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:

Why are the Presidential Debates so Boring and Awful?

As I was watching the Democratic debates this week I found myself asking, why are presidential debates boring and hard to sit through? Was it always this way? While political pundits will be dissecting and analyzing the candidates’ responses for days to come, I’d like to offer some observations on the state of presidential debates themselves. Last I checked, the New York Times has identified twenty-four candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president. At least, that’s the total number of Democratic candidates you might have actually heard of (the actual number of Democrats running for president is closer to 260). Does anyone think the sheer volume of candidates is a good thing?

Episode 34 - American Interests Part 2

Josh and Bob continue their conversation on the national interests of the United States that drives the nation’s foreign policy in part two of this two-part discussion. To the casual observer, American foreign policy over the past 240 years can come across as sporadic at best. We’ve gone from Washingtonian noninterventionism to the territorial expansions of the nineteenth century to gearing up a massive military industrial complex for two world wars to Soviet containment to democratic nation-building to a series of non-specific military engagements with rogue terrorist groups. Some conservatives have argued the best thing we could do as a nation would be to heed George Washington’s warning

Angry Trump Supporter Contacts My Employer, Trying to Intimidate Me

I’m old enough to remember an era when those on the Right who had disagreements responded with tools such as reason, discussion, and persuasion. On occasion debates offered in good faith would descend into name-calling, but this was the exception and not the rule. Today, far too many bypass the toolkit and go straight to name-calling. When that doesn’t work, they descend to threats and intimidation. I had such an encounter recently and—while it caused me no actual harm and pales in comparison to what some conservatives endure—I thought it might be instructive to give the reader a glimpse into the void that is contemporary politics. The Incident What began as a brief exchange on Twitter be

Episode 33 - American Interests Part 1

To the casual observer, American foreign policy over the past 240 years can come across as sporadic at best. We’ve gone from Washingtonian noninterventionism to the territorial expansions of the nineteenth century to gearing up a massive military industrial complex for two world wars to Soviet containment to democratic nation-building to a series of non-specific military engagements with rogue terrorist groups. Some conservatives have argued the best thing we could do as a nation would be to heed George Washington’s warning of no entangling alliances with foreign powers and stop meddling in the affairs of other nations. Other conservatives argue for a strong military presence around the gl

French-ism and the Looming Conservative Civil War

There is a debate currently raging within Western conservatism that has the potential to erupt in a full-fledged civil war. Both sides—in my opinion—have legitimate beefs with the other side and come from intellectually-sound foundations. But one side—again, in my opinion—is largely occupied by representatives teetering on the edge of operating in bad faith and at risk of abandoning any semblance of conservatism whatsoever. Let me begin with what both sides get right. What Both Sides Get Right Here is where I believe both sides have merit: the conservative worldview has historically been riddled with tensions, not because it’s untrue but because it wasn’t developed by any one person or gr

Kimberly Ross on What If Conservatives Ran Social Media?

I’m taking time away from blogging this week due to some unanticipated interruptions, but I didn’t want to leave you hanging with nothing. So here’s a link to a recent article by blogger Kimberly Ross on What If Conservatives Ran Social Media? There is growing discontent regarding efforts by social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to “censor” some on the Right. At first, I suspected this was the flavor-of-the-week in an era of endless outrage. But it does not appear this issue is going away anytime soon. I have some thoughts on the matter and may flesh them out soon but, in the meanwhile, I think Kimberly’s article is an excellent summation of where we stand now and how we mi

Episode 32 - #PrinciplesFirst with Heath Mayo

In an age where much of the Right is embracing nationalism, populism, and the cult of personality that is Trumpism, some are beginning to ask themselves what being a conservative even means anymore? But few have gone further to reinforce the idea that conservatism is about putting principles over party loyalty or allegiance to any one individual than Heath Mayo. Heath joins Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis to discuss the #PrinciplesFirst movement and how it’s shaping what it means to be a conservative by developing a vision for the future without abandoning the principles of the past. About Heath Mayo Heath Mayo is a native of East Texas and currently a management consultant at Bain & Comp