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Episode 54 – The Art of Losing

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Release Date: 03/17/2020

119 – Inflating the Apocalypse with David Bahnsen show art 119 – Inflating the Apocalypse with David Bahnsen

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

What is the great economic challenge of our times?  Is it inflation?  Rising inequality?  Artificially low interest rates?  Economist David Bahnsen joins Josh to discuss why excessive government debt and our slow-growth or no-growth economy risks the Japanification of the United States.  While some warn of a financial apocalypse, David argues that a more realistic threat is continued lack of productive output and increasing discontents if we don’t reverse course.  Also discussed are how supply side economists can respond to the Left’s critiques of the free...

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118 – Fearlessly Curious with Mónica Guzmán show art 118 – Fearlessly Curious with Mónica Guzmán

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Mónica Guzmán joins Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis as they reach across the political divide to explore how the Left and Right might better engage one another in respectful debate.  Mónica shares her experiences as a liberal living in deep, blue Seattle yet grappling with her immigrant parent’s support for Trump.  They also discuss the limitations of reason to resolve our differences, why viewing people as complex and not merely complicated helps us bridge divides, and why Mónica has hope for a brighter future.   About Mónica Guzmán Per her , Mónica Guzmán is Senior...

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117 – Conservatism Down Under with Jonathan Cole show art 117 – Conservatism Down Under with Jonathan Cole

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

American conservatism has long struggled to reconcile the American Revolution with a worldview that defers to the slow accretion of cultural and historical development over generations.  Yet some nations followed this more “conservative” path.  How might American conservatism appear to them?  Joining Josh in this episode is bona fide conservative and Australian Jonathan Cole to discuss how Australian conservatism differs from both the American and British models and what each of us might learn from the other.  Also discussed are how Jonathan defines conservatism,...

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116 – Fifty Conservative Thinkers show art 116 – Fifty Conservative Thinkers

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

In an age where what passes for the archetype conservative are the likes of , , , , , and Donald Trump, it can be discouraging for those of us who take pride in the rich legacy and colorful history of thinkers on the Right to be associated with such grifters, demagogues, and charlatans.   Trying to define conservatism is challenging and trying to compile a list of individuals who best exemplify conservatism is problematic.  Yet this is becoming increasingly important in a world where “conservatism” is quickly being coopted by reactionary nationalist populists who have little to...

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115 – A Post-Roe World with Kimberly Ross show art 115 – A Post-Roe World with Kimberly Ross

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

With the end of Roe, the pro-life movement scores a major victory in the fight to protect the life of the unborn.  But does this victory signify the end or is it merely the beginning of a new set of challenges and uncertainty in a world that doesn’t always embrace life?  Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis is joined by Kimberly Ross to discuss what a post-Roe world looks like for the pro-life movement and where to go from here.   About Kimberly Ross Kimberly Ross is a freelance conservative writer. Her work regularly appears in The Washington Examiner, both online and the print...

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114 – Are We Right? - Crossover Podcast show art 114 – Are We Right? - Crossover Podcast

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Earlier this summer, Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis joined three other veteran podcasters to launch a new show: Are We Right?  Cal Davenport, Brooke Medina, and Calvin Moore, and Josh debate a wide range of topics from politics to religion to culture and invite the audience to weigh in on whether or not they’re right.  A recent episode featured Calvin quizzing Josh and Cal on why they embrace a conservative worldview.  And even though Cal and Josh are in violent agreement during much of the conversation, there’s plenty of nuance and jargon to satiate the politically...

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113 – It's Greek to Me with Christopher Chesny show art 113 – It's Greek to Me with Christopher Chesny

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

The Orthodox Christian faith is a growing yet tiny minority in the Christendom body in the United States.  Yet they are growing in strength and numbers on the broader American Right.  Which suggests that Orthodoxy may exert its influence on the conservative movement of the future.  What traditions does the faith hold that may bolster and modify conservatism?  What challenges are there in seeking to fuse a predominantly Eastern religion with the politics of the West?  How do practicing Orthodox view Russia’s war in Ukraine?  Can Orthodoxy be a gateway for those...

