Beyond expressing and defending conservative values, part of Saving Elephant’s mission is to call out to those conservatives who no longer know where they belong. In a world where those on the Right are often characterized as populist Trumplicans against the Deep State, it can be challenging to know where you fit if you still believe in traditional conservatism.
So, where does the conservative fit? What’s wrong with populism? What’s wrong with establishmentarianism? How do we rekindle that spirit of inquiry in a free republic? How do we take back the cultural heritage of debating ideas instead of mindlessly focusing on winning and juvenile social media posts?
Bob Burch joins the podcast once more to delve into these issues and offer some practical solutions. Ultimately, if conservatives are going to recover the cultural heritage we’ve lost by pulling the debate away from warring populist and establishmentarian mentalities and instead focus on ideas and values, it’s going to take a lot of work. But that work can be rewarding and enriching.
The most important thing we can do at an individual level is engage and encourage conversations that invite civic debate rather than run from it. To do that we must first leave the comfort of our political echo chambers and risk engaging with those who may not agree with what we have to say.
If that sounds hollow because it’s “just talk” then I want to challenge you to think differently. Part of what it means to live in a free society is that we have not only the freedom, but the duty to talk things out. Part of what gives the United States its uniqueness and its purpose are the stories we tell ourselves. This isn’t feel-good psychology, this is civics 101. It does change things when we talk, because we’re forced to interact with our neighbors and reach either consensus or at least a workable compromise.
Shouting at one another on social media isn’t talking. Donating cash and time to elect people who have little interest in what we have to say or believe isn’t talking. But working through our differences one by one, first at a local level between friends and neighbors, is precisely what makes our nation exceptional. Do you want to make America great again? It’s not going to happen because you elected the right person. It’s only going to happen when the people begin talking through what’s right.