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Episode 54 – The Art of Losing

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Release Date: 03/17/2020

Episode 82 – Ruminating Remnants with Jonah Goldberg show art Episode 82 – Ruminating Remnants with Jonah Goldberg

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Syndicated columnist, author, podcaster, and political commentator Jonah Goldberg joins Josh to discuss his work in conservative media, their shared concerns with the direction of the country and sanity of the GOP, and why Woodrow Wilson was possibly an even worse human being than James Buchanan.   Jonah Goldberg hosts , 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,...

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Episode 81 – But, He's a Fighter show art Episode 81 – But, He's a Fighter

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

How often have you heard someone say of a Republican politician that they don’t necessarily approve of everything they do or say, but at least they fight?  What exactly do we mean when we say—often approvingly—that someone is a fighter?  Why is the Right so concerned with whether or not someone is fighting?  Who are they supposed to be fighting, and what does it mean to fight?  What is the role of civility in public discourse, and is it possible to maintain an appropriate amount of civility while still fighting?  If we grant that the Right seems to be on the...

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Episode 80 – The Future of Fusionism with Stephanie Slade show art Episode 80 – The Future of Fusionism with Stephanie Slade

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

“There's a well-worn tale about modern American conservatism,” writes Stephanie Slade in her piece for entitle   “It says that the movement as we know it came into being during the mid–20th century as a ‘fusionist’ coalition of economic libertarians and religious traditionalists.  These groups, whose goals and priorities differed from the start, were held together mainly by two things: the sheer charisma of National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr., and the shared enemy of global communism.  As long as the Cold War endured, the story goes, each wing...

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Bonus Episode – What is Conservatism? – with Corey Astill and Kyle Sammin show art Bonus Episode – What is Conservatism? – with Corey Astill and Kyle Sammin

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

The Saving Elephants podcast turns three years old today—no joke!  To celebrate Saving Elephants is releasing a bonus episode: a re-podcast from the podcast where Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis joined Corey Astill and Kyle Sammin to discuss Frank Meyer’s classic book   is a podcast about conservative ideas and thinkers.  Hosts Corey and Kyle explore what it means to call yourself a conservative, where conservatism has been, and where it's going.  Each week, they select readings and conduct a discussion to share with you our investigation.  You can join the...

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Episode 79 – Turning Left from Right with Calvin Moore show art Episode 79 – Turning Left from Right with Calvin Moore

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Host of the podcast Calvin Moore joins Josh to discuss his journey away from the Evangelical faith and a traditional, conservative, Republican culture.  Calvin became disillusioned with the Christianity of his upbringing and dissuaded from the politics commonly attached to it over many years of wrestling with hypocrisies and disingenuous arguments.  His story is an excellent example of the dangers in short-sighted political strategies and belief systems that fail to take the experiences of others into account.   Calvin begins his story where he left off last year on the...

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Episode 78 – Iron Ladies with Leslie Loftis show art Episode 78 – Iron Ladies with Leslie Loftis

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Women on the Right have an invisibility problem.  It’s not that they’re nonexistent, it’s that they’re often overlooked by the Fox News stereotype of what is believed to constitute a conservative woman.  So says Leslie Loftis, longtime curator of publications from conservative women.   Leslie and Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis delve into the challenges women on the Right face and what unique strengths they might bring to the Republican party and conservatism in general if they were more visible.  Leslie also shares her thoughts on the role of feminism in advancing...

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Episode 77 – Truth in Tension with Justin Stapley show art Episode 77 – Truth in Tension with Justin Stapley

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

In this crossover episode friend of the podcast Justin Stapley invites Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis onto his show to discuss self-evident truths and what it means to hold truth in tension. The conversation includes thoughts on whether or not our inalienable rights are “self-evident”, the genius of American founders, Jeffersonian, Lockean liberalism vs. Hamiltonian, Burkean conservatism, why John Adams didn’t make a good president, whether the 1619 Project or 1776 Project is “right” or if the truth is somewhere in-between, whether America’s founding perfect or problematic,...

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Episode 76 – What Happens Now with Cal Davenport show art Episode 76 – What Happens Now with Cal Davenport

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

The million-dollar question within conservatism these days is what happens now?  After the tumultuous years of the Trump administration and with a Republican party gearing up for civil war to determine who owns the heart and soul of the Right, to say nothing of looming questions of the role of nationalism and populism competing against conservatism, it’s difficult to predict how all of this will ultimately shake out.   Joining Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis to try to offer some clarity in our murky times is Cal Davenport, co-host of , a show of two young conservatives having...

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Episode 75 – A Peaceful Transfer of Power show art Episode 75 – A Peaceful Transfer of Power

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Tomorrow Joe Biden will be sworn in as our 46th President.  Yet this inauguration will mark the first time in American history that the outgoing president refused to accept the results of the election and actively worked to overturn them.  And, for the first time in modern American history, we were deprived on a peaceful transfer of power.   On January 6, 2021 our country was attacked.  My country.  Your country.  Though the events took place several weeks ago, it is important to keep them fresh in our minds as we reflect on what it means to be Americans and to...

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Bonus Episode – Remembering Roger Scruton with Bryan Baise show art Bonus Episode – Remembering Roger Scruton with Bryan Baise

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

One year ago today, on January 12, 2020, Sir Roger Scruton died at the age of 75.  Thus passed one of the greatest intellectual minds of the past century.  Scruton was an English philosopher and writer who specialized in aesthetics and political philosophy.  He wrote over 50 books on philosophy, art, music, politics, literature, culture, sexuality, and religion, as well as novels and two operas.  Yet his greatest achievement, according to Dr. Samuel Gregg with the Acton Institute, was to put into words and give form to conservatism as a philosophy beyond a...

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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.