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Episode 55 – The New Centrist with Justin Stapley

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Release Date: 03/31/2020

155 – Melodic Musings with Barney Quick show art 155 – Melodic Musings with Barney Quick

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

How might music point us to the good, the true, and the beautiful?  What is the purpose of music, and we are guilty of misusing it?  Why are we so obsessed with Taylor Swift?  Musician and conservative journalist Barney Quick joins Josh to discuss how conservatism might better inform our approach to music.  Also discussed are whether or not the elephants can be saved at all, how an owning-the-libs approach misses the spirit of conservatism, and whether or not Principles First has lost its first principles.   About Barney Quick Barney Quick is a journalist whose work...

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154 – That Old Burkean Saw with Cal Davenport show art 154 – That Old Burkean Saw with Cal Davenport

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

After a stint of episodes taking deep dives into obscure topics, Josh returns to some conservative first-principles by inviting long-time friend of the podcast Cal Davenport on for a wide-ranging discussion on whether or not the fusionist consensus is truly dead, why all the energy in the Right seems to be going towards the NatCons, what’s leading to the rise of populism, how to repackage conservative ideas into digestible slogans, who belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of conservative thought, and how Edmund Burke factors into all of this.  Trigger warning for the Straussian listener: this...

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Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

David Bahnsen returns to the podcast to discuss his latest book: .  David holds a high view of work and, in an era where self-help gurus are teaching us how to work less to achieve a work/life balance, David wants to shift the paradigm to work/rest and celebrate the productive nature of our being.  Also discussed in this episode are what the church gets wrong about work, how each generation brings different challenges and advantages to work culture, universal basic income (UBI), whether the Marxist are right and work under a capitalist system is exploitation, and what the future of...

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152 – Humanist Conservatives with Jeffery Tyler Syck show art 152 – Humanist Conservatives with Jeffery Tyler Syck

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Fusionism—the viewpoint advocated by the likes of William F. Buckley and Frank Meyer of order and liberty mutually reinforcing each other—has been the dominant form of conservatism in the United States for a generation.  In the era of Trump and the rise of nationalist populism on the Right, however, fusionism has steadily lost influence.  Should conservatives double down on what’s worked in the past?  Or is it time for a different approach that was advocated by some of the original critics of fusionism on the Right?   Joining Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis is...

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151 – The God of This Lower World show art 151 – The God of This Lower World

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

What is the single most important virtue for a leader to possess?  What quality can make the run-of-the-mill politician into a statesman?  Is it integrity, communication skills, resilience, courage, empathy, or wisdom?  All of these things are important, of course, and if any are sufficiently lacking we wouldn’t call that a good leader.  But what would you say is the chief virtue?   Conservative thinkers from Burke to Kirk to Kristol to Strauss and even many of the ancient and medieval thinkers from Aristotle to Plato to St. Thomas Aquainis identified a single virtue...

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150 – We Don't Need No Indoctrination with Luke Sheahan show art 150 – We Don't Need No Indoctrination with Luke Sheahan

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

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149 – The Legacy of Roger Scruton with Fisher Derderian show art 149 – The Legacy of Roger Scruton with Fisher Derderian

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Having published more than forty books on an astoundingly wide range of topics and holding noteworthy positions at the British Academy and the Royal Society of Literature, the University of Oxford, the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and the University of Buckingham, Sir Roger Scruton was the quintessential British gentleman and scholar.  He was also one of the greatest conservative intellectuals of the last century and the beginning of this century who died in 2020.  Fisher Derderian joins Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis for a woefully incomplete exploration at the legacy of...

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148 – Conservatism in Practice with Gov Mitch Daniels show art 148 – Conservatism in Practice with Gov Mitch Daniels

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

The Saving Elephants podcast has welcomed a wide array of incredible guests who are on forefront of the conservative political movement.  But most of the guests discuss conservatism from the perspective of a theory or set of principles or idea.  Few have had the opportunity to enact political conservatism as a practice.  And few ex-politicians have been as successful as former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels in advancing conservatism as a practice.  While Daniels is reticent to label his approach “conservative” or identify as part of red team vs. blue team, his practices...

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147 – Where the Religious Right Went Wrong with JB Shreve show art 147 – Where the Religious Right Went Wrong with JB Shreve

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

One of the strangest political developments over the past several decades has been the devolution of the Religious Right and large swaths of politically active Evangelicals as they morphed from character counts moralists of the 1990s to MAGA Trumplicans.  Regardless of the merits of where the Religious Right stands today, one could be forgiven for being perplexed at how they arrived here at all.   Joining Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis is JB Shreve, creator of podcast and blog, to demystify the Religious Right’s conversion to the Church of Trump.  Both JB and Josh were...

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146 – The Myth of Nationalism with Samuel Goldman show art 146 – The Myth of Nationalism with Samuel Goldman

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

What does is mean to be an American?  And why do we Americans obsess so much over the question of what it means to be an American?  This nagging question has plagued our nation since its birth and various national “myths” have been advanced to offer some form of national identity and cohesion.  At times one myth has proven stronger than the others, only to be overshadowed as historical events call its sufficiency and truth into question.  So where does that leave us today in an era of collective, existential crisis?   Joining Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis to...

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As the polarization between the two political parties increases where does that leave principled conservatives?  Are we simply outcasts, or the new centrists?  Justin Stapley returns to the show to discuss the state of the GOP, what he considered to be the “last straw” that led him to leave the Republican party earlier this year, the impeachment proceedings, his objections to “vote blue no matter who”, the changing political landscape, and why he now calls himself a new centrist.

 

A prolific writer and thoughtful tweeter, Justin began working on projects not at all dissimilar to Saving Elephant’s mission to fight for a restoration of political principles in the American political process shortly after the 2016 election.  And during the past several years, Justin has launched multiple websites and written for many affiliate groups.

 

His flagship website is the apply named justinstapley.com which links to his various endeavors, including a contributing advocate and writer for the Federalist Coalition, an advocacy journalist at NOQ Report, an opinion columnist at Porter Medium, the founder and editor of The Liberty Hawk, and the Shooting Editor at Spencer Durrant Outdoors and will be a co-host for the up-and-coming Spencer Durrant Outdoors Podcast.  Earlier this year Justin launched his own podcast called The New Centrist which features his original commentary and highlights of worthwhile speeches.  In addition to politics, his writings include recreational shooting, hunting, fishing, and self-defense.

 

Justin described himself as a “liberty-minded conservative and member of the Republican Party” whose “principles and beliefs are grounded in the idea of ordered liberty as expressed in the traditions of classical liberalism, federalism, and modern conservatism.”  While much of that remains the same, he no longer feels he can be a card-caring member of the Republican party and hold to those values, as he explains at length in the episode.

 

Justin last appeared on the podcast in Episode 30 – Fusionism, and he’s also contributed a couple of blog posts to Saving Elephants, first in contrasting Trump to Reagan then in weighing in on the French/Ahmari wars that erupted within conservative circles last year.  You can find Justin on Twitter @JustinWStapley.