRI’s current 2018 End-of-Year Fund Appeal, which I hope receives your generous response, you need to know this: From coast to coast, from Boston to Newport Beach, from Seattle to Miami, NRI fellows — America’s primo cabal of conservative journalists — have visited hither and yon to bring the Buckley message directly to many thousands of NR fans and friends and supporters, for the purpose of discussing and reaffirming and refining our principles. This is critical to keeping conservatism vibrant, refreshed, attentive, combative, and consequential.

This spring, NRI marked the tenth anniversary of WFB’s death with a major nationwide effort to remind conservatives and all Americans just how powerful Bill’s message was and remains. The cavalcade of appearances began in Palm Beach, with a conversation between Andy McCarthy and Rush Limbaugh anchoring that day’s various panels.

I’d tell you about it, but Rush does it so much better. After that, we met with countless NR and WFB fans in Chicago, NYC, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, D.C., and Newport Beach. The campaign was a huge success (NRI takes the Buckley Legacy very seriously).

This movement of ours (that us includes you) was built on interaction. Initially, and for a darned long time at that, borne by one man: our founder. For half a century, Bill Buckley traveled America and the globe (everywhere, man!) relentlessly, to convince doubters and invigorate believers in the fundamental principles of conservatism. Bill knew that building and maintaining a movement is not something phoned in. It was a gargantuan, ceaseless, sleep-depriving effort involving planes, trains, cabs, venues, podiums, halls, microphones, coffee, chicken, tickets, hotels, and so much more than that. And it proved oh-so worth it.

NRI takes Bill’s example very much to heart. We go . . . everywhere. When you support NRI, you are supporting the vital direct interaction of leading conservative writers and thinkers with good and great people, abiding in and beyond the fruited plains, across the deserts bare man, in Reno, Chicago, Fargo, Minnesota . . . Baraboo, Waterloo, Kalamazoo . . . and a thousand other places where our principles live and breathe.

In our End-of-Year Fund Appeal, NRI is trying to raise $200,000 to fund these and other efforts. Would you give a tax-deductible contribution that will underwrite an important way to help our movement? Maybe you can only send $10? Great. It’s most appreciated. But if you could do $100, or $1,000, or even $10,000, or more — well, it is sorely needed. We are counting on you. Please give to NRI’s 2018 End-of-Year Fund Appeal.

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