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112 – Geriatric Millennials with Eric Kohn show art 112 – Geriatric Millennials with Eric Kohn

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Fellow geriatric millennial Eric Kohn joins Josh to discuss what keeps the Acton Institute anchored in turbulent political waters, the proper role for libertarian ideas in conservatism, the dangers of religious zeal in political ideologies, and what’s wrong with conservative kids these days.   About Eric Kohn From Acton Institute's website: Eric Kohn is director of marketing and communications at the .  In that role, he works to bring Acton's vision of a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles to a wider audience....

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111 – What Hath Conservatism Conserved? with Avi Woolf show art 111 – What Hath Conservatism Conserved? with Avi Woolf

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Matthew Continetti’s new book has instigated a vigorous conversation around the best way to understand the historical phenomenon of modern conservatism in the United States.  Returning guest Avi Woolf joins Josh for a discussion on what Continetti’s depiction gets right and not-so-right about American conservatism, what has conservatism conserved, and what ought conservatism to conserve in the future.   About Avi Woolf   Avi Woolf is a writer, editor, translator, and podcaster whose work has been published in Arc Digital, Commentary, National Review, The Bulwark, Ordinary...

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110 – Reaching the Future with Marlo Slayback show art 110 – Reaching the Future with Marlo Slayback

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Founded in the early 1950s, the sought to fill the gaping void in higher education where progressive ideas were in vogue and conservative ones were ignored or attacked.  Under the leadership of their first president, a young journalist named William F. Buckley Jr., ISI began mentoring young men and women to become eloquent defenders of the principles of liberty.  And they have continued this legacy on to today.   In this episode Josh is joined by ISI National Director of Student Programs Marlo Slayback to talk about the work of the organization, her personal journey to...

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Let us begin with some unsettling facts:
  • It is quite possible your death will be painful and frightening.
  • For some, death comes tragically early and unexpectedly.
  • For some, death comes much later and is fully expected, after years of the body and mind steadily deteriorating to the point vital organs no longer function.
  • If you live long enough, everyone you care about now will die.
I’m not trying to be macabre here; I’m simply trying to frame things in a certain context before we proceed.
 
Our society is obsessed with success, winning, reaching our goals, being our all, “arriving”, self-help, and self-actualization. Trump promised his supporters we’d be winning so much they’d get tired of winning. We love winning. Shelves are dedicated to self-help books in bookstores and there’s no end to podcasts offering advice on how to get rich, be successful, and reach whatever goal you have in mind.
 
Failure is temporary. If it manages to truly set us back or keep us from our goals that’s only because something or someone—God? The lifeforce? The Universe?—has set in motion something even better for us than we had imagined. Death, if it enters our minds at all, is some distant threat that won’t come knocking until after a long life of success and a solid legacy that will ensure our life’s impact is felt for generations to come.
 
Conservative thinkers have had a lot to say about loss and failure. And their words can be a great comfort when our shallow world of "winning" falls apart.
 
British philosopher Roger Scruton observed in his book, How to be a Conservative: “The loss of religion makes real loss more difficult to bear; hence people begin to flee from loss, to make light of it, or to expel from themselves the feelings that make it inevitable…The Western response to loss is not to turn your back on the world. It is to bear each loss as a loss. The Christian religion enables us to do this, not because it promises to offset our losses with some compensating gain, but because it sees them as sacrifices. That which is lost is thereby consecrated to something higher than itself.”
 
“There has been a decline in the belief in an afterlife in whatever form—the belief that, somehow or other, the ‘unfairness’ of this life in this world is somewhere remedied and that accounts are made even,” wrote Irving Kristol in his book Neoconservatism, “As more and more people cease to believe any such thing, they demand that the injustice and unfairness of life be coped with here and now.” What if the faith of our ancestors that taught life everlasting is awaiting us after death wasn’t an antiquated superstition that we’ve evolved out of, but the very glue that held people together when everything else around them looked meaningless in an eternal sense?
 
“I am a conservative. Quite possibly I am on the losing side; often I think so,” wrote Russell Kirk several generations ago, “Yet, out of a curious perversity I had rather lose with Socrates, let us say, than win with Lenin.” Can Millennial conservatives muster the strength of mind to say the same today? Once again, a new generation of conservatives faces the very real possibility of the movement fading into oblivion. The only thing that has prevented that in the past were those brave men and women willing to choose the prospect of losing over meaningless victory. Let us pray that we can find the same courage. Because when all we’re about is winning, we’ve already lost.