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:

A Smattering of Prudence

I’m taking a brief break from the regular Friday blog posts and will resume the How does a Conservative differ from a Secularist? series next week. In the meanwhile, I didn’t want to leave you loyal readers hanging so I thought I’d compile a smattering of conservative wisdom: Russell Kirk political theorist, moralist, historian, social critic, and literary critic “I think that men are better than beasts, and that life is something more than the gratifying of appetites. I think that variety and growth—not equality and uniformity—are the characteristics of a high culture.” “They will never dare when they ought to dare, who do not fear when they ought to fear.” “What, indeed, are our liberals

Episode 25 - Developing Your Worldview with Bryan Baise

How developed is your worldview? How deep does it go? Have you taken the time to rigorously study and challenge your belief system or have you—like most of us—struggled to find the time as so many other important things in life have kept you busy? The pathway most of us take as we develop and mature is to adopt the belief system of our upbringing—typically whatever our parents believe. Then, sometime around high school and on into college, in an effort to “find ourselves” we begin to question whether what we’ve always believed is actually so. For some of us that might look like a smooth transition that lands us fairly close to where we started while, for others, we bounce from one “crisi

How does a Conservative differ from a Secularist? – Part 2 (The Fallacy of Scientism)

Secularism, like most political terms these days, can mean many things. As I endeavored to explain in Part 1, the sort of secularism I wish to compare and contrast with the conservative view is the secularism that is not merely neutral on religious matters, but holds to the belief that religious and moral teachings have no business in the public square because they cannot be factual in the same way that science can be factual. This is a belief we might call scientism. And Scientism is the view that the only genuine knowledge of reality can be obtained through science and nothing more. In other words, any truth claims reached by some means other than science are to be rejected out of hand

How does a Conservative differ from a Secularist? – Part 1 (Defining Secularism)

Thus far in the How does a Conservative differ series I’ve compared conservatism to libertarianism, authoritarianism, populism, centrism, and—most recently—nationalism. Now I’d like to turn our focus to secularism. And by secularism I’m not referring to the principle of separating institutions of government from institutions of religion—though that idea is present. Rather, I mean an indifference, rejection, or exclusion of religious considerations or appeals to supernatural explanations. I am including here both a person who rejects all supernatural explanations as well as a person who—though they may consider themselves to be religious personally—for all practical purposes behave as if a

Episode 24 - Conservative Activism with Alexandra DeSanctis

Across college campuses and in our nation’s capital political activism is on the rise. But it’s not just a tool of the Left as more and more Right-leaning activist organizations are appearing. What exactly is political activism? What are its potential benefits or defects? And how might activism fit with a conservative worldview? Joining Josh on the podcast is National Review staff writer Alexandra DeSanctis. Alexandra has been active in the prolife movement for many years and offers her thoughts on political activism put into practice. She first began working for the magazine as a William F. Buckley Jr. Fellow in Political Journalism in 2016. She cohosts the Ordered Liberty podcast tw

Does Howard Schultz have Good Grounds to Run for President?

Social media was aflutter this week with former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s noncommittal announcement that he’s actually most certainly totally serious about considering running for president in 2020. As an Independent. Now, this post isn’t about whether Howard Schultz has a plausible chance of winning (he doesn’t). Nor is it about whether Schultz is likely to make a good president (he isn’t). Nor is it about whether Schultz’s run as an Independent would likely help get Trump reelected (it would). Rather—if you’ll pardon my negligent punning—it’s about whether Schultz has good grounds for a presidential run. You see, I believe that what’s oftentimes far more important than who is runni