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:

Some Thoughts on Andrew Yang’s Universal Basic Income Proposal

Earlier this month I was listening to a Freakonomics podcast interviewing Andrew Yang, a wealthy entrepreneur who—much like every other registered Democrat these days—is running for president in 2020. Yang’s story caught my attention as he relayed how his successful career as an entrepreneur working to better automate labor had the unintended consequence of destroying small communities. Yang had a change of heart and now wants to forestall what he believes to be a coming work crisis in which large swaths of the country will be unemployed. “New technologies—robots, software, artificial intelligence—have already destroyed more than 4 million US jobs, and in the next 5-10 years, they will eli

How does a Conservative differ from a Nationalist? – Part 4 (How We’re Different)

Let’s review where we’ve come thus far: In Part 1 we defined nationalism as patriotism in its agitated state and determined that nationalistic tendencies must be judged in the circumstance (an idea borrowed from Michael Brendan Dougherty). We then turned to the benefits of nationalism done right; namely, protection from threats from without (Part 2) and threats from within (Part 3). Now let’s turn to the dangers of nationalism done wrong. Poisons and Wildfires Jonah Goldberg, host of The Remnant podcast, is fond of stressing that the desirability of nationalism is determined by just how much nationalism we’re talking about. “If a little nationalism is healthy, too much of it is poisonous,

Episode 23 - How Valuable are Your Values?

How valuable are your values? And what the heck is a value anyhow? Is it just a means to an end? A way to get what we want? Or is it something more? If the word “values” carries with it the implication it primarily has some utility or economic benefit, then it’s a sure sign we’re living in an era where our convictions are grounded on the basis of their usefulness. And, indeed, this is precisely what we are seeing in a society that places the “value” of even a person’s life on their relative usefulness to the society. When our language betrays the idea values this way, then it’s likely we’re struggling with believing they’re really all that valuable in the first place. Values hold less

A Response to the Response to Tucker Carlson's Monologue

Last week Fox News political commentator Tucker Carlson gave his television audience an address that’s being heralded as Tucker Carlson’s Monologue Heard Around the World! What began as a critique of newly elected Senator Mitt Romney quickly turned to a pro-populist analysis of our current political and societal woes. You can watch the bit here or—if you prefer—read the transcript. The most interesting thing about Tucker’s monologue isn’t anything he said, but the reaction to what he said. While the monologue is worth listening to or reading in its own right, this is hardly the Gettysburg Address. Yet the reaction in the conservative blogosphere is palpable. Whether they’re wholehearted

How does a Conservative differ from a Nationalist? – Part 3 (Church and State)

In Part 2 we saw how one of the benefits of nationalism is its role in providing defense for the nation/state. Today we’ll talk about how nationalism can provide for tranquility within the nation. In the fourth and final post I’ll turn to how nationalism can go awry. Religious Wars Let’s roll the clocks back four centuries or more. Long before the United States came into being, the nations of Europe fought endless wars amongst themselves. While the causes for such conflicts are various and sundry, one prominent cause stands out: religious differences. Centuries of religious wars were endemic on the European continent as people couldn’t find a way to settle their disagreements without vi

Episode 22 - Stop "Supporting" Trump

I want you to stop supporting Trump. Seriously. Stop it right now. You can like the president. You can love the president. You can agree with the president’s judicial and cabinet appointments, his handling of the economy, foreign affairs, domestic policies, and the like. Heck, you can even adore his outlandish, brash tweets both before and after becoming president. But, for the love of all that is good and holy, please stop supporting the president! I suppose I could understand how someone who agrees with what the president is doing would say they “support” him, just as someone who disagrees would say they “oppose” him. But—to be honest—it’s never really crossed my mind to support or