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  • Writer's pictureJosh Lewis

140 – Back to Burke


The name Edmund Burke is used quite liberally on the Saving Elephants podcast as host Josh Lewis makes no bones about being a “Burkean” conservative. But who was this Irish statesman, economist, and philosopher? What were his contributions to conservative thought? Why does Josh hold him in such high regard? And why do some conservatives argue there’s no place for Burke in conservatism?


Rather than inviting one guest to tackle these pressing questions, Josh explores the various conversations had on the podcast with past guests about Burke to help us navigate this rather complex and often misunderstood political thinker. The lineup includes:


Wes Siler


Wes is the founder and Director of The Burkean Conservative, a website, social media presence, and video platform that produces content focused on educating and expanding the conservative movement on the basis of Edmund Burke's principles. You can follow The Burkean Conservative on Twitter @TheBurkeanCon.


Yuval Levin


Yuval Levin is a political analyst, public intellectual, academic, and journalist. He is the founding editor of National Affairs, director of Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a contributing editor of National Review, and co-founder and a senior editor of The New Atlantis. He also holds the Beth and Ravenel Curry Chair in Public Policy.

Yuval served as a member of the White House domestic policy staff under President George W. Bush. He was also executive director of the President’s Council on Bioethics and a congressional staffer at the member, committee, and leadership levels.

Yuval’s essays and articles have appeared in numerous publications, among them, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary. He is the author of five books, two of which are discussed in detail in the episode: A Time to Build and The Great Debate.


Jonah Goldberg


Jonah Goldberg hosts The Remnant, a podcast featuring a “Cannonball Run”-style cast of stars, has-beens, and never-weres to address the most pressing issues of the day and of all-time, mixing history, pop culture, rank-punditry, political philosophy, and, at times, shameless book-plugging, and the nudity is (almost) always tasteful. In October of 2019 Goldberg co-launched and became founding editor of the online opinion and news publication The Dispatch. He was the founding editor of National Review Online, and from 1998 until 2019 he was an editor at National Review.

A prolific writer, Goldberg writes a weekly column about politics and culture for the Los Angeles Times as well as a frequent “newsletter” The G-File. He has authored three books, the No. 1 New York Times bestseller Liberal Fascism; The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas; and Suicide of the West, which also became a New York Times bestseller.

Goldberg is also a regular contributor on news networks such as CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, appearing on various television programs including Good Morning America, Nightline, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Real Time with Bill Maher, and The Daily Show. Goldberg is an occasional guest on a number of Fox News shows and a frequent panelist on Special Report with Bret Baier.


Bo Winegard


Bo Winegard obtained his PhD in social psychology from Florida State University, under the tutelage of Roy Baumeister. Formerly a professor at a small college in the Midwest, Bo is now an independent scholar interested in human evolution, human variation, the rise of political order, and political conservatism. He also enjoys literature, film, sports, and mediocre detective fiction.

Bo has many peer-reviewed publications on motley topics and often writes for the online media publication Quillette. He is currently working on the first of several books on human nature and political ideology.

Visit Bo’s website:

And his YouTube channel:

You can also find Bo on Twitter @EPoe187


David Bahnsen


David L. Bahnsen is the founder, Managing Partner, and Chief Investment Officer of The Bahnsen Group, a bi-coastal private wealth management firm with offices in Newport Beach, CA, New York City, Minneapolis, and Nashville managing over $3.5 billion in client assets. David is consistently named as one of the top financial advisors in America by Barron’s, Forbes, and the Financial Times. He is a frequent guest on CNBC, Bloomberg, and Fox Business and is a regular contributor to National Review and Forbes. He has written his own political viewpoint blog for over a decade.

David serves on the Board of Directors for the National Review Institute and was the Vice-President of the Lincoln Club of Orange County for eight years. He is a committed donor and activist across all spectrums of national, state, and local politics, and views the cause of Buckley and Reagan as the need of the hour.

David is passionate about opposition to crony capitalism, and has lectured and written for years about the need for pro-growth economic policy. Every part of his political worldview stems from a desire to see greater freedom as a catalyst to greater human flourishing.

His ultimate passions are his lovely wife of 18+ years, Joleen, their gorgeous and brilliant children, sons Mitchell and Graham, and daughter Sadie, and the life they’ve created together in Newport Beach, California.


Jeff Nelson


Jeff Nelson co-founded the Kirk Center with Annette Kirk and is currently Vice Chairman of the Center’s Board of Trustees. He served in 1986 and again in 1989 as Dr. Kirk’s personal assistant.

Dr. Nelson is Executive Vice President of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (Wilmington, Delaware). He also served as president of the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts (Merrimack, NH). He received his B.A. at the University of Detroit, an M.A. at Yale University Divinity School, and was awarded his Ph.D. in American History at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Dr. Nelson founded ISI Books, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s now nationally recognized publishing imprint, in 1993. Under his direction, more than 110 books were published. During that time he also edited two respected journals of thought and opinion: The Intercollegiate Review and The University Bookman, and is publisher of Studies in Burke and His Time. He also is senior fellow of both the International G. K. Chesterton Institute (Toronto, ON) and the Centre for the Study of Faith and Culture in Oxford, England; and he is secretary of the Edmund Burke Society of America.

Dr. Nelson has edited two book collections: Redeeming the Time by Russell Kirk, and Perfect Sowing: Reflections of a Bookman by Henry Regnery; he co-edited an award-winning treasury of the historian John Lukacs’ writings entitled Remembered Past; and was project director of the popular national college guide, Choosing the Right College: The Whole Truth About America’s Top Schools. Dr. Nelson was featured in a New York Times front-page news article about a major reference work he co-edited, American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia; and he is series editor of The Library of Modern Thinkers. Jeff Nelson is a frequent and popular guest on radio and television talk shows across the country.

You can follow Jeff on Twitter @JeffOttoNelson


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