The Saving Elephants Blog

Featuring original content on classical conservatism, current affairs, and everything in-between, these weekly blog posts will illustrate how the wisdom of the past can be applied to the challenges of today.  The blog is organized by the following categories: Conservative Values (taking a deep dive into specific conservative ideas), Competing Worldviews (comparing and contrasting conservatism with other worldviews), Trumpism (posts related to the Trump phenomenon), Elections (observations on upcoming and past elections), and Cornucopia (posts that don't fit in the previous categories).

Select a category from the menu, or read the most recent weekly post below:

If Men Were Angels – Part 4 (What Lurks Beneath)

“Conservatives are chastened by their principle of IMPERFECTABILITY.” Russell Kirk – Ten Conservative Principles Throughout this series we’ve explored the curious fact that—while there is much disagreement on the specifics—we all seem to have some notion that things ought to be different than what they actually are. No one needs convincing that this world, and the people who inhabit it, are imperfect. In Part 1 we discussed how no human society lacked some notion of perfection or perfectibility. There seems to be something quite primal about our capacity to not only recognize that things aren’t as they ought to be, but to then go on pondering how things would look if they were as they oug

If Men Were Angels – Part 3 (Angelic Daydreams)

“Conservatives are chastened by their principle of IMPERFECTABILITY.” Russell Kirk – Ten Conservative Principles It was in college that I was first introduced to the writings of C. S. Lewis, who I have often thanked for what I can only describe as an awakening to what it means to love God with one’s mind. His uncanny and masterful way of communicating made otherwise dry theological and philosophical concepts come to life. I’d often paraphrase a line from his book The Abolition of Man—man’s final conquest over nature will be nature’s conquest over man. Here’s the original quote: “At the moment, then, of Man’s victory over Nature, we find the whole human race subjected to some individual m

Episode 19 - The Future of the GOP with Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell

What challenges does the GOP face in attracting Millennials and younger Americans to the party? Has Trump permanently changed things? Are political parties even relevant anymore? Who better to answer such questions than Matt Pinnell, who’s held high profile positions with both the state and national party? Matt Pinnell was elected Oklahoma’s 17th Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma in the 2018 midterm elections. But prior to winning elected office for himself, he was busy helping others do the same. Matt met Saving Elephants host Josh when he was managing the campaign for a candidate for Oklahoma Lt. Governor—which is, serendipitously, the office he has just been elected to. But prior to en

If Men Were Angels – Part 2 (Fallen Angels)

“Conservatives are chastened by their principle of IMPERFECTABILITY.” Russell Kirk – Ten Conservative Principles The title to this series—If Men Were Angels—comes from James Madison’s Federalist Paper #51: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” Perhaps you may be thinking—thank you Captain Obvious. Yet Madison’s words are far more insightful than first meets the eye. For Madison recognized a blind spot in many a political theory: we might all intuitively understand the idea that humans are imperfect, but we also have the capacity to both yearn for and imagine perfection

Bonus Episode – Midterm Examinations with Mickey Dodson

The 2018 midterm elections have come and gone, but there’s still plenty of analyzing and expounding to be done. And who better than an investigative auditor to get to the bottom of the good, the bad, and the ugly details of 2018? Joining Josh for this special bonus episode is Mickey Dodson, investigative auditor for the Oklahoma State Auditor’s Office. Though a Millennial, Mickey has worn a number of hats that take many people a lifetime to achieve. He’s a former city councilor, former attorney for the Tulsa County DA’s office, and former agent for the FBI. These days he performs special and investigative audits of public officials and public entities in Oklahoma where he works with Savi

Episode 18 - Politicide with Destry Edwards

Destry Edwards, co-host of the Politicide podcast, joins Josh on election day to reflect on the turbulent days that led up to the 2016 elections and how things have changed since then. Destry hails from South Carolina, which has produced more than its fair share of noteworthy politicians in recent years. And he offers some thoughts from his front-row-seat vantage point on fellow South Carolinians like Lindsey Graham, Mark Sanford, Jim DeMint, Tim Scott, and Nikki Haley. Graduating from Bob Jones University with a degree in Cinema Production and a minor in Political Science, Destry has served in a number of political roles. He interned for Rand Paul's presidential campaign during the 2016

If Men Were Angels – Part 1

“Conservatives are chastened by their principle of IMPERFECTABILITY.” Russell Kirk – Ten Conservative Principles The Book of Proverbs tells us that “where there is no vision, the people perish.” Pick up nearly any self-help book from your local bookstore and there will doubtless be some call to cultivating your vision as a key ingredient on your journey to “success”. Self-help guru and motivational speaker John Graham is certainly no exception: “A vision is a mental picture of the result you want to achieve—a picture so clear and strong it will help make that result real. A vision is not a vague wish or dream or hope. It’s a picture of the real results of real efforts. It comes from th