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:

Beyond Reason – Part 5 (The Tyranny of Reason)

Let us consider where we’ve come so far: In Part 1 we talked about how many people who lived during the Age of Reason were of the opinion that mankind was entering a golden era in which the superstitious dogmas and doctrines of the past would give way to a pure pursuit of reason. Thus, humans would live in harmony as their political leaders relied upon their superior reasoning to chart a prosperous, equitable, and peaceful future. In Part 2 we discovered how much of a killjoy Edmund Burke could be as he dared to challenge to this newfound faith in human reason. He offered instead an alternative tool: prescription, which put individual reason behind respect for authority, traditions, custom

Beyond Reason – Part 4 (How Prescription Makes Us Wiser)

Years ago, a friend asked if I knew of any verses in the King James translation of the Bible that warned against gossiping. They asked me because I’d grown up in a Free Holiness church where only the King James translation was read. Yet I was surprised to learn the word gossip didn’t appear. Instead, the good King’s English used the word talebearer to signify one who engages in idle, possibly malicious talk. Did You Hear What Happened to Gossip? I later discovered this was because the King James Bible was written in 1611, and people did not come to use the word gossip as idle, possibly malicious talk until a few decades later. The word gossip was in use, it just had a different meaning (

Episode 45 - America's Greatest (and Worst) Presidents - Part 3

Who were America’s Greatest Presidents? Which Presidents had the most lasting impacts that shaped the country in ways that are clearly visible today? What about those Presidents whose blunders, incompetence, or weakness left the nation worse off? Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis is joined by frequent guest Bob Burch as they work their way through the American Presidents and dissect their legacy—whether great, terrible, or somewhere in-between. Since this is an enormous topic it’s broken up into three episodes. In Part 1 covered Presidents George Washington through Abraham Lincoln. In Part 2 Josh and Bob picked things up with Andrew Johnson through Franklin Delano Roosevelt. And in Part

Beyond Reason – Part 3 (Does it Matter Where We’re Going?)

Some claim that today’s conservatives are nothing more than yesterday’s liberals—that conservatism is always on the defensive and fighting an uphill battle before eventually succumbing to the Left’s understanding of equality, or civil rights, or entitlements, or what have you. Now, there is some truth to this idea as conservatives do acknowledge that change or some sense of progression is necessary even to conserve the institutions and traditions of society. But this raises the question: is conservatism ultimately progressivism with patience or—to put it more negatively—someone who is hopelessly behind the times? The answer, I believe, lies in what we mean by conservative. If we mean the

Episode 44 - America's Greatest (and Worst) Presidents - Part 2

Who were America’s Greatest Presidents? Which Presidents had the most lasting impacts that shaped the country in ways that are clearly visible today? What about those Presidents whose blunders, incompetence, or weakness left the nation worse off? Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis is joined by frequent guest Bob Burch as they work their way through the American Presidents and dissect their legacy—whether great, terrible, or somewhere in-between. Since this is an enormous topic it’s broken up into three episodes. Part 1 covered Presidents George Washington through Abraham Lincoln. In Part 2 Josh and Bob pick things up with Andrew Johnson through Franklin Delano Roosevelt. And in Part 3, i

Beyond Reason – Part 2 (Burke’s Anti-Innovationist Innovation)

William F. Buckley famously defined a conservative as “someone who stands athwart history, yelling ‘STOP’!” By that definition, few have embraced a conservative impulse better than Edmund Burke. Burke lived during the tumultuous time of the French revolution. The revolutionaries prided themselves on tearing down the old French monarch built on history, tradition, and religious faith and erecting a republic built on reason alone. As we saw in Part 1, The Enlightenment was viewed by many to be the Age of Reason. And Enlightenment ideas soon produced disciples eager to restructure their nation on these exciting new innovations. “The age of revolutions understood itself as advancing the caus

Episode 43 - America's Greatest (and Worst) Presidents - Part 1

Who were America’s Greatest Presidents? Which Presidents had the most lasting impacts that shaped the country in ways that are clearly visible today? What about those Presidents whose blunders, incompetence, or weakness left the nation worse off? Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis is joined by frequent guest Bob Burch as they work their way through the American Presidents and dissect their legacy—whether great, terrible, or somewhere in-between. Since this is an enormous topic it’s broken up into two episodes. Part 1 covers Presidents George Washington through Abraham Lincoln. In Part 2 Josh and Bob pick things up with Andrew Johnson through the Presidents of the modern age. #president

Beyond Reason – Part 1

During the eighteenth century there emerged an explosion of intellectual, philosophical, political, and economic ideas that swept across the Western world collectively referred to as The Enlightenment. These ideas led to unprecedented breakthroughs in science, the emergence of the free market, revolutions and political upheaval, and massive shifts in how people thought about the concepts of God, the role of the church and state, society, and the individual. It would be an understatement to say that this was an exciting time to be alive. Nearly every prejudice, presupposition, institution, and idea were being pulled apart, questioned, reconstructed, or discarded. Systems of government that