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:

How does a Conservative differ from a Secularist? – Part 5 (Order and Mystery)

American conservatives are, generally speaking, interested in conserving the American institutions of secular democracy. As such, there are some similarities between conservatism and secularism. There are also differences aplenty, as I’ve covered in the prior four posts. While not all conservatives are religious, conservatism does defend the religious tradition as more than just an interesting relic that ought to be preserved for its historical significance; conservatism views the sacred to be just as relevant to society and Truth as the secular. To the conservative, what is sacred and what is secular are not inherently in conflict but are both essential ingredients to human flourishing.

Gov Mike Huckabee and Pathetic Millennial Weaklings

A recent study claiming 3 in 5 Millennials believe life to be more stressful than ever before has garnered no small amount of attention this week. This is the sort of clickbaity study that often serves to perpetuate small-minded prejudices instead of illuminate. That’s to be expected of the ill-informed that infest social media. It shouldn’t be expected of our national leaders. But, alas, we live in increasingly stupid times. Former governor of Arkansas and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee reacted to the study over Twitter by sharing the following with the world: Let me say right off that I bear Huckabee no ill will. I had not heard that his wife was battling spinal cancer when he

Episode 27 - What's so Positive about Negative Rights?

Is healthcare a right or a privilege? As the Democratic party swings Left, more and more Americans—Millennials in particular—are growing comfortable with the idea that we have a right to healthcare. Not to mention free education, food, shelter, and a host of other things. But before we can even hope to have a productive conversation about these things, we must first address some fundamentals: What is a right? How do rights differ from privileges? Where do rights come from? What is the basis of a right? Traditional conservatism has long distinguished between what we might call negative rights and positive rights. In its most basic form, a negative right is the right to enjoy things that

How does a Conservative differ from a Secularist? – Part 4 (The Age of Reason)

Secularism has historically put science on a lofty pedestal. Indeed, some secularists go so far as to ascribe to scientism—the belief that genuine knowledge of reality can be obtained through the scientific method of observation and experimentation only. I dealt with scientism in Part 2 and Part 3. But not all secularists believe in scientism. Many secularists would rightly say that science alone is not the only window we have to genuine knowledge. Personal introspection, reasoning, logic, and philosophical inquiry can also do the trick. For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to reduce these alternative methods to one word: Reason. Are reason and science sufficient for acquiring knowled

Episode 26 - Urban Conservatism with Avi Woolf

Conservative thinkers from Russell Kirk to Irving Kristol to the Founding Fathers have, at best, cast a wary eye towards cities. And across the country today, Leftist safe havens are often found in dense, urban areas. Does conservatism only thrive in small towns? And, if so, what does conservatism have to say for city life? Should conservatives abandon cities in hopes of a renewal of rural America? Or might there be a way to forge a path that both respects cities as cities and cultivates traditional virtues? Joining us from Israel is Saving Elephant’s first international guest, Avi Woolf. Avi is a translator and editor whose work has been published in Arc Digital, Commentary, National

How does a Conservative differ from a Secularist? – Part 3 (Cogito Ergo Sum)

In Part 2 I began to argue why scientism—a belief generally associated with secularism—is unreasonable. Scientism is the view that genuine knowledge of reality can be obtained through the scientific method of observation and experimentation only. While I listed several reasons why we should be suspicious of this view in Part 2, I will tackle one of the most compelling reasons in this post: your self-awareness. Cogito Ergo Sum Cogito Ergo Sum (“I think, therefore I am”) may well be the most recognizable phrases from the field of philosophy. The idea behind cogito ergo sum is that it would be impossible for us to doubt our own existence because the act of doubting implies we exist. And, wh